Okay, so I hadn’t been in a comic book shop since ‘Sandman’ wrapped up in '94. My son is very interested in drawing, and graphic story telling. The only problem is that when we go into our local comic book store, he wants to grab everything in sight, including all the stuff I don’t think is appropriate for someone his age. My wife bought him a comic at Chapters on Friday, thinking “‘Batman and Robin’, how bad can it be?” Well, other than the kid smothering his father with a pillow on the first page…
So, fellow Dopers - what are the titles and series one should look for now? I haven’t seen anything with the Comics Code Authority seal on it for quite some time, even though Wiki seems to think there are still some titles out there. Are there any comics out there that are like the Batman, Superman, Green Arrow of my youth, or have they all given over to the gritty, violent anti-heroes of ‘The Dark Knight’? Any advice appreciated…
It’s been a while since I read Bone, but I seem to recall that it’s appropriate for that age, though of course he won’t get the most out of it. The monsters are deliciously scary, and I don’t remember any sex in it, though Bone is desperately in love with Thorn.
Personally, I wouldn’t worry about content. If a child isn’t ready for a thing, they likely won’t be interested in it to start with. I was reading ElfQuest when I was 10ish complete with people getting stabbed, boobies, and orgies. Can’t say that it turned me into an axe murderer.
The batman kid title (Batman, the brave and the bold) is derived from the TV show, and is very poorly written. Attacklad and I decided to drop the title.
We spend a lot of time looking for Uncle Scrooge comics reprinted from the Carl Barks era. I just got back from the Vancouver Comicon having scored 4 anthologies, which is good news. They’re amazingly good comics, possibly the best ever, for the kid demographic.
Archie still carries it (and all Archie’s books are good kid-fodder), as do a handful of DC’s books - but I still wouldn’t call most of DC’s in-universe code approved books (I think, currently, Superman, Batman, Teen Titans, and Justice League) kid friendly. The Code is, frankly, completely toothless, and I’m not sure why DC bothers diluting it by keeping it on those books.
The DC Kids books, on the other hand, are totally kid-friendly. Most of them are cartoon-tie ins - Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Scooby-Doo, Loony Tunes, and a Cartoon Network anthology book - plus Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!, Tiny Titans, and Super Friends. I haven’t read B:tB&tB, but the cartoon series it’s based on is good. Tiny Titans and Super Friends are pretty good, but if you’re planning to read them with him make sure to have lots of other books at the ready, because they’re hard to take for a grown-up in long stretches. Also, Super Friends might get him asking for the action figures (unless he has taste, as they are ugly, ugly toys), so keep that in mind. I’ve not read the others.
On the Marvel side of things, Marvel Adventures is, indeed, as a whole, worthwhile. The recent-ish Power Pack minis (theoretically within the Marvel Adventures universe, but mostly sitting on their own) are very good, and totally kid-friendly. All of them (except, possibly, the last series, Wolverine & Power Pack) are collected in digests. Kid friendly and adult friendly. They’re truly awesome.
Marvel are also currently doing very, very good adaptations of the Wizard of Oz books (Wonderful Wizard finished a couple months ago, Marvellous Land just started last week). Apparently the collected version of Wonderful Wizard of Oz came out in September, and, as I said Marvellous Land of Oz has just started, so they should be easy enough to get.
For other companies, try to track down the Lions Tigers and Bears collections. A third volume was supposedly set to start this year, but I haven’t seen hide nor hair, nor further news. But it is a very good book.
It’s by the creator of Bone. (I’m not sure what the ideal age for Bone is, it definitely gets at least a little more mature than it is at the beginning, with Lord of the Rings type monster fighting)
After Monster Society you can move on to Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam, which is sort of an ongoing comic launched as a spinoff of the the Monster society miniseries, with a different creative team . I read the issues by the first author of “Magic of Shazam” and they were good. They’ve already put someone else on the book though, and I haven’t read them. It looks like they haven’t been collected in non magazine form yet, though.
For God sakes, though, avoid anything with these characters aimed at 40 year olds , in the regular dc “continuity”. You don’t want to be reading about Mary Marvel possessed by a God of masochism and killing people.
DC and Marvel both tend to have a kid friendly line of comics, usually in a separate section of local comic book stores. They are usually easy to spot due to simpler and brighter art.