Sandman and a fifth of Jack are the only appealing things I ever found in a guy’s dorm room. That was 15 years ago, and I haven’t discovered a comic book that’s grabbed me since.
Now I’m in the position of trying to find intelligent comic books that work for a young child and aren’t utterly boring to a grown literature lover. It’s the early childhood version of seeking out Sandman, and serendipity isn’t serving me this time.
Despite the tractor beam that draws any comic in the vicinity into Meg’s grasp, ost of her finds are adult-oriented. Though she has adopted her mom’s Death and Delirium dolls (imagine: muppet-baby-style wide-eyed goth-chick Death and pretty punk Delirium in a 4-year-old’s sling — that’s cognitive dissonance right there), she hasn’t found the Sandman series yet. She has discovered all of her dad’s comic strip collections, though, and they’re only moderately more age appropriate. His tastes run toward clever 80s-90s favorites like The Far Side, Dilbert, Bloom County, and Calvin and Hobbes. One thing those strips have in common is wit, and that’s exactly the reason I can hardly bear to read them to the girl. It’s hard enough to encourage her learn the medium by matching the written with the drawn elements of the story. Add to that the need to explain every joke, and it’s a bit of slog.
I discussed the situation with my friend Bill, who draws the library- and book-focused Unshelved strip, and he thought Meg might just be too young, but suggested Owly (here’s the Unshelved Book Club’s presentation of Owly). Given her driving interest, which I can’t imagine is unique in the realm of little kids, I’d like to identify additional candidates.
What comic books or comic strips do you think might entertain a 4-year-old and her possibly overly picky mom?