This June 2014 special-edition issue of LOWRIDER is a collaboration designed to show you what can happen when two large publishers join forces! In these pages, LOWRIDER combines its super powers with comic book giant Marvel Comics to present to you the all-new Ghost Rider series! We couldn’t be prouder to have been called upon to help launch this latest incarnation of comic book history.

As you may be aware, comic strips gained popularity as chronological sequences of stories and series within newspapers and print media. Their popularity warranted publishing them in books of their own that were sold in huge quantities, especially during the World War II era. Comic books that were dealing with war and crime found many readers among soldiers who were stationed abroad back then, but in the 1950s, comic books were blamed for juvenile delinquency, and that made them even more cool.

In the 1960s, comic books had a lack of respect within the mainstream thanks to their ties to the cultural underworld and their popularity continued to grow, especially among college students. Comic books to this day deal with serious subjects that have achieved widespread popularity. The inventions of countless and popular superhero characters appeal to many of our own personalities and sensibilities, and we relate to their struggles and fight for the greater good. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that every one of us grew up idolizing a favorite comic book hero whom we one day dreamed of being.

At any rate, when the Marvel editorial team was looking for a magazine partner to help promote the release of the all-new Ghost Rider, LOWRIDER was happy to oblige. Many of you might be familiar with Johnny Blaze, the previous Ghost Rider whose flaming skull smoked from atop his motorcycle. Well, the latest character to receive the spirit of vengeance is Robbie Reyes, who hails from East L.A. and fights for justice behind the wheel of a custom car, as opposed to only being on a motorcycle.

Given the hero’s Hispanic descent and his upbringing in the neighborhoods of East L.A., Marvel felt that this special collaboration would become a great illustration of “life imitating art and art imitating life.” Many of you will connect with Ghost Rider’s unique auto enthusiast lifestyle, and we are excited to join forces with Marvel Comics as they recognize the LOWRIDER brand as well as our culture. This collectible issue features a rendering on the cover that portrays a classic customized lowrider with a traditional model alongside, and the all-new Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes striking a pose from East L.A.’s surrounding backdrop!

The car world and heroes portrayed here reflect hope within a community of strife and also represent the gritty realism among our youth today. Speaking of heroes and environments, the owner of this drawn-out ’69 Caprice on the cover of this epic issue epitomizes everything this issue is about. Not only is he from East L.A., he is also a hero, as he fights cancer under the influence of the lowrider culture that he has loved since he was a child. Family, friends, and Caprices are the influences that make him stand up against his adversity, and we celebrate this hero and those like him because we all need one in our lives. Hope is what makes this world go round!

We also have another person who is admired and idealized for his courage and outstanding achievements as a leader. The Raza Report is back with details of the movie that captures the life and times of Cesar Chavez. The cinematic portrayal of this hero has long been overdue. The movie focuses on the life of this American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist, portraying his public relations approach to unionisms and non-violent tactics that made the struggles of all farm workers a moral cause that brought support from an entire nation. Cesar Chavez will always be a major historical icon within the Latino community, and like the movie that depicts his legacy, we can all just repeat his slogan: “Si, se puede.” We have documentation of his life, and now have the movie, too.

This action-packed LOWRIDER issue also includes another collaboration featured in our tech department section, as we help you pick out the right LS engine and transmission for your project. You’ll need both to get the right amount of performance, dependability, and reliability necessary to take your classic out to any scene, just like Ghost Rider does!

We hope you enjoy this epic and one-of-a-kind edition of LOWRIDER; especially those of you within our younger generations as it is you who represent the extended families who will keep the traditions and culture expanding. Long live all heroes!. Joe Ray

Joe Ray