Top 10 GNs You Haven't Read

By | Monday, June 06, 2011 2 comments
Here's the list of the top ten graphic novels checked out of the Emerson School Library by 5-11 year olds...
  1. Babymouse: Our Hero
  2. Bone #9: Crown of Horns
  3. Babymouse: Rock Star
  4. The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook
  5. Babymouse: The Musical
  6. Bone #8: Treasure Hunters
  7. The Baby-Sitter's Club: Kirsty's Great Idea
  8. Rapunzel's Revenge
  9. Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians
  10. Smile
How many of those have you read? How many have you even heard of?

This is what the kids of today are reading. This is what the kids of today think is cool. If you're not at least passingly familiar with these books, you won't really be able to speak to the future of comics because you won't be aware of what the next generation of comics readers is bringing to the table. I don't think it's any great secret that all the Marvel and DC stuff that so many of us grew up on is NOT as kid-friendly as it was 20/30/40 years ago. But the folks still looking at those books, the ones still enmeshed in the Direct Market system, aren't seeing other great material out there that kids ARE getting. (It should be pointed out that the two titles you're most likely familiar with -- Bone and Smile -- are published by Scholastic outside the DM.)

Ask your librarian what kids are checking out. Read a couple of Babymouse or Lunch Lady volumes. If you want to help comics' future, you ought to know where comics' future comes from.
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Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, Sean! As a school librarian, I have read all of the books you listed. The kids ARE reading comics, just not the same ones we used to when we were kids. As for me, I've been reading comics for more than 50 years.

Matt K said...

Y'know, as much as I've been sorely, sorely tempted to leave a "darn kids" comment for the past two days...

It's probably just as well if young America finds its own comics. I mean, Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four are nearly 50 years old. Superman, Batman around 75; early Disney characters older still. And the average age of newspaper comic strips these days is probably what, about 160?

If it's a choice between big corporate media companies continuing to re-make and re-boot the same mined-out concepts forever, or kids making their own list of "what's hot" from things I've never heard of...

Well, carry on kids. You've got the right idea.