(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Does anybody have a good suggestion as to what "graphic novel" I should read with my almost-5-yr-old, now that we are nearly finished with the Bone series? Is there anything close to that, in terms of its ability to hold his interest and mine at the same time, with that right mix of humor and urgency? We've read a little Akiko, and it's fine as far as it goes, but nothing like the depth of Bone. (Those of you who are snickering, stop. I'm being serious). But on the other hand it shouldn't be significantly scarier than Bone, please -- I still have to tell him about, rather than show him, the pages in Bone where the Hooded One is un-hooded. Please comment or email me with any suggestions.

posted by sam 8:32 AM 11 comments


Try Jill Thompson's Scary Godmother comics. Some of 'em might be a leetle old for almost-five, but there's fun cartooning, the monster stuff is fantasy-of-manners silliness, and there's snack recipes and games sprinkled throughout.

And hey, welcome back! Man, I have been out of it.

By Blogger Kip Manley, at 3:29 PM  

thanks a lot -- looks like a good suggestion, Kip.

By Blogger sam, at 3:56 PM  

I could suggest a number of them, but your best bet is to take a peek at the following web site:


They also have suggestions by age at:


By Blogger Dipesh, at 7:06 PM  

very helpful, thanks

By Blogger sam, at 6:33 AM  

I'd recommend James Robinson and Paul Smith's Leave it to Chance, a great series designed for kids about a young girl whose father is the chief magical detective of a major city. It's great fun, and republished in large, "little lit" size volumes, perfect for kids' reading.

By Blogger Fred, at 10:47 AM  

Any Don rosa disney, especially the Uncle Scrooges. The best of the lot, and it won an eisner award, was the life and times of scrooge mcduck. I love it, enjoy.


By Blogger Goldwatch, at 2:26 PM  

My 6 year old daughter is a big fan of Wonder Woman and liked 'Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trilogy' by Matt Wagner. She insisted, while riding on my back in the swimming pool this past summer, my face near the water, that I continually sing the Wonder Woman theme song... as if I were some kind of invisible plane.

By Blogger Eutychus Fell, at 2:44 PM  

Have you read any "Groo" comics? They're probably not worthy of the term "graphic novels" although the anthologies do have story arcs running in them. But they're just hilarious with screamingly funny drawings AND dialogue.

Your son will be the first in his kindergarten class to know how to spell "mulch!"

By Blogger Brian, at 9:19 AM  

P.S.: Right there with you on "Bone." Coincidentally, I finished the series just Tuesday night. And the Hooded One was definitely freaky. I'll even go so far as to say the artist freaked me out by the way he drew her word balloons, with that long insinuating arrow that went up under the hood. *shudder*

By Blogger Brian, at 1:42 PM  

Frankly, when it comes to graphic novels for small kids, Bone is the top of the heap.

Well, it's not a graphic novel, but I suggest some Calvin and Hobbes trade paperbacks, and some Pogo trade paperbacks. (A lot of the Pogos reprinting the Sunday strips in book form read like graphic novels - or maybe more like short story collections, but my point is, they read more like a continuous story than like a series of strips. And you can find them cheap & used on Amazon. When I was your son's age, I read Pogo Double Sundae over and over).

The Ramna 1/2 paperbacks are terrific - very funny, and I don't think they'd be any harder for a small child to follow than Bone. One problem - the comic doesn't have sex, but it does have occasional nudity (generally used for comic effect).

By Blogger Ampersand, at 8:09 PM  

I really enjoyed reading "Elfquest" with my dad when I was young (a bit older than your son, I think 8 or 9). It is sort of a LOTR knock-off as I recall, beautiful artwork and well-drawn characters. I don't remember how scary it was though -- I believe there were some fairly scary moments.

By Blogger The Modesto Kid, at 10:12 AM  

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