13th Jun 2009

Kids’ comics – a challenge to Irish artists

As an afterword to my last post about the 2D Festival, it occurs to me that so many of the punters were children, but so few of the comics were aimed at them – my own comics included. When I was in single figures most comics were aimed at my age-group, but most of them have disappeared. We’ve been so preoccupied with proving that comics can be for grown-ups that we’ve left the kids behind, and that’s a shame.

So I’ve decided that, in time for next year’s festival, I’m going to create at least one comic for children, and I’d like to issue a challenge to other artists who’ll be there to do the same. Adventure, humour, whatever. Think about it – next year’s Tuppence could be full of comics an eight-year-old could pick up and enjoy.

Bam! Pow! Splat! Comics aren’t just for adults anymore!

6 Responses to “Kids’ comics – a challenge to Irish artists”

  1. phil barrett Says:

    Great idea Paddy – I’ll pick up that gauntlet!

  2. paddybrown Says:

    Good for you Phil!

  3. cliodhna Says:

    Working on a kids comic written by my friends 5 year old though it will done for October.

  4. cliodhna Says:

    Also just discuss the issue there is some stuff being done for kids comics in Ireland and the uk – RiRa is a new Irish language anthology aimed at kids has just been published and Childrens Book Ireland are looking to do a year long series of events focusing on comics this coming year. In the Uk the DFC had a good run that sadly was cut short. The argument for the lack of good kids comics these days isn’t so much that we tired to hard to make comics appeal to adults but that kids just aren’t into print comics anymore what with video games and the internet and 2D seems to be one of the few cons that is getting younger audiences in as the Bristol con had to cancel it’s kids workshops as they didn’t have any kids to take part in them.

  5. paddybrown Says:

    Six of one, I think. There is definitely less material accessible to an eight-year-old than there was when I was eight. I used to read Spider-Man and the Hulk and 2000AD among other things back then, all of which still exist, but none of which are still accessible to an eight-year-old.

    I’m glad there’s stuff being done. I’ve seen the dummy issue of RíRa, and I’ll have to look up the Childrens Book ireland stuff.

    The DFC was excellent, and I wish it had lasted longer, but its distribution method made it something a parent would choose for their child rather than something the child would choose for him- or herself.

    But there was plenty of interest from the kids at 2D, just not enough for them on the tables, which I’m sure we can remedy in time for next year. Best of luck with your book.

  6. Aidan Courtney Says:

    Glad to see ye all discussing kids comics. Fair play to you Paddy looking forward to seeing the end result. I agree there isn’t the same focus on comics that are accessible for kids but the tide is turning somewhat. Cinebook, Classical Comics, Marvel with their all ages stuff, Dark Horse with the Star Wars Adventures and even some of the publishers in the States are publishing cartoonists from Europe that are mostly kids orientated. There are quality strips out there it’s just a matter of finding them. Even getting kids reading Calvin and Hobbes is great. I know a lot of kids who never read comics (or read in general) before read Calvin and Hobbes. Now they can’t get enough.

    The first issue of Rírá has been published and is a few bookshops around the country the shops are listed on We should have the shop up and running on by the end of the week. We are in about 16 bookshops or shops around the country and forty three library branches from six counties are featuring the magazine on their magazine reading stands so we are slowly getting there. We have sold to some schools and summer camps but I reckon it will be September before we actually sell to any more schools. We are also talking to a national magazine distributor so hopefully by the end of the next month we should be in newsagents. Fingers crossed it will all go well.

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