I took daughters E and N, along with their friend G, to Chicago Comics – one of the best shops in Illinois IMHO.
It’s not the “oh boy let’s go!” experience that it used to be, because the girls have been kind of disappointed in the offerings. They’re 12-years-old – almost 13 – and they need no prodding to read. On the contrary, we have to tell them to stop sometimes.
They’re not yet interested in romance, so I think that’s why they’re not all that interested in manga or things like the prose Twilight series. And they’ll opt for the original version over the remake/cartoon version any day – they looked at but rejected the graphic novel of “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventures and aren’t interested in the Warriors graphic novels.
But they love stuff like Amy Unbounded, Amelia Rules and Tintin, and are pretty open-minded about trying new things I bring home that they might be interested in.
In spite of that, the last time we went to the comic shop, we had to look hard before finding “korgi” from Top Shelf. The only think I took home then was the latest “Atlas.”
This time, we nosed around for quite a bit. It looks like the manga section was moved or drastically cut back (I wasn’t looking for any so I’m not sure). They had an expanded selection of Tintin, and the girls picked up one they didn’t have: Red Rackham’s treasure.
While they perused the superhero comics with their friend, I looked through the small press/independants. The girls are not keen on shuffling through this stuff because sometimes the content is really adult and that makes them uncomfortable. But they also know that this is where I found “korgi” last time, so they know I’m looking for me and them.
For the most part I passed over things I would otherwise buy. I have a lot of books waiting for me to read, and I just couldn’t justify buying more right now. I like the Zot complete collection, and I’m always interested in anything by the Los Bros. Hernandez. I also admire Jason Lutes’ “Berlin” series and anything by James Sturm. Still, it just wasn’t the day for me to buy something.
I did find “Mouse Guard” and the girls were instantly interested. Reminded them some of the “Redwall” books. Friend G picked up three of DC’s “Trinity” series, numbers 6, 7 and 8.
Back home, all the books got passed around. I’d say the most tepid response was to the DC books. G picked those up because she liked the Batman move, and read some of the Batman comics geared to kids written by Josh Elder and Russell Lissau. But she had most of those books, and for whatever reason decided to try these. Maybe because of the low numbers.
But none of us really connected with the series or the characters. It just seemed so steeped in the DC Universe that they couldn’t buy into it. And we couldn’t figure out why the covers didn’t reflect the content inside the magazine.
Still, we found a few jewels among the offerings. I can’t help but think we’d spend a lot more money at places like these if there were more to appeal to these kinds of readers.