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Hey Kids! Scholastic Comics!
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Article by Scott Tingley, August 30, 2007

In a world where Archie's are the only comics readily available to younger readers there is a ray of light at the end of the tunnel. Not that there is anything wrong with Archie and the gang I grew up on them. They consistently make great comics, but should not be the only game in town.

There are many, many great comics being created for kids right now, like: Amelia Rules, Owly, Kat and Mouse, Castle Waiting. The problem is that they have to be searched out by kids that may not know about them in the first place (which makes Free Comic Book Day very important). Scholastic does not have that problem. They are a presence all over North America (and beyond?) and in nearly every school. If you have two bucks, you can have a new book in your hands every month. Now you can get a new comic nearly every month as well.

Scholastic has in imprint publisher called Graphix and they are in charge of either creating new material, or searching out great content to bring into the company. From what I have seen they have had great results with this. One of the first that they published was a new colorized version of the long running Bone series by Jeff Smith. I had the opportunity to spend the day at the comic and game store Gamezilla on Free Comic Book this past May 5 th (just to hang around and show parents what was available for their kids), and nearly every kid that came near my table gravitated first towards Bone . They love it. Bone #6 is due in stores in August and is being offered in the September s chool order forms (in Canada at least). Bone is as good as they come. Nice compact format, beautiful colors (it was originally published in black and white), and humor, action, and fantasy elements combined to make this a hit series with kids and adults alike. NOTE: As the series goes on it is getting a darker tone - not unlike the Harry Potter series.

There are also two new Baby-Sitters Club Graphic novels that are original to Scholastic. They are adapted from the first two BSC novels adapted by Raina Telgemeier with supervision by original writer, Ann M. Martin . As I have said in earlier reviews, I am not the target market for these books. I never was. But I sure like this version. They are illustrated in a very pleasant and fun way while losing none of the drama and emotion of the original works. BSC #3 will be available in September. I'm not sure if they will be in stores first before showing up in the school order forms, but either way, they will be available for ordering soon after returning to school in the fall.

Due out this October is The Arrival by Shaun Tan. It is a beautifully illustrated wordless fantasy comic that tells the tale of a man leaving his home country, leaving his wife and daughter behind, to make a new life in a strange foreign land. This is a stunning work that would be perfect for any middle or high school History / Social Studies classroom.

I have never read any of the Goosebumps novels, but Scholastic is doing a nice job on their new line of Goosebumps graphic novels. Three stories in each done by comic pros. They contain a lot of reading, but they are nearly double the price of Bone or BSC. Kids love them though, and they are still fairly priced for the amount of reading you get.

There is much more to come this school year, so keep your eyes on your child's Scholastic Book Order Form. (note: the books mentioned above were in the grade 4-8). I have never read any of his earlier work, but after seeing some of his art I am so excited about Scott Morse's Magic Pickle coming in March. There are also a number of comic related books and some manga available in the other order forms as well my nephew loved the Spider-Man pop-up book I ordered for him in June. Apparently more will be coming out, but I am not sure if Scholastic will be including them in their school book clubs.

2008

January Amulet (Series Launch) - Kazu Kibuishi

February Bone #7 - Jeff Smith

March Magic Pickle chapter# 1 - Scott Morse

March Magic Pickle chapter #2 - Scott Morse



 

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