I’ve got a real soft spot for what’s called “all ages” comics. This will come as no surprise to those who know me well. And anyone who’s paid attention to how often I like to blog about things like Hayao Miyazaki films, cartoonists like Charles Schultz and Bill Waterson, and the works of Dr. Seuss and even Edward Gorey may also be excused if they find the declaration less than revelatory.
Be that as it may, one of my favorite places to go shopping for new and interesting all ages books is San Diego Comic Con, where each year I usually find at least a half dozen titles and artists I’d never hear of before. However, this year I didn’t make it to SDCC … and so to make myself feel better, I let myself splurge and purchase a bunch of all ages titles from my wish list, and I thought I’d share them with you.
Glister: The first batch are four books from the Glister series by Andi Watson. Now, in truth, I already owned three of these in their original U.S. versions, but a year or so ago those along with a fourth, never printed in the U.S. volume, were reprinted by a new British publisher. I was absolutely fiending for the new story (Glister and the Family Tree), but the completist in me also wanted to get ALL of the volumes in the same edition … so I did. Glister is a real treat. And if you go to the Walker Books page, you can even see a few sample pages of each book.
Gum Girl: This is Andi Watson’s newest creation—a collection of stories about a young girl who fights crime (and giant robots) with the power of mutant chewing gum. Again, you can read a sample (the whole first chapter) online here. I’ll be honest, if I could only have one Andi Watson all ages comic, I’d pick Glister (even over his popular indie comic Skeleton Key), but Gum Girl is a worthy addition to his stable, and a second volume is due to be published later this summer.
Cow Boy: This is the comic I’ve been wanting the most, having pre-ordered it at my local comic shop and then suffering through the three-month delay until it was actually released. By Nate Cosby (Marvel’s adaptations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Pride & Prejudice) and Chris Eliopoulos (the Franklin Richards, Son of a Genius comics and the awesome webcomic Misery Loves Sherman), this book is every bit as awesome as I’d hoped it would be (though maybe a little bit less ALL ages than the others as there’s a fair bit of cartoon violence). You can read the first four chapters online here.
Anyway, I’ve been in all ages hog heaven reading through all these … and I find myself thinking about picking up some of my own all ages projects again. Maybe another story or two for Dr. Symm. Or another Little Known Fact of History. Or maybe Jet Pack Dude (a character I co-created with my nephew Ben during a visit a couple of years ago). Or maybe I’ll finally get around to running a Kickstarter campaign to bring The Littlest Shoggoth back into print or publish my long-delayed “A, B, C & D” primer.
But first I think I’m going to go back and read Cow Boy again!