June 11, 2010 Comments Off
Lance here, The AudioComics Company blogmeister, with a lil’ story for you:
From six to nine years old, growing up in San Carlos, which I’m now sure is Spanish for “boring as all hell,” I would go with my Dad to the local 7-11 for donuts, the Sunday newspaper, whatever. Always there would be $0.35 for me to buy a comic book. That’s where it all started for me and a lot of other kids my age, on spinner racks that screamed “Hey Kids, Comics!” And I bought whatever had the coolest covers. Let’s be honest, when you’re six you don’t care about having every issue of this or that book or what artist is pencilling the book or continuity issues, you buy what looks good.
So I had a little of everything from DC and Marvel: Master of Kung-Fu, The Flash (more Flash than anything else in hindsight), The Avengers, Freedom Fighters, Captain America and the Falcon. That’s where it started for a lot of kids in the 60′s and 70′s, on the spinner racks. And the books available then were perfect for wide-eyed elementary school youths. Sure, the subject matter, the emotional content, had grown a tad darker than the books of the 1950′s and 1960′s, but they weren’t too dark. My opinion, mind you.
Today, its the direct-only stores, which like the spinner racks before them, are too going the way of the dodo. Books are $4 a pop. And while most books and graphic novels has matured in tone for today’s audiences…there aren’t as many, in my opinion, for six and seven year olds. Will that Shazam! movie ever happen? Maybe, but if the sales of Dark Knight are any indication, it will have a ”darker” tone to it.
Yes, there are more graphic novels and books being produced that are aimed toward kids. I seem to remember reading about one graphic novel, a wordless one I think, about a gorilla who escapes from the zoo one night to visit his favorite zookeeper. Also BOOM! has been doing a lot of kids justice with their Muppets, Pixar, and Disney-related titles. I’m really pleased with Ape Entertainment’s Kizoic line. I simply think there could be more. I know Bill agrees, who besides being the voice of Bob the Builder (so he has a very strong connection to public television) has a young step-son, and finding material suitable for his age is vital. That goes for books, comics, and yes, audio.
The AudioComics Company will strive to put the best product out there. Some of our pieces will be geared for adults. Some will have the dark mature tones we’re all used to seeing. Some full cast audio will be geared toward kids. Full cast audio that all ages can enjoy, that never panders. So another question for you: what children’s graphic novels do you recommend? What would you like your kids to listen to? And if anybody can help me with the name of that escaped gorilla graphic novel, I’d really appreciate it, it’s driving me crazy.