My eldest child loves art. They all do actually, but for a long time, drawing, particularly drawing comics, has been her hobby of choice. She wants to be an illustrator when she grows up. Visiting the Harry Potter Studios at the weekend and seeing all the amazing jobs possible for artists in the film industry, has only strengthened her resolve.
At parents evening recently her art teacher, a gentle, inspiring woman, said that she’s really good, and we should encourage her all we can.
We were discussing Christmas presents yesterday and she suggested a subscription to a magazine, with comic strips, or about art. Like the Beano, except that her younger brother already has one of those. She’s loved our subscription to Anorak, which has just run out and I highly recommend, but I think she’s growing out of it a little, so I said I’d investigate and see what I could find. I must admit that I was slightly despairing of finding anything without pop stars inside or cheap lipstick attached to the front. These things have their place, but they’re not for an annual subscription from your Granny.
Well one tweet later and I’m excited. So many ideas, some of which are right up her street. I decided that a blog post was the only way forward, as I can’t be the only parent of an art loving pre-teen looking for inspiration beyond something with One Direction on the cover.
The top recommendation from @keris has to be The Phoenix, which I’d never heard of but have discovered is raved about by lots. And having looked at their website, I can see why. It’s a proper, old fashioned, comic, no adverts just lots of imaginative strips with fab illustrations in lots of different styles, a bit funny, a bit silly. Just as it should be.
The aforementioned Anorak are bringing out a new magazine in 2014, called TeePee which is going to be written by teenagers for teenagers. We love what they do, so I’m excited about seeing what they come up with.
Suggested by @nurturestore and slightly different, is Comic Life, which is a template app, allowing you to create your own comics easily. It looks like it could be a lot of fun, so I’m going to investigate it further.
Unsurprisingly, there are people who blog just about comics, one of whom was particularly helpful, @louiestowell. Her blog, Stowell’s Cosmology has a fab list of comics for kids. I know that she must be good at this as Asterix tops the list. I think that Asterix books are about as good as it gets, which reminds me, I must add the new book, Asterix and the Picts to my Christmas shopping list.
Louie pointed by to Comics and Cola, which has a fabulous list of comics for kids, most of which I’d never heard of but many of which look absolutely brilliant. I know the children would love loads of these including Guinea PI (about a private investigator guinea pig!) the Hawaiian Shark King and Good Dog Bad Dog. You really can’t go wrong with anthropomorphising animals.
I do love twitter at moments like these. I went from thinking the publishing world was a dull place, determined to push crop tops and fake fame on my impressionable 11 year old, to being truly inspired and excited about exploring all new artistic avenues together.