We got Little e a few pressies for her birthday yesterday, but the one that had special significance to me was that I gave her Her Very First Comic. It was a Smurfs comic, the old original Smurfs that the 80's show was based on. I had really wanted to get her Bone, but we figured she wasn't quite old enough yet. When I read some to her last year, she loved it, but had a nightmare about the Rat Creatures. So, my plan is to leave that until she turns 6.
One of my first comics was a Smurfs one, back when I was a kid. I have always loved comics, but actually never really read that many superhero ones. I grew up on Archie, Asterix, Tintin, Peanuts and stuff like that. It wasn't til later that I got into other ones, like 2000AD and then as an adult things like Hellboy and B.P.R.D. And of course my beloved Conan.
But I think as a medium for kids, comics are underestimated in their value, kind of seen as a trashy thing to read when there are real books available. But kids can learn a lot from comics, about visual language and storytelling. I also expanded my vocabulary a lot reading Asterix for example. In some ways a comic is like watching a movie, but rather than a kid turning into a zombie in front of the tele, a comic makes them work. they need to use their brain to read the words, obviously, but also to read the pictures, and to make the connections between one panel and the next.
Without comics I probably wouldn't have become interested in drawing, and wouldn't have gone down the carreer path I chose. Even though I work in animation, I never really had that same love for cartoons, it's always been about comics, and this was as close as I could get! So, in my mind yesterday was a significant passing of the torch.