Time travel back with me – our younger selves welcomed the adventure, the energy, the vitality and the humor of comic book stories and heroes into our lives. They expanded the space in our imaginations – we got lost in comics from time to time, crazy stories in our mind inspired by colorful pamphlets from the comic shop – and life was simply richer.
Today, we’re dads. (Or moms.)
Now we’re keen to capture a little bit of that lightning in a bottle experience for our young sprouts. (There’s a lot of pressure on young kids to become processed, mini-adult standardized test takers before their time – we want them to take time to imagine.)
But the last time we trudged up some dirty stairwell into a comic shop, rubbing shoulders with a bunch of grown men wearing boys’ clothes, it wasn’t that easy to find comics for kids.
I found a few. Let me tell you about one of my favorites.
Remember this title: Molly Danger, Book One: Mighty.
My friend Jamal Igle has drawn – and still draws – DC and Marvel heroes for comics for over twenty years. I think he would tell you that while he was laboring at the creation of those adventures on paper, it was his dream job.
Until he started his true dream job: writing and drawing a hero of his own – in collaboration with Juan Castro and Romulo Fajardo – Molly Danger, the world’s most powerful young girl.
Yes, the hero’s a young girl.
(Though once you get into the story, you’ll see that she’s more of a forever young girl…)
You think it’s hard finding comics in superhero shops that today’s kids care about? Try finding one that a young girl might care about. After My Little Pony, it’s tough.
So I say it again. Yes, the hero’s a young girl. And she flies and kicks butt and outsmarts evil cyber meanies.
All the above, mind you, is lovingly delivered by Igle and his team in bold, clean, and contemporary state-of-the-art heroic style. These artists know the action pool they’re swimming in.
But at the end of the day – continuing, even enhancing a noble heroic tradition that’s even older than Superman – Molly’s alone. An orphan from another world, on her own, she wants, well, what we all want: our friends, our family and the freedom to be ourselves. There’s no one else like her.
And that’s what makes Molly a joy to read – her emotional journey reaches above and beyond today’s state of the art action comic.
Molly’s small, but mighty. Molly dares to dream. Molly braves a journey to discovery, to earn the right to be the hero of her own story. Nothing will stop her from finding her own… well, call it integrity.
That’s just good storytelling, period. And at my house, that beats ponies and princesses any day. (Lanterns and Iron Men, too, last I looked.) When you can offer a reading experience like that to your daughter, or your son, you’d be a bad dad not to.
Molly Danger: Mighty is out now from Action Lab, a relatively new imprint, and one to watch. An experienced group of comics culture folk, focused on creator-owned comics. And Mr. Jamal Igle is on the road, making sure his baby gets into the right hands. He’ll sign at the Action Lab booth (3126) at the New York Comic Con this month.
See you there – I’ll be asking him to sign two books, one for me, and one for my daughter!
David Quinn will also be at NYCC. Look for him at the Hazarai booth or in Artist Alley near his frequent partner Timothy (Faust) Vigil.