Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Comics Creator Calls for Better Kids Comics

Lockjaw and the Pet AvengersRecently posted over at iFanboy, accomplished writer/artist Chris Eliopolous (Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius, Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers) makes a plea to the comics industry to produce better content (including digital) for kids.  He's right, you know.  Check it out by clicking on the link below.

"The Kids Are All Right" by Chris Eliopoulos

Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (currently my favorite novel of all time, by the way), made a similar plea at Comic Con International in 2004.  You can read that speech here, and it has also been collected in his book of essays entitled Maps and Legends

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Review -- "Brain Camp"

Brain CampBrain Camp
Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, Faith Erin Hicks
First Second, 2010

The creative team that brought the excellent City of Spies is back with their second graphic novel, this time with the talented Faith Erin Hicks (whose War at Ellsmere I previously reviewed on this blog) handling the art duties.  From the jacket design to the wonderfully creepy story, Brain Camp is a another wonderfully unique work of comics that belongs in your school's library.

Immediately appealing to students is the setting of Brain Camp; a summer camp for the gifted.  Protagonists Jenna and Lucas endure all of the usual calamities that befall adolescents while away at summer camp, including cliques, weird food, and out-of-touch camp counselors.  Jenna and Lucas are in for a surprise though, as it is clear that their are some dark secrets that the camp leaders are concealing -- strange, mystical secrets...

Brain Camp should appeal to middle school readers who've been devouring traditional novels of vampires, werewolves, and the like.  In fact, Brain Camp might be a perfect entrance point to the world of comics and graphic novels; the panel layouts are very clear and easy to follow, and Hicks has a way of blending both realistic and cartoonish rendering of characters and settings.  First Second is really leading the way in graphic novel publishing aimed at kids, and Brain Camp might be their best contribution to the medium yet.