4 all-ages comics that really are for all-ages
Have the comic bug? Want to pass it along? You know, you need to start the addiction when kids are young. Here is a listing of some great all ages comics for you pass on (or read yourself).
4. I Kill Giants
I Kill Giants, by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura, was originally released as a seven issue self-contained series from July 2008 to January 2009. It is one of the best books for ‘all ages, I have ever read.
The story follows Barbara Thorson, a pre-teen girl in a smallish coastal town. She has the same problems that every young girl has (or so I am told – having never been a young girl, I have nothing to base the comparison on) bullies, stupid teachers, Principals and a complete feeling of isolation in a very crowded world. Very quickly we learn that on top of all the typical pre-teen drama, Barbara also kills giants. Using her war hammer named Coveleski, so named for the player from the early days of baseball, Barbara bashes in the heads of any giant she sees. She has imaginary friends and a plentiful lack of social skills. Her family does not understand her or her obsession with role playing games and there is a clearly stressful family dynamic at work that slowly reveals itself. Barbara has a real friend that tries hard to understand her and a school counselor that is trying to get her to open up and deal with the personality issues that are developing. But sometimes it seems their efforts are in vain.
Much of the story relies heavily on the visual iconography being used. The images in the story are a mix of what we would call ‘real’ and what we would call ‘fantasy’, with no clear boundary between them. The reader is left with the impression that this is the way the world must seem to young Barbara, a girl that clearly has a rapidly worsening stress-related personality disorder. As her behavior becomes increasingly anti-social, the art becomes more frantic, using more aggressive panel layouts and larger panel sizes.
For anyone with teen and pre-teen children in their lives, or remembers their own teen years as difficult, this book is very powerful. Barbara has some serious causes of stress in her life, and while those causes are pretty easy to guess as the story begins to explore them, their eventual revelation is surprisingly powerful. The climax of the story is filled with real world events and metaphorical images, and yet at no time does the story tell you which are real as the people around Barbara seem to be as involved in the events as she is.
I am a 44 year old adult human male, and I am not ashamed to admit that the book managed to get me choked up as easily as it made me giggle. Anyone that enjoys feeling like they can identify with a heroic character will love this book.
Article by: Taylor Ramsey 3226 Points
While I quietly wait for a really good excuse to go on an interstate mayhem spree, I read comics and watch movies. While I do the "writing" here, my wife makes it readable.