05.26.2009

Kids Read Comics! June 12-13 in Chelsea, Michigan

Kids Read Comics! A very true statement, however, not as many kids are reading comics today as were when we grew up.  Ask yourself, do you encourage kids in your life (your children, nephews, nieces, friend’s kids, neighbors, etc) to read comics?  If the answer is no, then you may want to start thinking about it.

Comics grew up with us, which has kept us collecting.  However, many of the publishers have left kids comics behind in order to chase our disposable income.  This always bothered me when I worked in a comic book store.  It was rare for little kids to come in and shop.  When they did, there really weren’t many comics for them to choose from besides the Archie books.  Thankfully in recent years several publishers have made an effort to bring the fun of comics back to children.  DC and Marvel both have lines of books targeted at kids again, along with lots of other publishers.

There is a really cool event in June that focuses on bring the love of comics to kids.  KIDS READ COMICS! is being held in Chelsea, Michigan (near Detroit and Ann Arbor) on June 12 & 13.  This sounds like a truly fantastic and worthwhile event.  Here is the description from their website, www.kidsreadcomics.org:

Kids love comics. Kids want comics. Kids read comics.

Comics have held a huge appeal for kids and teens since the first Sunday funnies were introduced over a hundred years ago, and they still do today. From kid adventurers to superheroes to cartoon animals, and from humor to westerns to fantasy and more, comics have presented a wide range of stories to capture the imagination.

But changing times (and lots of social, economic and technological factors we won’t go into here) have led to a smaller American comic book industry that tends to focus on an older audience. Comics have grown up, which is great! But that doesn’t have to mean that young readers get left behind. Kids still love comics and want to read them. The key is to get the right comics in their hands.

That was the thinking that prompted a librarian, a cartoonist, a comic book writer and a comic shop owner to put together the Midwest’s first comic book convention for kids and teens, and to found KidsReadComics.org. We want to bring comics back to the kids who love them. And we believe that most kids will love them once they get hold of the kind of comics that were once a staple of every kid’s life. Updated for the twenty-first century, of course!

There are huge, untapped possibilities for comics, and we’re here to help make those possibilities real. Our first step is the Kids Read Comics Convention, a totally free event with the goal of spreading the joy and excitement of comics (and manga and anime and cartoons) through:

  • hands-on workshops
  • panels and presentations for kids, families, and educators
  • a chance for kids to meet and chat with comics and animation professionals
  • the opportunity for kids to have their own art portfolios reviewed

I really wish I could go to this event.  If you are anywhere near Chelsea, Michigan, I implore you to bring some kids to this event.  Kids really are the future of the comic book industry; after all, we’re not going to be able to afford these things forever.

I’ve been encouraging my nine year old step-son to read comics for a few years now.  Since then he’s really learned to love reading!  So many kids dread reading because they only know the books that are assigned in school.  They spend their time watching TV or playing video games, rather than reading.  By giving comic books to a child, they learn to love reading the adventure for themselves.

Remember, Kids Read Comics!

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One Response to “Kids Read Comics! June 12-13 in Chelsea, Michigan”

  1. Bob Weber Jr. Says:

    http://www.kidcartoonists.com is my website for kids that love to read comics and create their OWN comics!
    -Bob Weber Jr.
    Creator of the syndicated strip “Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids”

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