By Stefania Rudd. Do you have little ones in your life who are drawn to the world of comics through movies, cartoons, and video games, but you’re not sure what to start them with, or even know what’s appropriate?

We got you! Books For Babes aims to provide info on what books kids will enjoy, but can also be entertaining for adults. One can never start too early — or too late — in building a solid comic book foundation.

Ages 4-7


Looney Toons #229
DC Comics/$2.99
Written by Sholly Fisch.
Art by Walter Carzon and Horatio Ottolini.

Similar to other licensed kids books, Looney Toons #229 takes familiar characters and places them in multiple stories per book, utilizing the talents of various writers and artists. In the newest issue, we get a main story of Daffy Duck confusing pirate Yosemite Sam’s ship as a cruise vacation, finding more than he bargained for.But in true Daffy form, he unintentionally turns it around with his unaware, charming nature. The second story involves Sylvester and Tweety dealing with some tooth troubles, and the last story returns to Daffy again on a (different) boat: this time an ark with Porky Pig at the helm.

The writing and artwork are very in line with the Looney Toons brand, and characters are easily identifiable to young children who watch the newer versions on tv. While the Looney Toons cartoons that those of us over the age of 30 grew up with are no longer the norm (see ya, casual racism and violence!), books like this are great for younger kids since they still have that playful silliness amid positive stories. Although possibly difficult for younger kids to read on their own, Looney Tunes #229 would be a great story time read with an older family member or friend.

  Ages 8-11


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Amazing Adventures #7
Written by Ian Flynn.
Art by Chad Thomas and colors by Heather Breckel.

We begin a new story arc (“Job Security Part 1”) in this issue, and it kicks off by Shredder threatening his henchmen with trouble (and job loss) unless they bring him our favorite pizza-loving reptiles. Rocksteady and Bebop pair up and Fishface and Rahzar create an alliance, but when all four of them work together, they accomplish their goal–trapping the Turtles, and leaving us with a cliffhanger. And for those who wanted more Turtles in the main story, we get our fill in the backup, where the boys get shoe envy and create some fresh kicks in which to kick butt.

Writer Ian Flynn writes for a younger audience wonderfully. Shorter sentences using basic sight words are key to building reader confidence, but the dialogue isn’t so basic as to bore older kids (or adults). The stories themselves are action-oriented and fun, and Chad Thomas’ artwork is cartoonish and, well, cute. Sorry!–I mean it’s totally fierce, like our ninjas! The large panels flow nicely into one another and Heather Breckle’s coloring gives it more depth and emotion. Also, did you see Thomas’ Valentine’s Day Card Variant cover for this issue? Michelangelo gets it.

Ages 12-15


Jonesy #1
Boom! Box/$3.99
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Caitlin Rose Boyle; colors by Mickey Quinn

In the first issue of Jonesy we meet the title character, an angsty teen with a superpower that rivals Cupid’s, who’s stuck dealing with–what else? Valentine’s Day! Ugh. The worst! Creative team Sam Humphries, Caitlin Rose Boyle, and Mickey Quinn combine talents in this fun new series. Read my full review here, and see why it’ll be relatable for so many tweens and teens, as well as us formerly-angsty-teen adults. What? Just me? Mmhmm… okay. 

Ages 16+


Zodiac Starforce #4
Dark Horse Comics/$3.99
Written by Kevin Panetta
Art by Paulina Ganucheau

We knew this day would come, my dears: our magical girl-gang miniseries comes to a close. After months of waiting, the talented Kevin Panetta and Paulina Ganucheau wrap up the storyline nicely, but leave it open enough for the gals to come back for more adventures—fingers crossed! In this issue, we get the ultimate showdown between darkness (Cimmeria and her minion, Diana) and light (Astra and the ZS crew—including our newest member, Lily/Libra). Ultimately, the light prevails and all is restored in the world, until some pesky giant cobras show up; whereupon we open a whole new can of worms, and mysterious hands open a mysterious file with another set of ZS cadets…or so they would have us believe. On to the next story arc?

As always, Panetta and Ganucheau team up to create a beautiful book. The writing finds a solid balance between heartfelt moments and humor, all while keeping the energy high—we are in the midst of battle for most of the issue, after all. Art-wise, this is one of the most visually appealing books out there. Full-page spreads combine with creatively placed, non-symmetrical panels to give the book a nice flow. Each of the characters are drawn with care—from physical expressions to attire. Combine Ganucheau’s artwork with her gorgeous coloring and you can see why I get all heart-eye emoji face over this book. It all melts together into cotton candy sweetness perfection.

Throwback Issues
(Where we discuss the classics that everyone should read.)


The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume One
America’s Best Comics/DC Comics, 2000
Written by Alan Moore.
Art by Kevin O’Neill.

Nerd alert! Nerd alert! Okay, now that I have your attention, I’d like to ask a question: Were (or are) you a fan of Victorian literature, devouring extra reading in school (or currently) because you knew your classes weren’t going to cover all the era’s many great works? Then chances are, you’re already aware of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s iconic League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and hopefully not due to that ghastly film!). If you’re not familiar with the graphic novel but know the works that inspired and helped create it: you are in for a treat, my friends!   

The first volume is a collection of six issues, and the first begins in 1898 (a year after Bram Stroker’s Dracula takes place). Mina Murray is divorced and working for the British government, who has asked her to head a super-team of other Victorian-era characters, protecting the Empire from potential threats. I won’t reveal much more of the plot, because that’s all you need to get started, and it’s a fun journey to discover the story as it unfolds. Alan Moore is one of the best authors of our time, having written modern comics classics throughout a few genres. His writing in League is a great example, also displaying his absolute fluency in (and dear regard for) late nineteenth-century British penny-dreadfuls. Kevin O’Neill’s artwork complements the story well, and greatly enhances the overall feel of the story. Though at times a bit graphic (I’m gonna recommend this volume for 16+, and later volumes for maybe 18+), O’Neill’s art expertly conveys the mood and tone for our heroine and crew’s embarkation and adventure. A solid classic, deserving of space on your bookshelf next to the masterworks that inspired it.

That’s it for this week! Has Books For Babes help you out at all? We want to know! Feel free to send feedback our way in the comments section below.