Government Book Talk has had a busy couple of weeks getting up and running, so it’s time to kick back, relax, and talk about one of the many unexplored corners of the world of Federal publications. Sprocket Man, the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s superhero for safe biking, began in 1975 as a comic book character created at Stanford University for the California Department of Public Safety and the nonprofit Urban Bikeway Design Collaborative. Somewhere along the line, he and his comic books were picked up by the Commission. I know that the GPO sales program carried them at one time, although I don’t know if we sold them singly or in packages. (I checked, and we don’t sell them anymore).
Thanks to the depository library program, you can find Sprocket Man here. Although at first the idea of a superhero dedicated to bicycle safety seems a bit…overdone, I can see how he’s a good way to reach younger bikers. He’s pretty intense, but he gets his message across. Although a few comic buffs seem to scorn him, Sprocket Man is still available for download at a number of safety-oriented Web sites and for collectors at several comic book sites.