I can’t remember if anyone’s mentioned it on here before, but after trying it a couple of times over the past year or so, we finally got a regular subscription for our kids to The Phoenix.
It’s a really well put-together weekly UK anthology comic that features lots of short strips (each running just a handful of pages at most), some of which are serialised and some standalone, mixed with loads of other content (factfile-type stuff, jokes, readers’ letters and art etc.) and delivered direct to your door in a funky cartoon-covered envelope.
There’s a nice mix of humour strips (Bunny vs Monkey is silly slapstick that always has me laughing), more cutesy stuff, sci-fi/action stories and even a more hard-hitting ongoing serial about a dystopian UK that almost reads like a kids’ version of V For Vendetta.
All of it written and drawn to a fairly decent standard.
It’s aimed at ages 6-12 but as always this stuff depends on the kid really. They have an offer on at the moment that lets you try 4 issues for just £1 each, so it’s well worth checking out at that price. I recommend it!
My boys love books so I tested them with some comics recently and had some great results with my eldest boy who I thought would be too young still at the age of 4.
I’d originally tried Tintin, which bizarrely he loved, but I found myself making up a lot of the story as we were going because it was either too boring for young kids or too old for young kids. He still loved it though.
Same RE Astrix
I bought him some kids graphic novels at Xmas; Howtoons (which is amazing as it gives a load of instructions on how to build stuff like go-carts etc, which I will do with them when they are a bit older, Savage Boy, and G-Man - the latter he loved and found really funny.
We’ve recently moved onto The Beano, and I’ve been surprised by how much he’s liked it, because some the jokes fall flat or are just far too old for a 4 year old to understand, and it’s required quite a bit of editing or creativity on my part to keep it interesting, but it’s went down well and he asks for it every night. I’ve got a huge stack of the annuals from when I was a boy to work thru.
I think ultimately he just enjoys being read to and any bonding time like that is great for both of us, but I feel he will get the bug for comics when he is old enough.
The Phoenix is something I have had my eye on but he’s too young just now, so maybe one for the future.
Ha, I am exactly the same. This is the bottom shelf of my daughter’s bookcase at the moment.
I haven’t managed to get my kids into Tintin either but my daughter really likes the Asterix books (I should post more about them here as I’m loving rereading them with her at bedtimes). Both were absolute staples for me as a kid, but probably not until 7-8 or so.
I see the Beano annual on your daughter’s shelf there…It was actually picking up the Beano annual for Rudi at Xmas this year, as an experiment, that kicked the whole thing off with the Beano.
He loved it so much that it opened the door to the rest, so I went over to my mum’s house and grabbed all my old ones, which are actually far better in quality of story and art (don’t know if you’ve noticed this yourself but there’s definitely a bit more of an artform to the stories, particularly Bash street kids etc back then).
I mean I’m definitely trying to relive my own childhood thru my kids here, but as long as they are enjoying it and it gets them into and excited by reading then it’s win win situation all round.
Definitely. The kind of stories they tell changes over the years.
In terms of popularity with my kids, the 1970s ones don’t do quite so well, and I think it’s became the art is largely monochrome. But as soon as the full colour comes in (early '80s?) they’re a big hit. I agree that there’s more artistry and detail to the old stories than today, but that’s partly just trends I think - the modern ones are a bit more fast-paced and use bolder and simpler character models, which feels in line with the kind of cartoons they watch on tv.
Anyway, I’m aware that talking about 1970s Beano annuals is perhaps not quite in the spirit of the “new comics” thread, so apologies for dragging things a bit off-topic…
Doomsday Clock #9 was a tense, nail biting issue of the series, as the collective heroes of the DCU make an ill fated attempt at taking down Dr Manhattan on Mars (spoiler: they don’t succeed). Events take a turn for the worse on Earth as various factions try to take advantage of the heroes absence; leaving a comatose Superman, wounded Batman, and Wonder Woman on their own as the last line of defence. Everything’s going to be fine then Should be some answers to Rebirth’s lingering questions coming next issue, before the final fireworks begin.
I’ve been down on this series for the last few issues, but Adventures of the Super Sons #8 was a welcome return to earlier form. It’s still far from great, but there were some nice moments this issue between the boys as they try to find their way home.
A Walk Through Hell #8 suggests at a forthcoming plot twist that could radically alter the whole series. Be interesting to see how that plays out. The rest of the issue was a brutal and uncomfortable look at the deranged history of the series’ main antagonist. A tighter, more focused, and captivating issue than the last.
Young Justice #3 just straight up gave me the feels.
The Dreaming #7 is the start of the second arc in the book, and seems to be revealing the big secret of what is going on. It digs deep into Sandman lore with Rose Walker, Fawney Rig and a guest appearance by one of the Endless. Interesting.
Batman #66 read a bit like filler, but I liked it. The story is a bit treading, but at the same time I appreciate the writing and the trip down Batmans mind at this point in time.
