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Monday, 26 September 2011

Here’s a “takeaway” from Saturday’s “Smart Comics for Kids” panel at the Massachusetts Independent Comics Exposition.

The first question I asked was what comics the panelists had enjoyed as kids and think smart kids would still like today. Pretty much everyone in the room praised Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. Beyond that, our experts singled out:

Near the end of the discussion, I asked what titles people would name as recommendations for kids now, particularly in the upcoming gift-giving season.

Robin Brenner:
  • Scott Chantler, Three Thieves series (Tower of Treasure and The Sign of the Black Rock) and Two Generals.
  • Matt Phelan’s nonfiction Around the World.
  • Shaun Tan’s wordless masterpiece The Arrival.
  • George O’Connor’s Olympians series.
  • Adventures in Cartooning by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost.
  • John Allison, Bad Machinery webcomic.

Jef Czekaj:
  • Gareth Hinds’s adaptations of classic western literature.
  • Jon Porcellino, Thoreau at Walden.
  • Tove Jansson, Moomin comics from the 1950s.

Colleen AF Venable:

Gareth Hinds:

Shelli Paroline:
  • Nearly anything by Roger Langridge, such as Snarked!, Thor the Mighty Avenger, and The Muppet Show series.
  • Dave Roman, Astronaut Elementary webcomic.
  • Takako Shimura, Wandering Son manga.
These recommendations range from funny stories for kids just learning to read to more serious material for teens and adults.

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