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Stan Lee, co-creator of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Hulk and other superheroes of the Marvel Comics universe, hangs out with cosplay fans at a recent comics convention. CONTRIBUTED BY JASON ROCCO

Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee coming to Atlanta event

The Marvel Comics blockbuster machine, driven by the Avengers, Iron Man, X-Men and the many iterations of Spider-Man, has been a hero for the movie industry, but the biggest Marvel superhero may be a somewhat wrinkly 91-year-old with tinted glasses and a white mustache. Stan Lee, aka “Stan the Man,” ...

A wall map exhibit is nearly complete in the Human Rights area of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. KENT D. JOHNSON/KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

National Center for Civil and Human Rights prepares to open

In downtown Atlanta, sharing prime real estate with the World of Coke and the Georgia Aquarium, there is a new silhouette on the skyline. It is a lens-shaped structure with two curved exterior walls that seem to enclose or embrace a central core like a pair of hands. In contrast ...

“Dream Cars” at the High Museum

When General Motors debuted its experimental Firebird 1 at the Waldorf-Astoria during the company’s legendary 1954 Motorama, the crowd went nuts. The Motorama was a sort of a yearly car show-slash-extravaganza, hosted by General Motors from 1949 to 1961 to stoke interest in its new designs, but amid the dancing ...

Atlanta Zoo President and CEO Raymond King with a model of the reptile house under construction. BO EMERSON / BEMERSON@AJC.COM

Apps help Zoo Atlanta pounce on future

While acknowledging the roots of his institution in the late 19th century, Zoo Atlanta President and CEO Raymond King spoke Tuesday of new ventures that place the zoo firmly in the cyber age.Addressing supporters and volunteers at the annual CEO’s Breakfast, King described a variety of innovative ways that the ...

The Norman Timbs Special, built in 1947, articulated the ideals of streamlining with its elongated, curvilinear forms and seemingly single-piece body. The one-of-a-kind car sat in the California high desert for almost 20 years before it was lovingly restored by the present owner. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

‘Dream Cars’ takes us back to the future

When General Motors debuted its experimental Firebird 1 at the Waldorf-Astoria during the company’s legendary 1954 Motorama, the crowd went nuts. The Motorama was a sort of a yearly car show-slash-extravaganza, hosted by General Motors from 1949 to 1961 to stoke interest in its new designs, but amid the dancing ...

Author Pat Conroy is shown in the cemetery where his father, Donald Conroy, is buried in South Carolina. Conroy’s father was the keeper of the scrapbooks, clipping out newspaper stories, gluing in photographs and even stealing his son’s private correspondence to add to what he called the “arcs.” BO EMERSON / BEMERSON @AJC.COM

Author Pat Conroy’s papers are going to University of South Carolina

Pat Conroy, the author of “The Prince of Tides” and “The Great Santini,” was a military brat whose father, a Marine fighter pilot, moved the family almost every year; Conroy attended 10 different schools before he graduated from high school.But while his outward life was in flux, he was busy ...

Occupy Wall Street protesters Eric Linkser (left) and Cecily McMillan (right) take turns shouting information to protesters preparing to return to New York City’s Zuccotti Park in November 2011. McMillan was arrested at a March 2012 gathering marking the six-month anniversary of the original protest. (Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press)

Occupy Wall Street protester from Atlanta facing prison time

Cecily McMillan, an Occupy Wall Street protester and former Atlanta resident, currently is in custody at New York City’s Rikers Island, awaiting sentencing after being convicted of assaulting a police officer.The 25-year-old graduate student faces a possible seven years in prison, which may be the most serious punishment levied against ...

Saying goodbye to the pandas at Zoo Atlanta

All great things must come to an end. So it is with the romance between Atlanta and two big black-and-white bears. Today, May 12, the furry siblings Xi Lan and Po will leave Zoo Atlanta and travel to the Sichuan province in China to live at the Chengdu Research Base ...

Musician Jason Barnes smiles as he gets in sync to his myo-electrically controlled robot arm during a Kennesaw State University concert on Saturday March 21, 2014 in Kennesaw, Ga. David Tulis / AJC Special

A different drummer

Before he became the first cyborg drummer, Jason Barnes was just a regular drummer, and like many musicians, he had a day job, a grubby grind cleaning the exhaust systems of restaurant oven. So on a cool, misty January afternoon in 2012, Jason stood in a pool of water on ...

The 1953 Firebird 1 was a GM concept car with wings.