I liked the ending. “Okay. I lied.”
green lantern 5 was excellent, there’s just no guessing where this creative team will take us from month to month. Every issue is an experience, takes me back to less decompressed times.
sahazam 3 another stunning and brilliant book from DC. Just look at this from Eaglesham, a long time favourite of mine, and we can see why he is not the fastest.
Such an amazing, fun, imaginative issue
Really clever how they almost telegraphed what was going to happen just by the focus on certain characters and their facial expressions as the issue went on and I like how they balanced out the different artists on the issue, with one telling king kids backstory and different styles for different lands
Brilliant book that really rattles along at quite a pace a Johns could have dragged this out a lot more than he has
martian manhunter 3 continues to impress, both in story and art, building on the discovery J’onn’s partner made last issue following the crash. Like the two comics above, what is now becoming such a common factor in DC comics, this issue features another incredibly talented artist in Riley Rosso, who seems to be finally getting a bit more widespread recognition after a few years of producing fantastic art
Orlando and Rossmo have worked together before on the acclaimed Batman/Shadow mini series and make a for a formidable team.
after dip in the second issue the series is back to the standard of the first issue, better script and Barrows art as great as ever as the resistance fights back in freedom fighters 3
batman 66 left me with mixed feelings. First off, regardless of any criticisms that follow, the issue is almost worth the cover price just for the art and colours by Jorge Fornes and Dave Stewart. It’s a beautifully drawn issue and the artist has done the most he can with the script. He actually elevates it massively truth be told.
Everything is spot on, from the body language and facial expressions to the rooftop scenes in the rain. Brilliant.
I can see what King is trying to do here but it’s scripts like this that make me feel he’s had too much success too soon.
He’s a very good writer but I think he still has a way to go until he learns how to better his craft in his use of the medium. A long way to go.
The biggest issue with just about everything I’ve read by King is the pacing. This issue is essentially a conversation between Catwoman and The Question that appears to exist within Bruce’s head, at least that is what the arc is point to
So the pacing issues are twofold.
this is a single issue that focusses on the mental impact created by Selina ditching Bruce, which contradicts her reason for doing it. A whole $3.99 issue. And most of it adds nothing. Flashbacks to stuff that anyone who has read a handful of Batman comics over the years will have seen before. It’s boring.
This is now issue 66. So that’s us 16 issues on from ‘the wedding’ issue. I appreciate that they are double shipping this book now, so there’s 24 issues to play with in a year, but it’s still 16 issues. And 16 issues worth of money coming out of people’s pockets to pay for it. The problem with the pacing here is that the whole thing has stuttered along into some uber decompressed ‘epic’. 16 issues along and we are back dealing with something that has already been dealt with. And it’s all been inferred anyway that Selina has caused Bruce to have a meltdown rather than make him stronger, we’ve been dealing with the fallout ever since.
This Batman run has been very good in places but it has some serious problems and I have watched as Millarworlders have flocked away from it over the course of the last year, and despite the fact that I mostly see the value of it and I am for the most part enjoying the run, I can totally see why others are fucking sick of it.
Bottom line is, if I’d skipped this issue it would probably have made no difference. Therefore I question the merit of it.
Tony, don’t come on now and tell me that I don’t get it. I do get it. I just don’t think it works.
Doomsday Clock 9 behind the exciting cover with the Legion flight ring floating in space, this series really starts the payoff we’ve been building towards since the start of Rebirth.
We are reminded how powerful Dr Manhattan is in the first couple of pages and it leaves the reader wonder how DC’s heroes could ever hope to stop such an omnipotently powerful being…but even then he is filled with his own self doubts.
It’s neat watching the various ships called into action and Frank captures the fear, anxiety, and ultimately doom in the occupants faces so well.
Throughout the issue the tension continues to mount across various threads, and by the end it feels like Doomsday is inevitable. I’ve no idea how it will play out but it definitely is a comic for the times.
Excellent reviews, Chris.
ITS NEW COMICS DAY
I was wondering if anyone was going to pick up the new Transformers book. I read the synopsis and it sounds like it is a murder mystery with Bumblebee and Windblade as the investigators. Not my idea of a Transformers story
Looks like Superman #9, Prodigy #4 and maybe Hit-Girl Season 2 #2 for me.
It’s going to be a bit more than that - As I understand it Bumblebee and Windblade are friends of the first murder victim on Cybertron, and they get caught p in the events that will lead to the start of the war. They’re keeping the whole Orion Pax and Megatron were friends thing from Prime and the prior IDWverse, and Megatron is still a political activist as he was in the old IDW books.
I’m gonna see how the first arc goes and decide from there if I’m going to get digital or trades.
By Night 9
Goodnight Paradise 1 (TKO first issue free…)
House of Whispers 7 (wavered over this, this will be the decider on whether I drop it)
Justice League Dark 9
The Grim Knight 1 (Risso)
Wonder Twins 2