Thursday, November 7, 2019

GIFT GUIDE: Comics For Kids

Comic books have inspired a magnitude of cartoons, movies, TV shows, and video games - all popular with kids. But the comics themselves? The big tentpole franchies are all written for older fans with stories and elements too complex for some kids. I've had people ask me for comic recommendations better suited for younger readers. So here in one place is my full recommendation list of the perfect comics for kids.

First, a quick disclaimer. I try to keep this blog 100% positive and honest, that means I only review things I absolutely love. For this post, I haven't personally read every single comic mentioned but they do all come highly recommended to me or have been critically acclaimed. Also, any word in bold is an affiliate link so you can easily find all of these titles and add them to your holiday shopping cart.

Marvel Action: Avengers by Matthew K. Manning and Jon Sommariva - Since Marvel just can't quite figure out how to make a book for kids, they've put IDW in charge of their all-ages books. This series features all of the most popular members of Earth's Mightiest Heroes in stories that are easy to follow and full of plenty of action. IDW also has similar books starring Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel.

Tiny Titans by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani - If your little sidekick loves Teen Titans, they'll get a kick out of this series that features cute versions of the classic comic characters in non-action situations. Every page is filled with gags and jokes as the heroes get into mischief and pull pranks on each other, all drawn in an adorable art style. There's also comics based on the popular Teen Titans Go! cartoon. Want some empowering stories about DC's female superheroes? Check out DC Superhero Girls!

Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil by Jeff Smith - This wonderful little book tells the story of how Billy Batson was granted great power that he can call upon by shouting that iconic word. Perfect for fans of the new movie.

Scooby-Doo Team Up by Sholly Fisch and Dario Brizuela. Features Batman and Robin

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Matthew K. Manning and Chad Thomas

Ben 10: The Truth is Out There by C.B. Lee and Lidan Chen

Superman Family Adventures by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani

Star Wars Adventures by Landry Q. Walker, Cavan Scott, Derek Charm, and others - IDW is also putting out all-ages comics set in a galaxy far, far away. Each issue of this series is a different adventure set all over the Star Wars timeline, so everyone's favorite hero shows up sooner or later.

Mech Cadet Yu by Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa - This series in three volumes is about a boy and his robot. Every year, cadets train to pilot mysterious robots from outer space who show up out of nowhere to aid Earth in a bug invasion. One year, a seemingly broken robot bonds with the son of a janitor. One of the most wholesome stories I've ever read about a boy who just would not give up on saving everyone.

Steven Universe by Rebecca Sugar, Melanie Gillman, and others - There are so many comics based on this popular Cartoon Network series I could do a whole blog post on that. The current ongoing series mostly features standalone stories so you can pick up any issue and jump right in. They also release graphic novels that tell longer stories - I highly recommend Too Cool For School and Camp Pining Play.

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Mega Man by Hitoshi Ariga

Cleopatra In Space by Mike Maihack

RuinWorld by Derek Laughman - Hands down my #1 comic recommendation for readers of any age! RuinWorld has a setting reminiscent of fantasy adventure games like Dungeons & Dragons or The Legend of Zelda - but with cute animals! There's only one volume but it's a nice standalone story and each page is so dense with detail your little one will be going over every panel with a magnifying glass following the adventures of these cute heroes. This is with out a doubt the perfect comic for your little adventurers.

DragonBall by Akira Toriyama Before the most popular anime and manga of all time was known for it's non-stop yelling matches, Dragon Ball was a quaint little adventure series about treasure hunting inspired by Chinese mythology. This classic remains the ultimate manga for beginners.

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and others - Five girls head off to a camp for a summer of fun. But instead of friendship bracelets and s'mores, they encounter magic and monsters and Greek gods and bigfoots and mermaids and so many other mysterious mysteries out in the woods. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru - Picks up right where the critically acclaimed animated series left off.

Hilda by Luke Pearson - This adorable story of a girl who encounters trolls and other mysterious creatures in the Scandinavian wilderness was recently adapted into a Netflix Original Series.

Adventure Time by Ryan North, Braden Lamb, Shelli Paroline, and others - Based on the hit Cartoon Network series.

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi

Bone by Jeff Smith

Smile by Raina Telgemeier - The true story of a childhood struggle with braces and other dental drama. All of this author's graphic novels are massive bestsellers, including Drama and Ghosts. She also started a series of comic adaptations of The Baby Sitter's Club.

Bully Wars by Skottie Young - This was a cute miniseries about a group of nerds who try to sneak into the Bully Wars, an annual event held at the local middle school to decide which bully will rule the school. It's wild and zany and feels like an old NickToon.

Adventures In Cartooning by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost - This is both a cute story of a knight and an elf trying to rescue a princess from a dragon AND a tutorial in cartooning. Perfect for your little creatives who want to make comics as well as read them.

Super Mario Adventures by Kentaro Takemura and Charlie Nozawa - A collection of comics originally published in Nintendo Power Magazine featuring characters from the iconic video game series.

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

Pokรฉmon Adventures by Hidenori Kusaka and Mato

Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma

Feel free to let me know in the comments below if there's an all-ages comic I left out or if you're looking for more specific recommendations.