As a lover of comics, I have always wondered how I would integrate this love into my parenting. “Small child friendly” comics have been around since the dawn of comics. Disney got into the game super early (around 1933) with books staring their beloved characters. If you think about it, almost every children’s show made an attempt at comic books.Today, illustrations and story lines have evolved with it’s readers. Comics have darker story lines and “graphic” illustrations. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look and story lines of today’s comics/graphic novels. The biggest concern I had was trying to find a comic that had a story line and illustrations that I could share with my toddler. I put together a small list of requirements for the best series for my son and I to read together and to plant the seed of awesomeness.
1. Is the storyline child friendly?
By child friendly I mean no swearing, sexual themes…etc. (those comics are for later, like around 8…just kidding…but they are for later in life.)
2. Is there an abundance of violence?
Preferably no violence, but I am okay with a little superhero vs alien super-villain violence.
3. Are the illustrations too “graphic”?
This is mainly a blood and gore thing. Are there tons of pages with lots of blood and broken bodies all over the place? Are there images depict sex acts? I understand how sexual relationships can further a character’s story arch, but children should learn about sex from the parents not a comic.
4. Are the illustrations “cartoony”?
When I say cartoony, I don’t mean in a campy way. I mean is it cartoony in a way that looks like a cartoon that children would enjoy watching. This usually involves bright colors, big heads, and small bodies. You know something that looks like your child.
And my last and probably most important question is…
5. Is it something you can enjoy together?
This was the whole reason I started my journey into finding a comic for J. I wanted to find something that not only he would enjoy looking at, but that I would enjoy reading to him. These questions eventually lead me to what became my post “J’s First Comic”.
In all honesty the most important thing is that you take the time to read with your child. I chose to find a comic that J and I could read together because in all honesty comic books are the only kinds of books that I enjoy reading (besides Dr. Seuss books). Basically find something that you and your child can enjoy and spend some time reading together.