Friday, November 13, 2009

How to get your child to read

The Incredibles by Boom! Studios

One of the most difficult challenges facing parents in the age of television and internet is how to get kids to read. Modern technology has in many ways stolen the attention span of most kids. Who wants to read when you can play video games or watch you tube. In many cases, the books kids are supposed to read have already been made into movies anyway.

Comics present a viable alternative to conventional books. They foster an interest in reading and art, both of which will greatly contribute to a child's intellectual growth. In this series of articles I will present multiple comics suited to different age groups.

Part 1: Ages 5-8

Johnny Boo

Johnny Boo by Top Shelf Comics

This first comic is truly all ages. In fact it has more in common with Dr Seuss than Superman. Johnny Boo is the fictional adventures of the titular ghost and his pet Squiggles. It's both non-violent and fun, making it very kid friendly. Though I haven't read it, it was personally recommended to me by webcomic artist Monty (Welcome to Border City) who bought it for his young one. "It's AWESOME."

The Muppet Show

Most of the rest of the comics in this list are not only fun for kids, but for parents as well.

Boom! Studios

If you grew up on characters from both Disney and the Muppets, Boom! Studios may be your new favorite comics publisher. Boom! is an independent company that focuses on creating new content from both new creations and old licenses. Some of their most popular books include The Muppet Show, The Incredibles, Cars, and Toy Story (Disney/ Pixar). In the tradition of recent muppet movies, there's even a Muppet Robin Hood comic, juxtaposing familiar Muppet faces for legendary Robin Hood characters.

Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius

Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius

Take the imagination, fun and ne'er- do- well attitude of Calvin and Hobbes and substitute an 8 year old son of Super Heroes and his robot pal, H.E.R.B.I.E.

Franklin Richards is the son of Reed and Sue of the Fantastic Four. Surrounded by Super Heroes and technology beyond imagination, Franklin can't help but get into "situations". Hilarity ensues. Despite the fact that this comic is part of the greater Marvel Universe, it's still family friendly.

Supergirl Cosmic Adventure in the 8th Grade

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade

Supergirl may be an alien from another world trying to live up to the name of the greatest super hero who ever lived (who is also her cousin) but in DC Kid's short lived series, she was just another girl in school... with super powers. This recommendation is for parents of girls. Our daughters should have someone to look up to as well.

Power Pack.

Power Pack

Continuing the theme of kids with super powers is Power Pack. The Power siblings (yes, that is their last name-- it was the 80s) were just ordinary kids until aliens gave them each super powers. The original Power Pack series was a favorite of mine when I was a kid. I haven't picked the various mini-series Marvel has put out, but they're all written by Mark Sumerak who writes the Franklin Richards specials. Most of the various series feature a special guest star such as Spider-man, Iron Man or the Hulk.

Marvel Adventures

Marvel Adventures

The various Marvel Adventures series are bound to be the most violent, though they are still intended to be kids comics. There are several series including MA Spider-man, MA Avengers and MA Hulk.

Free of complicated continuity, these comics are designed to be fun introductions to the world of Super Heroes.

For more information-

Contact your local comic shop. Your local vendor can usually provide suggestions. Also several of the series above may be in the back issue bin, so you may have to ask for help. But remember, comics are for everyone and can be a great thing to share with you

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