By Christopher Reynolds
Figuratively speaking, that is. Author Johnston McCulley's first story about the black-masked crusader, published in 1919, was titled "The Curse of Capistrano" and set at Mission San Juan Capistrano. The first Zorro movie followed soon after.
This revelation (on Page 71) is just one among many sacred and secular nuggets to be found in "The California Missions: History, Art, and Preservation" (Getty Publications, 276 pages, hardcover, $39.95), a new coffee table book that's both scholarly and, in the words of historian Kevin Starr, "sumptuous."
Below: Mission San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo.