The holiday season is upon us, and with that comes gifts! It’s always lovely to receive something special from someone you love, but there’s also a particular pleasure that comes in giving a really well chosen gift and knowing that it’s truly appreciated. Sometimes it really is better to give than to receive! In that spirit, ComicsAlliance is here to inspire you with some great ideas for gifts to buy for your friends and family. Each gift guide is tailored to a particular personality type or special interests, and today we’re picking out comics gifts for the biggest, most important group of all; kids!
With their new book, Secret Coders, writer Gene Luen Yang and illustrator Mike Holmes set out to do something many of us might consider near-impossible; turn the head-scratching world of computer coding into an adventure tale fit for a middle-grade audience. Yet by combining a mystery story with a series of compelling logic puzzles, the authors have actually succeeded in creating the sort of book that could inspire the next generation of computer geniuses.
And it turns out using comics to inspire young scientists and mathematicians is not at all impossible. Gene Luen Yang provided us with five more examples of excellent educational comics that turn potentially daunting topics into engaging comic book tales. Check them out below.
Available for free right now is Pressure/Sensitivity, the very cleverly titled inaugural anthology project produced by Wacom. The book is a natural step for Wacom to make, as makers of the tablet technology used by an increasing number of comic book artists to create their work. Because Pressure/Sensitivity: An Awesome Comics Anthology is edited by former ComicsAlliance editor Caleb Goellner (currently Wacom's Social Marketing Specialist), it comes as no surprise that the book is populated by contributors well known to CA readers for their distinctive styles and technical prowess: Ben Sears, Giannis Milonogiannis, Ming Doyle, Meredith Gran & Mike Holmes, and Ulises Farinas & Ryan Hill.
As much as the kids who grew up with Harry Potter may want to become real wizards, there's really not much it'll ever happen. But a new work for middle schoolers focuses on a secret school that teaches some real-world skills (or maybe a slightly amplified version). The new graphic novel Secret Coders, by Gene Luen Yang (The Shadow Hero) and Mike Holmes (Bravest Warriors), makes computer programming an adventure.
“There’s something magic about coding, especially old-school coding,” Yang told Wired. “When you type these words into this machine, something kind of magic, something kind of crazy happens.”
Finn and Jake have been on a crazy ride over the last four issues of BOOM! Studios' Adventure Time series. Courtesy of Eisner-winning series writer Ryan North and visiting artist Jim Rugg, the plucky pair have traversed dark dungeons, confronted mind-body dualism by dying and becoming ghosts, pranked the Ice King, reprogrammed BMO, and been busted by spook hunter Ant-Ghost Princess. Naturally along the way they've made some eminently bad calls that have screwed everything up for basically everybody in the Land of Ooo. Also we saw the Mecha Lumpy Space Princess. Finally, this particular saga comes to an end in issue #27, which BOOM! promises will see the intervention of an "unlikely" ally.
It's one of those weird quirks about comics that when something is really, really good, you kind of forget about it for a while. Being great becomes the standard, so you almost forget about how good it is until something comes along and it suddenly gets even better. Like, say, when the Adventure Time comic teams up writer Ryan North with Street Angel and Afrodisiac creator Jim Rugg to introduce a bold new character named Anti-Ghost Princess in next week's issue.
That's right, Finn and Jake have shuffled off this mortal coil and have been reduced to haunting the candy castle, leading Princess Bubblegum to call in Anti-Ghost Princess and her team to handle these supernatural shennanigans once and for all. And I can assure you: this bit of busting certainly makes me feel good. Check out a preview below!
Humankind's understanding of sleep has come a long way in the year 3085, but even so, there's plenty of complexities to consider when navigating the Dream Dimension. That's the trouble Wallow faces in Bravest Warriors #16, which arrives in stores and on digital platforms from Boom! Studios on January 22nd. In a tale written by Tessa Stone and illustrated by Mike Holmes, Bravest Warriors team leader Chris is discovered to be the inadvertent host of an alien parasite known as a Dreamadon. Dreamadon? More like Drama-don! You can see what Wallow and Chris are up against -- along with BW covers by Tyson Hesse, Terry Blas, Jason Adams and Ian Bertram -- in our first-look at the issue, after the jump.
Pen Ward's surprisingly well-adjusted teens from the year 3085 look like they'll be cutting loose on October 23 in Bravest Warriors #13. Writer Eric M. Esquivel, artist Mike Holmes, colorist Lisa Moore, and letterer Steve Wands pit the team against the fierce "Periodic Table of Evil" on page one, and don't let up from there with a plot that involves Danny experimenting with insect poison during a perilous vision quest. You know, the usual kind of deal. Boom! Studios has provided CA with a first look at the latest assembly of adventure, which you can click through to preview in full.
Following the haunting "Finn the Human" episode of Adventure Time, many fans may have thought they'd never see the bleak "Farmland" timeline again. Leave it to Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb to not leave you hanging, though. A comparatively dour version of AT's last boy on Earth known as Finn Mertens a.k.a. "Farmland Finn" returned in the last issue of AT and his mechanical-armed adventures continue in Adventure Time #19 on August 21. Things aren't exactly what they seem this time around, however, as both Finn and his best friend Jake the dog work together to overcome the weirdness of converging nightmare worlds.
Between the talents of writer Joey Comeau, artist Mike Holmes and cover artists Tyson Hesse, Kory Bing, Ian McGinty and Jongmee Kim, Boom! Studios is hardly has to twist anyone's arm to read its ongoing all-ages Bravest Warriors comic. Still, if they want to promise more Catbug in Bravest Warriors #13, well, that should suit everyone with a heart just fine. Boom! has provided CA with a first look at the upcoming October issue, along with the promise of more page time for perhaps the cutest new character from the year 3085.