By now, you’ve probably noticed the awesome illustrations that accompany our features, such as this one or this one. They’re the work of one Seth T. Hahne, a master illustrator who also happens to run his own excellent site, Good Ok Bad, where he regularly reviews comics, graphic novels, and manga. He’s recently published “Great Graphic Novels for Kids”, which, as the title implies, contains recommendations from pre-kindergarden all the way through junior high:
More than any other request, I have people ask what graphic novels would be suitable for their children. And this is one of the questions I most want to answer. After all, if you spark a child’s interest in the medium with good, solid storytelling and non-exploitative narrative, what better chance of converting them to the medium when they’re older, right?
However, he does provide one bit of caution and exhortation:
Don’t treat graphic novels as a gateway drug to get kids to read “real books.” Comics are a medium of their own and while there’s some crossover appeal, your goal should be to inculcate in your children an appreciation for quality in our cultural artifacts. If they get the bug for good comics, they may well begin pursuing the most literary and worthwhile of the medium — just as if they caught the bug for good novels, they’d be likely to pursue the literary giants of eras past and present.
Graphic novels have their own things to say and their own way of saying those things. Enjoy them for what they are and seek out the stuff that challenges you and your children to grow in empathy, understanding, and knowledge.
The graphic novel recommendations themselves span a number of genres, from fantasy and sci-fi to adventure, humor, and romance.