I’m very excited about the new weekly children’s comic, the Phoenix. If you have children and/or love comics, check it out:
After a lunchtime twitter discussion, I now want to start compiling a list of comics for kids – both child-suitable comics that adults read too (ie no naughty bits) and comic stories aimed directly at children. If anyone has any recommendations, do tell me on twitter (@louiestowell) or leave a comment here. I’ll update the list and say who recc’d it. So, the list below is a work in progress, but here are some comics for kids…so far, just the ones I can think of off the top of my head but I’ll try to add more when I get a chance:
COMICS: a reading list for kids
Asterix – all of them.
Tintin – I’m definitely an Asterix partisan but Tintin’s not bad too.
Boule et Bill/Billy and Buddy – just found out this has been published in translation by @Cinebook. Great for younger kids (5 plus I’d say). It features lots of short strip cartoon stories.
Vern and Lettuce by Sarah McIntyre – another good one for young ‘uns, nothing too scary and lots of bitesized stories in the book, quirky and funny
Diary of a Wimpy Kid – no, it’s not strictly a comic, but I think it deserves a mention as a story for kids that makes good use of sequential art.
Big Nate – Lincoln Pierce. Like Wimpy Kid, not a full-on comic but uses panel-based storytelling in fun ways.
The Ballad of Halo Jones – Alan Moore (originally published in 2000AD). It’s not technically for kids, but I read it when I was little and it’s an amazing story. It’s what kickstarted my love of space. Don’t think there’s anything unsuitable in it, though parents should probably read it first and judge for themselves.
As per the above, I think there’s a lot of 2000AD stories that would be good for kids… but I do hesitate to go mad with recommendations as the art might seem a bit dated and the pages over-crowded to kids growing up in a contemporary visual universe.
Pride of Bagdhad – written by Brian K Vaughan, tells the story of the Iraq war from the P.O.V. of a pride of lions escaped from a zoo. Again, not written specifically for kids, so probably worth parents checking it’s suitable for their particular child. It’s not quite the lion king – it’s dark, as you might imagine, but I think it’s a nice insight into the grown up world for children… with all its madness and futility. Has a kid-friendly appeal imo.
EDIT: Some more excellent recommendations with some age suggestions from @alikichapple on twitter – many more, in fact. She was on fire! Thanks so much to her (or if you’re reading this, @alikichapple, you)
Flight Explorer (7+), Zip and Li’l Bit (web comic, here), Bone (8+), and the various DFC collections (I like Good Dog Bad Dog best)
Amulet (7+), Little Vampire (8/9+), Amy Unbounded (10+) and, Aliki says, “my kid loves Castle Waiting, though it’s for grown ups.”
Owly (<5) Scary Godmother (4-6) Zita The Space Girl 6/7-10) Sardine In Outer Space (8+) The Super Secret Science Alliance(10+)
Thanks also to @Comicgrid and others for retweets. The former suggested a google doc to collate all this. That’s a note to self really. But, for anyone interested in comics for kids, @comicsgrid also mentioned a post on The Comics Journal, here:
Look out for more updates In fact, here’s one right now from @neilcameron on twitter – Calvin and Hobbes. <–I’ve not actually read any, though I did enjoy their Winter is Coming Game of Thrones cartoon.
Gum Girl by Andi Watson (Walker)
Teenytinysaurs by Gary Northfield, also Walker
Then a couple of suggestions from Forbidden planet – on twitter, @fpinternational
- Adventure Time by Ryan North (of Dinosaur Comics fame, for grownups)
- Cinebook Ltd is a good place to get hold of Euro comics in translation, which are often more kid-friendly… http://www.cinebook.co.uk/
Gary Northfield ( @gnorthfield) has recommended a publisher called Papercutz, who do loads of all-ages graphic novels. I haven’t had a chance to look properly but they look like a LOT of fun. And here are some more recs from Gary: Ariol, Sleepwalkers, Captain Pugwash, DFC Library, Marvel Adventures.
A great list of comics suitable for upper primary plus from @jabberworks, aka Sarah McIntyre. I’ve deleted anything already mentioned to avoid repeats. At least I think I have.
Yoko Tsuno – all the books http://www.cinebook.co.uk/index.php?cPath=189
Yakari – all the books http://www.cinebook.co.uk/index.php?cPath=188
Gary Northfield – Derek the Sheep
Gregory Rogers – The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard
Raina Telgemeier – Smile
Raina Telgemeier – Drama
Emmanuel Guibert and Marc Boutavant – Ariol 1: Just a Donkey Like You and Me (Also available in French)
Emmanuel Guibert and Marc Boutavant – Ariol 2
Emmanuel Guibert and Marc Boutavant – Ariol 3: Happy as a Pig
Emmanuel Guibert and Marc Boutavant – Ariol 4
James Turner – DFC Library: Super Animal Adventure Squad
Dave Shelton – DFC Library: Good Dog, Bad Dog
John Aggs and Patrice Aggs – DFC Library: The Boss
Robin Etherington and Lorenzo Etherington – DFC Library: Baggage
Jamie Smart – DFC Library: Fish-Head Steve
Robin Etherington and Lorenzo Etherington – DFC Library: Monkey Nuts: The Diamond Egg of Wonders
Neill Cameron – DFC Library: Mo-bot High
Woodrow Phoenix – Sugar Buzz: Live at Budukan!
