People often ask me for comic book recommendations for young kids. Most comics today are written for adults, and they are emphatically NOT for children. Back in the days when Scott was writing Gotham Adventures (a Batman monthly aimed at children), I could point inquirers in that direction with a clear conscience. His comics were age-appropriate and fun, and darn well written, I might add, and I’m not just saying that because I adore the guy. But he stopped writing that title long ago and has returned to the editor’s side of the desk.
The day before the movers pulled the truck into our Virginia driveway to load my hundreds of boxes for the move to California, another box arrived in the mail. From Scott, who was already out here. A little one, but still: I admit I sputtered a bit at the thought of having ONE MORE BOX to deal with. I should have known better. Shame on me. The box contained: chocolate (bless that man!) and a fat trade paperback which, upon inspection, turned out to be a reprinted collection of Batman material originally published in the 60s and 70s.
60s and 70s, see, which is to say: back when comic books were still being written for kids. The Batman book is part of a series called Showcase Presents, and there are around a dozen more titles now, I believe. They’re black-and-white reproductions, not full color, but that hasn’t seemed to matter to my gang. They were so crazy about the Batman one (it was passed from child to child in the car and was the most popular reading material on our long, long drive) that he brought home a few more, and OH MY GOODNESS. These book are never NOT being read by someone in the house. (No kidding, right in the middle of THIS VERY PARAGRAPH Rose came to me in tears because Jane had just finished the pick-o’-the-bunch, Teen Titans, and had the nerve to give it to Beanie instead of Rose who was waiting impatiently for her turn.)
I consider these books perfect reading material for the topsy-turvy days we’ve had this past month: light, fun, absorbing, did I mention fun? When they aren’t reading, Rose and Beanie are LIVING the books; they are superheroines named Aquagirl and Flash Girl, and they have informed me that I’m Wonder Woman, which: bwah ha ha, but thanks!
By the way, Rose and Beanie seem to have solved their problem by reading side by side.
Comic Books for Children
Comics Make You Smart
Thoughts on ‘teaching’ reading (and why I don’t do it)