Yo, Holmes….!

Today’s sketch is inspired by the ongoing debate permeating the comics internet community over kids comics and whether there ARE actually any comics for kids– or indeed what comics for kids actually are or SHOULD BE. Not too long ago, DARK HORSE COMICS had a (unfortunately) very short-lived imprint called VENTURE that they created to present foreign comic book material. They published some slightly larger-than-digest sized black and white books such as Franco Saudelli’s OTTO PROFIRI (incredible stuff…) and Carlos Trillo’s and Domingo Mandrafina’s THE IGUANA. But for me, the gems of the line were a couple of full color harcover albums by Tillo and Juan Bobillo (who’s drawing SHE-HULK for MARVEL now) called ZACHARY HOLMES. Zachary is a young detective with an odd little mouse-like creature/sidekick named Watson. Together, they solve supernatural mysteries and have gone up against such creatures as FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER and medieval ghosts. It’s a wonderful series keeping in the vein of HARRY POTTER and YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES. And although the art is much cartoonier than Bobillo’s MARVEL work (I actually PREFER his ZACHARY HOLMES work…), the stories are definitely not “dumbed down” by any means. They’re whimsical and intriquing– engaging and funny. You would be doing yourselves a huge favor by trying to track these books down. They’re still readily available through most online comic book sellers.



Steven Grant’s PERMANENT DAMAGE column has a great examination of the “comics for kids” debate this week. He brings up many points that I hadn’t considered– chief among them the fact that some of the most popular comics for kids in the 50’s were the EC HORROR comics– which weren’t written with children in mind. He points out that kids are much more savvy and intelligent than most folks give them credit for, and will gravititate toward ANY comic if it’s well done. I can’t summarize his arguements well enough to do them justice– so just go read his take on the whole issue. It’s a good one.

Bye now…


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