Dave Roman – Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity
Dave Roman – Astronaut Academy: Re-entry
Eleanor Davis – The Secret Science Alliance
Bill Watterson – It’s A Magical World: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection
Bill Watterson – Scientific Progress Goes “Boink”: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection
Bill Watterson – Yukon Ho!: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Four
Bill Watterson – Lazy Sunday: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Five: A Collection of Sunday Calvin and Hobbes Cartoons
Bill Watterson – Weirdos From Another Planet: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Six
Bill Watterson – The Authoritative Calvin And Hobbes: The Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Seven
Bill Watterson – Attack Of The Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Ten
Bill Watterson – The Indispensable Calvin And Hobbes: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Eleven
Bill Watterson – The Days Are Just Packed: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Twelve
Bill Watterson – Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Thirteen
Bill Watterson – There’s Treasure Everywhere: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Fifteen
Bill Watterson – Something Under the Bed is Drooling: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection
Bill Watterson – Calvin & Hobbes:Tenth Anniversary Book: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Fourteen
Lynn Johnstone – It Must be Nice to be Little: A for Better or for Worse Collection
Lynn Johnstone – Keep the Home Fries Burning: A for Better or for Worse Collection
Lynn Johnstone – It’s All Downhill from Here: A for Better or for Worse Collection
Gary Larson – The Far Side Gallery 1
Gary Larson – The Far Side Gallery 2
Gary Larson – The Far Side Gallery 3
Gary Larson – The Far Side Gallery 4
Gary Larson – The Far Side Gallery 5
Tracey Turner & Sally Kindberg – The Comic Strip History of Space
Tracey Turner & Sally Kindberg – The Comic Strip History of the World
Tracey Turner & Sally Kindberg – The Comic Strip Greek Myths
Tracey Turner & Sally Kindberg – The Comic Strip Big Fat Book of Knowledge
Tracey Turner & Sally Kindberg – The Comic Strip Book of Dinosaurs
Simone Lia – Fluffy
Philippa Rice – My Cardboard Life
Shaun Tan – The Arrival
Luke Pearson – Hilda and the Midnight Giant
Luke Pearson – Hilda and the Bird Parade
Ann M. Martin & Raina Telgemeier – The Baby-sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea
Ann M. Martin & Raina Telgemeier – The Baby-sitters Club: The Truth about Stacey
Ann M. Martin & Raina Telgemeier – The Baby-sitters Club: Mary Ann Saves the Day
Ann M. Martin & Raina Telgemeier – The Baby-sitters Club: Claudia and Mean Janine
Tove Janssson: Moomin: the complete Tove Jansson comic strip
K.A. Gerrard & Emma Dodd – A Roman Rescue
K.A. Gerrard & Emma Dodd – An Egyptian Escape
And now a teen/secondary collection from Sarah:
Viviane Schwarz – The Sleepwalkers
Tom Gauld – Goliath
Ben Haggarty and Adam Brockbank – DFC Library: Mezolith
Kate Brown – DFC Library: The Spider Moon: Book 1
Raymond Briggs – Ethel & Ernest
Raymond Briggs – When the Wind Blows
Raymond Briggs – Ug
Darryl Cunningham – Psychiatric Tales
Darryl Cunningham – Science Tales
Skim – Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki
Bill Watterson – The Essential Calvin And Hobbes: Calvin & Hobbes Series: Book Three: A Calvin and Hobbes Treasury
Andi Watson – Gum Girl 1 ((mentioned above, but here’s the full collection plus more from the same creator))
Andi Watson – Gum Girl 2
Andi Watson – Gum Girl 3
Andi Watson – Glister: The Family Tree
Andi Watson – Glister: The Haunted Teapot
Andi Watson – Glister: The Faerie Host
Andi Watson – Glister: The House Hunt
Jiro Taniguchi – The Walking Man
Daniel Clowes – Ghost World
Hope Larson – A Wrinkle in Time
Hope Larson – Gray Horses
Hope Larson – Chiggers
Lucy Knisley – French Milk
Lucy Knisley – Relish
Cyril Pedrosa – Three Shadows
Guy Delisle – Pyongyang: a Journey in North Korea ((Louie here – I can’t recommend this comic highly enough for anyone of any age))
Guy Delisle – Shenzhen
Guy Delisle -
Lynda Barry – What it is
Sylvia van Ommen – Sweets
EDIT: Two I just remembered, by a comics team known as Metaphrog… the Louis books. Louis – Red Letter Day and Louis – Night Salad. Surreal and rather sad, great reads.
