Ugh, I love these comics, I was just hoping to finish by now.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Dark Horse Comics and Nickelodeon bring us Avatar. I’m not all that familiar with the character. The art carries the same level of stylization that I’ve come to expect from kid’s titles. The story is where this book really shines. Comics fandom was once dominated by men. As the demographic shifts and the audience for comics grows, the old-style audience has caused unnecessary growing pains. This story brilliantly illustrates how the bullied old guard has become the bully and how to deal with it.
The itty bitty Hellboy short seems to ape what I’ve seen from DC kid’s offerings. Funny though.
Not sure I get Juice Squeezers, but it was a laugh.
Raising a Reader!
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund threw in Raising a Reader! : How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love To Read! This is one for the parents. It begins with an explanation of what comics can give to kids. The entire work is short and surprisingly in-depth for such brief sections. It’s mostly a text piece, with scattered illustration. I’d have preferred to see it done as a comic itself. The next section deals with how to navigate a comics page. For those few who don’t find comics reading instinctive, it explains the basics quite clearly. Then we are given information on how to use comics in solo reading, reading aloud, as book club selections, and as a multi-literacy dialogue. In Graphic Novels and Learning, we see how they can be incorporated into learning curriculum. I wouldn’t use how they easily answer Common Core mandates as a shining example of their educational potential, but my misgivings with Common Core are for another post. There is not only info for parents, but teachers as well.
Hello Kitty and Friends
I’ve heard of Sanrio and their flagship character, Hello Kitty. I’ve never heard of Perfect Square, the publisher. Flight is a nice testament to imagination as Hello Kitty tries to alleviate rainy day boredom. The Amazing journey is a preschool equivalent to The Magic School Bus exploration of the digestive system. Not recommended for education, just entertainment. The remaining Hello Kitty stories are drivel. Seriously, not worth the read. The Bravest Warriors art included seem to be a pair of Waldo-esque pages requiring foreknowledge of the characters. Which I lack.
Recommend? Only if you’re under 5.
Bongo Comics Free-For-All 2014
I’m not a Simpsons fan, yet the Bongo Free-For-All never fails to entertain. Bongo Comics includes the usual assortment of fake ads for parody purposes. Its like Simpsons meets Wacky Packs.
We start with a Simpsons story titled With Great Power… (apparently Bongo likes giving Marvel approval). Bart and Milhouse are reading comics in a treehouse. The art is better than the series, but that doesn’t take much. The boys try out variations on the well known origin stories in an attempt to gain superpowers. Milhouse, as always, get the short end of the shtick. The moral is, kids have superpowers when compared to adults.
Agent Vs Agent is very meta. They parody a satire magazine that used to parody itself. Feel free to pause as you process that.
Another Simpsons short is Mr. Burns to the Rescue. Smithers is missing and Mr. Burns must search for him through the untold bowels of Burns Manor. As we see, I’m not the only one to use “kerfluffle”.
Krustyburger Konfidential actually has worse art than the show ever did! How?!
Then we end on Synchronicity For Two. An elegant title. I always enjoy their riffs on Dr. Strange. I’m surprised that there were no Futurama shorts this year. Ah, well.
Captain Comic Book
Holy sequential images, Captain Comic Book! This one is brought to us by Operation Comic Book.
We get the obligatory superpowered origin story of a guy who can call on any ability of any comic hero. A banker is put in charge of handling the estate sale of a Master Sorcerer. Among the unearthly trinkets is a box of comics. The banker is an avid comics reader, and since his boss doesn’t find the comics to be worth selling, he gets to take the books home with him. Turns out, they are enchanted. As he reads through the box, he gains the power of each hero. As the book was sponsored by a Rotary Club, the Four-Way test is outlined.
Hp put up a book of reprints featuring the newspaper strips of Buck Rogers. Fitting tribute to the origins of comic books and graphic novels. There are some sample pages in the back of a new upcoming Buck Rogers line.
I hope to wrap up soon.