ICv2 reports that two contributors to the Flight anthologies have inked deals to create kid-friendly books: Jake Parker will pen two books featuring his character Missile Mouse (the cover critter on the Flight Explorer anthology) for Scholastic’s Graphix imprint, and Ben Hatke will also produde two books featuring his creation Zita the Spacegirl for First Second. (Art is of Zita from the mysteriously content-free placeholder page.)
Valerie Dorazio posted recently on parents trying to prevent their kids from reading comics, and the conclusion I drew from the comments thread was:
If you allow your children to read comics, they will grow up to be comics readers.
if you forbid your children to read comics, they will grow up to be comics readers.
Of course, the sample is pretty skewed, as the vast majority of Valerie’s readers are comics folk. I grew up in a home where comics reading was actively encouraged in many ways—my dad used to read us Archie and Richie Rich comics, the standard treat after a trip to the doctor or dentist was a trip to the drugstore spinner rack, and my Irish aunts used to send us rolls of Beanos and Buntys, as well as a huge box of British comics annuals every Christmas. And so I read comics. But my sisters and brother, who were just as much into them as I was, don’t read comics except to their kids, and they are very particular about what their kids can read. So the ratio is three-to-one in my family.
If you hate the Berenstain Bears as much as I do, you may be surprised to learn that Stan and Jan B. were pretty good cartoonists back in the day. Over at Thought Balloonists, Craig Fischer reviews Child’s Play: Cartoon Art of Stan and Jan Berenstain and finds a lot to like about a book that I normally would have left severely alone.
Johanna Draper Carlson reads Archie comics with a critical eye, and her dissection of an old Veronica-meets-the-bikers story at Comics Worth Reading focuses on an example of the usual cliches not working very well. I hope she follows up with her take on the updated version. Johanna also interviewed Sabrina creator Tania del Rio about her plans for Sabrina and her upcoming two-book series, Quinceanos, for Tokyopop.
Blog find: The Kid’s Comic Book Reviews, in which the blogger reports his seven-year-old son’s responses to comics. (Via The Beat.) And I just discovered Comics Playground, a podcast in which two dads talk about all-ages comics. Check out their latest edition, a review of Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam as well as several other titles.
At The Comic Book Bin, Leroy Douresseaux reviews vol. 1 of Sugar Princess.
Greg McElhatton reads Mariko Tamaki’s Emiko Superstar, from the Minx line, at Read About Comics.
Our own Eva Volin reviews Knights of the Lunch Table for ICv2, and she gives it a solid 4.5 stars (out of 5).
At Comics Village, Glenn Carter reviews Lions, Tigers, and Bears and declares it to be that rare beast, a true all-ages comic.
ICv2 has the scoop on Time Jumper, a collaboration between Walt Disney Home Entertainment and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, which it describes as “an ambitious and innovative digital comic book series that will be released on multiple platforms,” which apparently include the internet and print, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up on game consoles as well, as that seems to be the hot new platform. Here’s the concept:
The new Web digital comic book format will combine the traditional look and feel of a print comic including dialog and thought bubbles with cutting edge multimedia elements including music, edgy visuals, voices and a fast-paced storyboard.
The story sounds old-fashioned, even though it’s supposed to be futuristic: A kid has a cell phone that allows him to travel through time.