Dream Cars arrive at the High

The second floor gallery at the High Museum became a way-station for space-age road rockets Monday, as the first of 17 concept cars arrived for a show called “Dream Cars.” The exhibit, which opens May 21, will display extreme examples of automotive design from the early 1930s to the 21st ...

Xi Lan, born Aug. 30, 2008, and Po, born Nov. 3, 2010, are leaving Zoo Atlanta to travel to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China, where they will live. This photo shows Xi Lan when that panda was 1.

Two pandas, Xi Lan and Po, are leaving for China

All great things must come to an end. So it is with the romance between Atlanta and two big black-and-white bears. On May 12, the furry siblings Xi Lan and Po will leave Zoo Atlanta and travel to the Sichuan province in China to live at the Chengdu Research Base ...

Barbara Brown Taylor, an Episcopal priest and an author, is on the newly released Time 100 list. CONTRIBUTED BY HARPERONE

Georgia preacher in Time 100 finds limelight in dark

A baby in the womb, Christ in the tomb, a seed in the ground, all come to life where light doesn’t go.Episcopal priest and North Georgia resident Barbara Brown Taylor explores that blackness in her newest book, “Learning to Walk in the Dark,” a journal of sorts.Starting with her own ...

Tough Mudder obstacle run attracts tough customers

An ice-cube bath, a crawl through barbed wire and something called “electroshock therapy” are all part of the attraction when Atlanta’s hardcore competitors gather Saturday and Sunday for the Tough Mudder endurance run. Staged at the Bouckaert Farm in Fairburn, Ga., beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 26, the 10-mile ...

Writer Jennifer Dickey, coordinator of the public history program at Kennesaw State University, traces the bumpy relationship between Atlanta and the city’s most celebrated author in “A Tough Little Patch of History.”

Scarlett and Atlanta: a marriage of convenience?

Atlanta has a troubled connection to “Gone with the Wind.” Though the city is wedded to the story that helped put Atlanta on the map, it hasn’t always been a love relationship. Exhibit No. 1: the Midtown museum called the Margaret Mitchell House, a temple to the book’s author, which ...

The ‘Warhol of Wal-Mart’ shows paintings

Brendan O’Connell, the “Warhol of Wal-Mart,” is finally getting a show in Atlanta. The 45-year-old painter, who grew up in Atlanta and attended St. Pius, was what he calls “an itinerant painter” in 2001, the last time his art was seen in town, and that show was one he had ...

Brendan O’Connell, an Atlanta native who has become the “Warhol of Wal-Mart,” will stage a one-man show at Fay Gold Gallery of his curious portraits of life inside the big-box store.

Brendan O’Connell, ‘Warhol of Wal-Mart,’ shows his artwork in Atlanta

Brendan O’Connell, the “Warhol of Wal-Mart,” is finally getting a show in Atlanta. The 45-year-old painter, who grew up in Atlanta and attended St. Pius, was what he calls “an itinerant painter” in 2001, the last time his art was seen in town, and that show was one he had ...

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, in downtown Atlanta near the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, is nearing completion.

Civil Rights Center nears completion

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, a lens-shaped building dressed in a mosaic of buff-colored siding in the heart of tourist country downtown, is swarmed with cherry-pickers and front-end-loaders, their diesel engines disrupting the tranquility of a recent April afternoon. Workers in hard-hats pace through the center’s atrium, ...

The flamboyant organist Cameron Carpenter will perform with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as one of the highlights of the orchestra’s 2014-15 season.

ASO announces 2014-15 season

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a 2014-15 season full of premieres, including three world premieres, plus music from a remarkable array of soloists and guest conductors. On Tuesday, the ASO revealed its new schedule, which begins Sept. 25 with MacArthur Prize-winning pianist Jeremy Denk performing ...

Bongo born at Zoo Atlanta

A new baby has arrived at Zoo Atlanta, a rare eastern bongo born Saturday to mother Matilda and father Tambo. It is the third offspring from the couple. Bongos are a species of antelope and one of the rarest of the animals at Zoo Atlanta. Matilda’s and Tambo’s first two ...

Workers are shown last month at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights at downtown Atlanta’s Pemberton Place, adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park, the New World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM

Center for Civil and Human Rights nears completion

As the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn., reopens its doors, Atlanta’s own temple to civil rights nears completion. Downtown Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights is about 75 percent done, according to CEO Doug Shipman, and is on track to be ready for its late May ...

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