Newsarama's HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE, Part 2: For Kids

<i>By <a>Chris Arrant, Newsarama Contributor</A></I> <p>While you might look at the holidays as a chance to turn someone else on to your favorite comics, it isn't always easy to buy for a young relative. The comics you read as a kid might be out-of-style with today's modern aesthetic or could be out-of-print all together. Whether it's for a niece, a nephew, a friend's child or one of your own, you could probably use some help. Newsarama wants to help. <p>On Monday, we ran down some <a href=>ideal gifts for your friends</a> courtesy of 10 comic luminaries, and now give you gift recommendations for what will be the next generation of comics readers. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>


"With two regular volumes of <B>Mouse Guard</B> and the anthology <B>Legends of the Guard</B> book released so far, David Peterson's wonderfully engaging critter-centric fantasy series is the perfect comic to entice young readers into the world of comics. The characters are compelling, the art is moody and the high quality printing Archaia has invested in for the series give it a storybook feel that anyone would be proud to have on their bookshelf. <p>If you've already devoured the comics, invest in the <B>Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game</B> and create dozens of new and unique <B>Mouse Guard</B>-fueled stories with your children, nieces, nephews or other friends. Tabletop gaming is creative, social and interactive; a fine way to spend time with folks over the holidays." <p><I><a href=>Jim Zubkavich</A> is the writer of the hit Image series <B>Skullkickers</B> as well as the online graphic novel <B>Makeshift Miracle</B>.</I>


"First off, if you haven't picked up the <B>Bone</B> collection, you need to fix that. No kid should be without <B>Bone</B> to enjoy. <p>When I was growing up in West Germany, one of the things I loved to read (aside from German-language <B>Green Lantern</B> comics) was <B>Phantomias</B>, which is basically Donald Duck as Batman. Sadly, I've never seen <B>Phantomias</B> in English, but the BOOM! Kids line of Disney comics allows for me to come close to that magic with my kids. Ultraheroes is action-packed fun reading to be had. BOOM! Kids [now called "kaboom!"] also offers <i>Cars</i>, <i>Peanuts</i>, <i>Darkwing Duck</i>, <i>DuckTales</i> and plenty of other comic-reading goodness for you and your family." <p><I><a>Steven Saunders</A> is editor of the horror magazine <I>The Uninvited</I>, and writer of the comic <I>The Devil Eggs</I>.</i>


"Well, having enjoyed them relatively recently, can I say the <B>Batman Beyond</B> animated series on DVD? Tremendously creative work from some of the best in the business, a great re-imagining of the character, and entertaining stories from top to bottom!" <p><I>Adam Beechen is the executive producer of <I>The Adventures of Chuck & Friends</I> on The Hub network, and writes DC's <I>Batman Beyond</I> comic.</I>


"<B>Anya's Ghost</B> by Vera Brosgol (First Second): Brosgol's debut book is awesome, I loved the story, the characters, and the artwork is the type of stuff that makes me wish I could draw like this. It has some more adult-ish subject matter in it; it's probably more a YA book, but nothing that kids ages 10 and up can't handle. The book treats those parts with a mature approach so it ends up accessible and not exploitative. Anyway, great book. <p>IDW's <B>Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 1</B> hardcover (IDW): The old Ninja Turtles collections are tough to find, even the omnibus that the late Mirage Publishing put out is rare, but IDW is releasing all the old Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird stuff that blew my mind when I was 10. It seems like a lot of people haven't read this material and only know the Turtles from the cartoon and toys, but this is where it all started and it's awesome. I believe the first hardcover collects issues 1-7 and the <B>Raphael</B> one-shot, which is cool even though it would be better if it collected all the one-shots and issues 1-11 which is the original stellar Eastman/Laird run, but it's a great place to start." <p><I>Award-winning cartoonist <a href=>Ross Campbell</A> is the creator of the graphic novel series <I>Wet Moon</I> and <I>Shadoweyes</I>. Here's currently working on the revival of Rob Liefeld's <I>Glory</I> with writer Joe Keatinge.</I>


"For comic readers of all ages, but especially kids, it's hard to go wrong with the series of color <B>Bone</B> collections by Jeff Smith published by Scholastic. The color work on the new volumes is outstanding, and makes them worth picking up even if you've already read the series in its original black and white. <p>In a similar vein, the assorted <B>Oz</B> books that Skottie Young and Eric Shanower have been doing at Marvel are pretty classic and universal in their appeal as well." <p><I>Tom Brevoort is Marvel's Senior Vice President of Publishing, and was one of the key players in revitalizing Marvel's <b>Avengers</b> line of titles. </I>


