Later this month, First Second Books will release The He-Man Effect: How American Toymakers Sold You Your Childhood. The graphic novel is the latest book from cartoonist Brian “Box” Brown, and tells the story of how toymakers in the ’80s used Saturday morning cartoons as extended commercials for action figures and other toys. Ahead of the book’s release, The Beat is pleased to present an exclusive excerpt from the graphic novel focused on the book’s title character.

Here’s how First Second describes The He-Man Effect:

Brian “Box” Brown brings history and culture to life through his comics. In his next graphic novel, he unravels how marketing that targeted children in the 1980s has shaped adults in the present. Powered by the advent of television and super-charged by the deregulation era of the 1980s, media companies and toy manufacturers joined forces to dominate the psyches of American children. But what are the consequences when a developing brain is saturated with the same kind of marketing bombardment found in Red Scare propaganda? In The He-Man Effect, Brown shows us how corporate manipulation brought muscular, accessory-stuffed action figures to dizzying heights, bringing beloved brands like He-Man, Transformers, My Little Pony, and even Mickey Mouse himself into the spotlight.

Brian “Box” Brown self-portrait

The He-Man Effect is the latest First Second release from Brian “Box” Brown. Previous books from Brown include non-fiction titles like Is This Guy For Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman and Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America, as well as the fictional Child Star graphic novel.

Check out the six-page excerpt of The He-Man Effect: How American Toymakers Sold You Your Childhood below. The graphic novel is due out in bookstores on Tuesday, July 11th, and in comic shops on Wednesday, July 12th.