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.
Super Powers #4
Written by Franco and Art Baltazar.
Art by Art Baltazar.
I state firmly that Super Powers is my favorite series going right now. This all-ages mini-series featuring DC’s most popular characters takes the familiarity of watching a Super Friends episode and turns it into a vibrant, fun, and humorous comic with ease.
One reason I love this book so much is the writing: Franco and Art Baltazar draft this series as if you were watching kids playing with their action figures — they use short sentences rife with colloquial and humorous dialogue. Another reason is Baltazar’s trademark artwork: Bright, colorful, and cute — but not too cute. This series is great for kids in this age range because as much as there’s plenty of superhero stuff on TV, movies, and video games, not a lot of it is appropriate for them. It’s a wonderful gift for any DC fan, but an essential one for the youngest.
Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ‘77 #1
Written by Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker.
Art by David Hahn, Karl Kesel, and Roberto Flores.
Letters by Wes Abbott.
Another old school television crossover comic, only this time its Batman ’66 and Wonder Woman ’77 who venture forth on an adventure…
I do really enjoy these crossover television series from DC. (They’ve been teaming up with Dynamite and IDW for other equally entertaining crossover series, like Wonder Woman ’77 Meets the Bionic Woman and Justice League/Power Rangers.) Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker, who write for each of the heroes on their respective books, do a nice job of working together; their book has a good balance of easy-to-read sentences, though Marc and Jeff are especially proficient in keeping things interesting for older audiences. The art team of David Hahn, Karl Kesel, and Roberto Flores (of Madpencil Studios) do a wonderful work here, translating the look of both classic television shows and transforming them into comic perfection.
Jem: The Misfits #2
Written by Kelly Thompson.
Art by Jenn St-Onge and M. Victoria Robado.
Letters by Shawn Lee.
The reality show surrounding The Misfits has officially begun! Well, sorta.
Kelly Thompson provides an emotional gut-punch of an issue with Stormer’s transformation of bullied schoolgirl to a woman who is just owning it—”it” being herself: unapologetic, confident, and bold. It was relatable on so many levels. Jenn St-Onge and M. Victoria Robado continue the colorful and vibrant artwork that has become synonymous with IDW’s Jem comics. A good start to this series after the establishing first issue. Can’t wait to tune in—I mean pick up—the next issue.
Will Eisner’s The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers #1
Written, illustrated, and lettered by Francesco Francavilla.
Francesco Francavilla is a triple threat taking on all the creative aspects in his latest work, Will Eisner’s The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers. And boy oh boy, does he not disappoint! In fact he does such a fantastic job in this first issue it immediately draws you into the story. It feels very much like a movie as well, with the action and the dialogue moving so effortlessly from one page to the next you forget that there’s supposed to be an ending. (Darn you, “To be continued…” page!)
The Spirit is a fictional masked crimefighter created by cartoonist Will Eisner in the 1940s. Francavilla wonderfully holds true to Eisner’s intent through his artwork and dialogue. It’s raining in most of this issue and the details of puddles underfoot or cars splashing the water feel so realistic, but still comic-ish. The blue and black hues of most of the backgrounds give the bright yellows and reds more of a punch across the page. With this series, Francavilla will have the ability to introduce Denny Colt aka The Spirit, his driver Ebony White, and Commissioner Dolan to a new audience. Any fans of mystery and film noir will certainly eat this series up.
(Where we discuss the classics that everyone should read.)
Graphic Universe, 2015
Illustrated by Lee Nordling and Meritxell Bosch.
SheHeWe is a unique book in that it is advertised on the back cover as “Three stories. Three perspectives. Zero words.” In this engaging and clever wordless comic, Lee Nordling and Meritxell Bosch share the tales of Alex and Drew in intertwining parallel. In the front cover the book, it offers you the options: you can read the book one way to see Alex hosting a tea party, another way to see Drew out on an adventure, and then a third way to see their stories as one, but different from the first two. A distinct way to have kids (and adults) use their perspective to see things another way.
The artwork is the star of the storytelling. Alex’s story is done is pinks, reds, corals — all warm colors. Drew’s story is done in blues, grays, purples… cool colors. Their joint story is done is primary colors with greens, reds, and blues taking over. They are drawn in a cartoonish, but not too cutesy way. I think this is a really clever book and one that can occupy a little one’s mind for hours and hours. You might get a real kick out of it as well.
That’s it for this week! Has Books For Babes helped you out at all? We want to know! Feel free to send feedback our way in the comments section below.