EDIT: Here’s a great new kid-friendly webcomic, ASTRODOG:
EDIT: Massive thanks to Pete Taylor of the Swansea Comics Collective for this list based on his daughters’ reading habits.
10 to 13 years
What they’re reading now
(13 year old)
Sakura Hime (Manga)
Vampire Knight (Manga)
Marvel’s Wizard of Oz adaptations (Skottie Young)
The Walking Dead (Image comics)
(11 year old)
Adventure Time (KaBoom!)
Mamotte Lollipop (Del Rey)
Madoka Magica (Yen Press)
Ai Yori Aoshi (Tokyo Pop)
They both devour and adore:
The Far Side
Calvin & Hobbes
It’s difficult staying on top of the Manga and making sure it’s age appropriate. I try to read some of each and the girls will still tell me what’s ‘old’ about it, mostly mild language & occasional nudity. [NOTE from Louie: would anyone like to do a guest post on kid-friendly manga?]
Bone! (Scholastic) – Huge favourite
Little Nemo in Slumberland (Winsor McKay)
Polly and the Pirates (Oni Press)
Courtney Crumrin (oni Press)
The Courageous Princess (Rod Espinosa, Antarctic Press) – This was a BIG favourite of Daisy’s, reread a lot.
The Powerpuff Girls (DC Comics) – Another big favourite and probably their first comic, they are falling apart they were read so many times
Magic Trixie (Jill Thompson, Harper Trophy)
The little Endless (Jill Thomson/Neil Gaiman, DC comics)
Early Fantastic Four reprints (Lee/Kirby) – QUOTE FROM PETE’S DAUGHTER + PETE: “I like it when the Invisible Girl gets kidnapped” which was handy as she was kidnapped pretty much every issue!
Batman: The Brave and The Bold (DC Comics)
Sabrina The Teenage Witch (Archie Comics) – After her manga makover
Scooby Doo (DC Comics)
Ninja High School (Antartic Press)
Cyborg 009 (Manga)
The Legend of Zelda (Manga)
Pichi Pichi Pitch (Manga)
The above are the ones they really enjoyed and collected. Other occasional reads included:
Simpsons/Futurama (Bongo Comics)
Tiny Titans (DC Comics)
Batman Adventures (DC Comics)
Power Pack (Marvel Comics)
Lockheed and the Pet Avengers (Marvel comics)
Shanna The She Devil (Marvel comics)
Herobear (Mike Kunkel)
Thanks to @PaulMHD for these recs on twitter… another shout out for Astronaut Academy, which I’m ashamed to say I still haven’t read myself. Must get on that.
EDIT: after a call for more recs…
This one’s a “I can’t believe I haven’t got this on here already” rec… unless it’s hiding very convincingly among the other titles… The very elegant and exciting….
The Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing
For YA readers, this looks gorgeous. That’s Porcelain, a Gothic Fairy Tale by Benjamin Read, Chris Wildgoose, Andre May, Alexa Rosa, Jim Campbell <– old school multi-creator comics with a separate letterer and everything. Have realized how many comics I’m reading these days with a single creator or maybe two.
From@AlixCoughlin on twitter…
“10yr old daughter loves them, can you add Calamity Jack and Rapunzels Revenge.” Also… “Amelia Rules, v American but good for girls”
From the comments, Alex Frith’s thoughts. He is a man of comics and is wise. Also he writes excellent children’s books and comics:
I agree with your comments about 2000AD material a) dating and b) containing a lot of visual overload, but I have to recommend Nemesis the Warlock, especially the Kevin O’Neill books, as continaing exactly the kind of anarchy that I embraced as a 7 year old.
Also, if we’re being a bit off-kilter about defining comics, Maurice Sendak’s ‘In the Night Kitchen’ is amazing.
Edward’s Gorey’s collected comics in ‘Amphigorey’ are good for 8+
Struwwelpeter aka Shock-Headed Peter for the strong-stomached 5+
Lewis Trondheim’s long-running Dungeons and Dragons spoof ‘Dungeon’ is awesome, but maybe for 10+
Can one still buy Raymond Briggs’ Fungus the Bogeyman and grumpy Father Christmas comics? Good for 6+, although quite wordy in places.
Oh, and just to suck up, I loved Neill Cameron’s ‘Mo-Bot High’ from the DFC. Hope he gets to continue the story!
See the comments for more recs.
EDIT November 2013:
There is another great list of comics for kids here: