I want to introduce the world of comics/graphic novels to my 12 year old daughter.
August 28, 2004 2:51 PM   Subscribe

I want to introduce the world of comics/graphic novels to my 12 year old daughter (I used to read Creepy, Eerie and Heavy Metal when I was her age but I haven't touched a comic book since). I just ordered "The Complete Moonshadow" simply based on the cover art and some glowing reviews I found. My daughter's taste leans heavily toward LOTR style literature. Recommendations welcome.
posted by davebush to Media & Arts (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
May I suggest The Courageous Princess and Neotopia, both by Rod Espinoza. Great story, terrific art.
posted by SPrintF at 3:29 PM on August 28, 2004


Highly, Highly recommend the Sandman seris by Neil Gaiman. Great artwork...even better storytelling.
posted by ShawnString at 3:34 PM on August 28, 2004


Bone
posted by graventy at 3:52 PM on August 28, 2004


My husband's a big proponent of Carla Speed McNeil's Finder series, which is set in a medieval-ish fantasy world and deals a lot with characters of various species and races forming communities and alliances. From what I've read it seems fine for her age group, particularly if she's into LOTR.

She's probably a little young yet for Love and Rockets, which occasionally contains some non-graphic sexual situations. But in a year or two it'd be fine, especially as the work of Jaime (see the recent huge collection Locas) and his brother Gilbert (see the recent huge collection Palomar) both are dominated by excellent female characters and complex but entertaining storylines.
posted by lisa g at 4:13 PM on August 28, 2004


Elfquest might fit the bill. It has a great story, memorable characters, and endearingly dated art -- there is some elf-on-elf action, but it's brief. Check your library for it, since they might have older full-color editions that are no longer available. Don't forget about Tintin. It's not fantasy, but who doesn't like Tintin?

I'm a Sandman fan too, but keep in mind that it has a generous helping of lovingly depicted gore.
posted by Hypharse at 4:59 PM on August 28, 2004


I would recommend Leave it to Chance, by James Robinson.

A modern fantasy series about Chance Falconer. A 14 year old girl whose family are world famous sorcerers. She's ready to have her own adventures but her father doesn't want her to live their dangerous life. Of course, soon enough, she's involved in the adventures she's longed for!

These collections come as nice hardcovers very reminiscent of the TinTin collections if you've read those. Also available in paperback though. Along with the first collection there are two others.
posted by Animus at 5:10 PM on August 28, 2004


Too bad you didn't read Vampirella and had kept those issues. Some of those old Vampi arcs still hold up well. Plus, the other stories were a fairly balanced mix of SF, fantasy and horror.
posted by mischief at 8:30 PM on August 28, 2004


I highly recommend Miyazaki's Nausicaa
posted by vacapinta at 8:48 PM on August 28, 2004


I think you've hit the ball out of the park already by choosing Moonshadow (one of my very favorites).

I'd recommend checking out a lot of the shoujo (i.e. girl's) oriented manga that's getting translated. I'm a big fan of Kodocha: Sana's Stage (was Kodomo No Omocha), although it's not a fantasy story.

I also highly recommend Revolutionary Girl Utena, which is fantasy, despite taking place at a boarding school.
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:10 PM on August 28, 2004


I found Moonshadow very depressing.

There's also Promethea, which might be good for a 12 year old girl.
posted by bingo at 9:52 PM on August 28, 2004


The second volume (preview) of Courtney Crumrin is just fantastic. The first volume (preview) is good enough, and worth reading for the set-up, but I thought vol. 2 was a truly terrific comic. It's sort of -- but only sort of -- a Harry Potter for the snarky girl set. I would think a 12-year-old would dig it lots.
posted by blueshammer at 6:15 AM on August 29, 2004


I like Linda Medley's Castle Waiting, a nearly perfect story that weaves together folktale characters in a delightful story. Medley is very interested in fables, and her passion and research shines on every page. There's even alesson plan to foster discussion.

I also strongly recommend Jay Hosler's Sandwalk Adventures and Clan Apis; two, well-drawn scientific fantasy comics. Hosler uses fantastic elements such as talking bees and snarky eyemites living on Charles Darwin's forehead to illustrate the wonder of science. The scientific discussions have a tone similar to Calvin & Hobbes running around in the woods looking for weird bugs. Great stuff.

Kerry Callen's whimsical Halo and Sprocket. Not a fantasy comic, (except for the angel and the talking robot) but one that takes a fresh look at the everyday world through short, quirky stories of a young woman and her two inquisitive roommates.

Bryan Talbot's Tale of One Bad Rat is excellently drawn, but it does deal with child abuse. I think the subject matter is handled skillfuly and sensitively. The book uses some fantasy elements from Beatrix Potter. Take a look.

Alan Moore's Promethea is well-written and exquisitely drawn, but it does contain mature elements, especially toward the end of the series. The mature elements include discussions of magic and sexuality, along with occasional nudity. I must stress that I find Moore's handling of these topics to be truly mature and not objectionable in the slightest. My highest recommendation, but review it before passing it along.

You might also want to check the reading list at Sequential Tart.
posted by JDC8 at 8:47 AM on August 29, 2004


I second ursus_comiter's suggestion. Shojo books are a huge hit with the mainstream teen girl audience right now. Many of them have varying levels of fantasy elements. Any decent Borders or Barnes and Noble should have a good selection.

Although it's not strictly shojo, Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind by Hayao Miyazaki (he of Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away) is like an eastern Lord of the Rings starring a young female protagonist. Highly, highly reccomended. [on preview: what vacapinta said]

Lost At Sea by Bryan Lee O'Malley (great review) was a huge hit with my sister at Christmas. An excellent book about a shy teenage girl on a road trip, looking for her soul. Mild fantasy elements, but one of the best graphic novels I read last year. (After speeding through it on the plane, I almost kept it for myself and found my sister another gift.)

P. Craig Russell adapted Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung into two volumes (or one spendy hardcover). Exquisitely beautiful, epic, authentic, heartbreaking, and not at all scholarly. [preview here]. It's rated for 16+ so check it out first, but it's probably not much worse than LOTR (violence, intense dramatic situations). Could be an acessable way for your daughter to discover some of Tolkien's primary inspirations.
posted by samh23 at 12:04 PM on August 29, 2004


I'll second Halo & Sprocket, one of the best sitcoms in any medium.
posted by blueshammer at 12:30 PM on August 29, 2004


Seconding Bone, thirding Nausicaa. Usagi Yojimbo might be good, but I'd start with "Grasscutter," because it's a single tightly wrapped story; the other collections are more episodic. And now I think I have to go buy some of these books, because I haven't heard of like 75% of them.
posted by furiousthought at 1:50 PM on August 29, 2004


I forgot to mention Eric Shanower's Age of Bronze. An excellent adaptation of the Trojan War. Two volumes so far (10 are planned).
posted by JDC8 at 1:56 PM on August 29, 2004


These suggestions are truly appreciated. I plan to follow up on them very soon.

Thanks to all. Askmetafilter is a wonderful thing. Seriously.
posted by davebush at 6:06 PM on August 29, 2004


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