I love comics and although I am perfectly fine with Elliot and Henry having no interest in the medium whatsoever, I’ve been trying to build a healthy interest in them. Well, more with Elliot than Henry at this point, I suppose, but the fact remains: I would love for them to also love the things I love.
To that end, in the past few months, Elliot and I have been reading lots of comics together. Although I’m never sure exactly how much he’s following the panels and pictures, he enjoys the stories and it’s been fun introducing him to some of my favorites, both new and old. I’ve been well pleased with the sheer amount of children’s comics that we have to choose from at our library- when I was a young’un, comics were all but absent from libraries. Now they’re some of the biggest sections of the children’s areas.
We read some standards: Elliot really seems to enjoy Archie comics. He’s interested in Batman. Of late, his main interest lie in two comics, and I’ve drew them for him in my sketchbook the other day:
From L to R: Sasspants, Johnny Boo, Squiggle.
Full disclosure: The first character comes from the children’s comic Guinea Pig: Private Eye, which is written by my friend Colleen Venable. Colleen and I went to high school together and she was super-nice to me when I moved to Brooklyn in 2006. If you know Colleen, you will not be surprised to see her name appear in the same sentence as the adjective “super-nice”. She’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the good pleasure to meet in my life… which makes it all the easier to say that Guinea Pig: PI is awesome and Elliot loves it. It has a really clever premise, (Sasspants is a “P.I.” because the “g” fell off her cage’s sign), a lot of good humor, and some wonderfully cute art from Stephanie Yue, who also colored the heck out of my favorite graphic novel from 2010, Smile.
Also awesome: Colleen was doing a signing back home in New York a few weeks ago and I sent my mom to pick up both Guinea Pig: PI books (Hamster and Cheese and And Then There Were Gnomes, with others to soon follow for those playing at home) and she was nice enough to sign the books. This in and of itself would be awesome, but I have to publicly thank Colleen for signing one of the books “To Elliot and Henry” and the other “To Henry and Elliot.” That kind of attention to possible future sibling rivalry is most appreciated, Colleen!
Johnny Boo is the main character in a series of children’s comic books by cartoonist James Kochalka. I’m a tremendous fan of his and it’s impossible to argue that he’s the epicenter for “one a day, everyday” journal comics. We picked up Johnny Boo and the Happy Apples, the third book in the series, at our library. Elliot’s very into monsters and ghosts and Happy features both- besides Johnny and his pet ghost Squiggle, there’s an Ice Cream Monster. Elliot digs reading these and repeating many of the “catchphrases” that the characters use like when Squggle yells “Squiggle power, ACTIVATE!” That’s become a resounding cry in our house as of late.
Anyhow, I highly recommend both of these books. Tomorrow I’ll give a second recommendation to a great children’s/comic book with some cool art.