Today, we're looking at recent offerings from Marvel Comics that cater specifically to younger readers. Over recent years there's been a significant sea-change at Marvel that has allowed more young adult, kid-friendly, and inclusive titles to spring up and carve a corner for themselves, and we've chosen six of the very best for the kids and teens in your life.
This weekend saw the eleventh annual Glyph Awards held in Philadelphia, at the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention. The awards, founded by Rich Watson over a decade ago, celebrate comics made by, for, and starring black people, but are not necessarily limited to black creators.
Welcome to Cast Party, the feature that imagines a world with even more live action comic book adaptations than we currently have, and comes up with arguably the best casting suggestions you’re ever going to find for the movies and shows we wish could exist. This week we're focused on a current comic for the first time in a while, and imaging a movie based on Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare, and Natacha Bustos.
The first issue of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is a perfect introduction to Moon Girl, whose given name is Lunella Lafayette. Lunella is a nerd. Like, a big nerd. She’s the sort of kid who hates school because it doesn’t challenge her, and the other kids make fun of her for knowing so much. She’s the sort of kid who wears a T-shirt with a realistic picture of the moon on it (which is also a nice meta-joke about the idea of “Moon Girl” as a conventional superhero identity).
Basically, Moon Girl is exactly the sort of kid who reads comics. Or at least, she’s the sort of kid who reads comics if kids still read comics. And Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is the sort of comic (along with books like Squirrel Girl and Lumberjanes) that gives me hope that kids reading comics might still be a thing, or could become a thing again. At least there are comics we can feel good about handing them to keep that hope alive.
When Marvel unveiled its post-Secret Wars line-up, it was a strangely lacking in surprises. The announcements were front-loaded with a couple of awesome and important reveals, including Miles Morales as Spider-Man, and Miles and Kamala as Avengers, but given the scale of the opportunity of a line-wide relaunch, it felt surprisingly familiar and unambitious, even compared to past Marvel line-up launches that brought readers Ms Marvel and the new Thor. Where were the new ideas? Where were the new voices?
Today we learned of the upcoming launch of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur from the creative team of writers Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare and artist Natacha Bustos. There we go; that's the stuff we want to see.
Amy Reeder made a name for herself in the comics scene with Fools Gold from Tokyopop, but became a favorite of comics art lovers for her excellent occasionally breathtaking work on Vertigo's Madame Xanadu, which saw the versatile stylist to depict a complex and beautiful heroine across vast expanses of time and in all the aesthetic luxury that affords. Her profile rose further with a major level up on Batwoman, synthesizing her manga storytelling influence with tightly rendered yet loose and dynamic action. Whether you quiet scenes with exquisite facial expressions and palpable mood, or diverse body types in the throes of big splash-page comic book action, Reeder's got you covered.
Possibly the most Reeder book ever, Rocket Girl is about a teenage girl who's a cop in the future sent back to the middle of the 1980s to investigate Time Crimes, and in so doing discovers secrets that reveal her utopian home-time isn't so great after all. The premise allows Reeder to indulge herself fully, and in the best sense possible. Full of action, fashion and drama, Rocket Girl is a pleasure to read -- partly because it's obvious that its artist has so much fun drawing it.
We sat down with Amy Reeder at Comic-Con International in San Diego to talk about Rocket Girl, Kickstarter, and the evolution of her unmistakable style.
For all the flaws it might have, New York Comic-Con has one very, very important thing going for it: A gigantic, well-organized Artists Alley that takes up an entire convention hall all by itself, full of amazing creators showing off their newest comics. There's enough there that you can spend the entire con checking out great stuff and never have a chance to set foot on the floor, and come away perfectly happy.
I haven't read everything I picked up yet, but there were three things that looked so good that I couldn't even wait to get home to dive right in. They're the ones to watch out for, fresh from the Javits Center!
I like Kickstarter a lot. It's an efficient way to directly connect with artists while also making sure that a project that interests you gets funded. There are still a few hitches that need to be worked out, but my experience with Kickstarter has been largely positive...
There's a myth in the music industry that if you get signed to a major label, all your problems are taken care of. It's a myth that hundreds of bands would gladly dispel from behind the desks and counters of their day jobs...
Marvel's Man-Thing has earned a pretty heroic reputation of late in the pages of Jeff Parker and Kev Walker's Thunderbolts, but his trademark burning touch may prove to be a liability to the Marvel U during Fear Itself...