"<B>Codename: Sailor V, Vol. 1</B>: Make fun of me if you want, but I really want to read this. <P><B>Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost In The Andes</B>: The Ducks are timeless, and age appropriate for everyone. Well, except for teenagers, they hate everything." <P><I>Cartoonist <a href=http://paulmaybury.coM>Paul Maybury</A> is the artist behind such books as <I>Aqua Leung</I> and the webcomics <I>Party Bear</I> and <I>Adventures of Maxy J. Millionaire</I>. His next book, <I>Dogs of Mars</I> with Tony Trov and Johnny Zito, comes out in April 2012.</I>


"Every kid should build a robot and read comics. Old comics are especially awesome. How else is a kid born in 2002 ever going to know the freaking awesomeness of a phone booth? If only someone could make a robot phone booth... <p>When I was a kid, my grandmother had a box of old Superman comics from my uncles in her basement. This made the wait for opening time on Christmas morning a heck of a lot better. <p><B>Robot Building for Beginners</B> and the Discovery Kids Build a MOVING Robot! Remote Control Kit ROVER EZ. I wish I had a niece or nephew to give these to." <p><I><a href=>Nikki Cook</A> is the artist of the Image series <I>Memoir</I>, and lives in Brooklyn, New York. She has appeared in comics from such publishers as Vertigo, Image, and Boom Studios, and Marvel. She has self-published for years, and was a founding member of Act-I-Vate, the webcomics collective. </I>


"My nephew has called several times this week to tell me all about the Trash Pack, a toy line about collectible bug and trash characters that come in their own garbage cans. Okay!" <p><I><a href=>Paul Dini</A> writes comic books, animated shows and video games, among many other things. His newest comic, <B>Jingle Belle: Gift Wrapped</B> will be published by Top Cow on Dec. 7th.</I>


"For kids of all ages, I heartily recommend <B>Donald Duck: Lost In The Andes</B> from Fantagraphics Books a new collection of Donald Duck adventure and humor stories by the all-time master of timeless storytelling, Carl Barks. The stories are lovingly restored to their original colors and printed in a beautiful hardcover package that's library-worthy enough to put on any office shelf but durable and inexpensive enough to entrust to a kid with peanut-butter-and-jelly hands." <p><I>Writer <a href=>Mark Waid</A> is the award-winning writer of <I>Kingdom Come</I>, <I>Captain America</I> <I>The Flash</I> and his current series <I>Irredeemable</I> and <I>Incorruptible</I>. </I>


"Here are a few gift ideas for the young and the young at heart. I was the kid who always had the massive, cross-indexed, color-coded Christmas Wish List, so I have a lot of trouble limiting my suggestions. So here's a ready-made shopping list organized by age group! Of course, I think these books can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. I love 'em all, and I'm an old cuss. <p>For elementary-level readers (especially young readers with a little bit of a creepy streak) I'd suggest <B>Posessions</B> by Ray Fawkes. You wouldn't think the story of a five year old girl possessed by a demon would be much fun. But the story of Gurgazon the Unclean, a pit demon in the body of a little girl, is more funny than frightening. Gurgazon's attempted escapes from the Llewellyn-Vane House for Captured Spirits and Ghostly Curiosities make for a fun story with its fair share of ghostly characters, cartoon violence, and projectile vomit. The first two books in the series are available now, and they're a steal at 6 bucks a pop. <p>For a reader in a slightly higher age bracket, I'd suggest checking out the <B>Amulet</B> series by Kazu Kibuishi. I was turned onto this series by the manager of my local comic shop. It's a fantasy story with mysterious houses, giant robots, Lovecraftian demons, dark elves, talking animals, mechanical bunnies, and ancient artifacts. The character, creature, and location designs alone are enough to spark the imagination of most readers, but the story is pretty engrossing and epic to boot. <p>And for the older teenager in your household, I'd recommend <B>Skullkickers</B> by Jim Zubkavich, Edwin Huang, and Misty Coats. This book is just a blast. If the reader has ever played a role-playing game like Dungeons and Dragons... or if they liked the movie <i>Army of Darkness</i>... they'll love this book. But I think any reader will get a kick out of this comedy/fantasy mash-up about bounty hunters, demons, the undead, and yes skull kicks." <p><I><a href=>Cullen Bunn</A> is the writer of the creator-owned series <I>The Sixth Gun</I> and co-writer of the Marvel series <I>Fearless</I> and <I>Battle Scars</I>. He is currently working on the young adult horror novel <I>Crooked Hills</I> for Earwig Press.</i>

Newsarama's HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE, Part 2: For Kids

Date: 30 November 2011 Time: 08:54 PM ET