As a long-term comic head, I have become enamored of every type of comic book. I have horror, Classics Illustrated, science fiction, traditional superhero, and tons of international comics in more long boxes than I can count. The one comic lane I could never get in to: educational comics. I love the old Civil Rights, How Toons, and history comic books. What I could not stand were the ‘this is how the digestive tract works’ or ‘let’s wind our way through the eyeball’ offerings. This would seem to be in direct opposition of my cheerleading the use of comics in educational settings. Hey, I’m complex. As a parent, my dislike has curdled to disdain.
Amongst my friends and family, it is no secret that the only holiday I care about is Halloween. No, it isn’t just because the candy is free and flowing — although this is a huge bonus. What I love the most about he holiday is that there is this unbridled demonstration of ingenuity, creativity, and imagination. People get to step a little outside of their mundane lives and step into the realm of the fantastic.
Another thing I love are the costumes. I don’t think I’m alone in this, especially amongst my fellow NOC. While many of us were too busy to dress up, we made sure that our children did.
I would like to present to you the NOC Parade of Costumes: Our Children’s Addition.
As parents of color, especially Nerdy Parents of Color, it is so difficult to find books that reflect our children’s racial and cultural backgrounds, as well as other aspects of their social realities. Please read this, as well as Letter #1, to see some of the strategies we’ve taken to address this and other issues affecting our Children of Color. Continue reading “To Black Parents Visiting Earth: Letter #2 (#WeHaveDiverseBooks)”
As a parent of color it is very difficult to find children’s books that reflect how diverse our world actually is. When we do find books, many of them are about historical figures, historical events, or rooted in surviving tragedies. This is what makes El Primer Corte de Mesita de Furqan (Furqan’s First Flat Top) such a wonderful addition to the POC children’s book canon.
Some of us here at The Nerds of Color are also fathers, and we decided to put together a popcorn style post about being dads. Happy Father’s Day!
A few weeks ago, my oldest daughter (a second grader) bought Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters from her school’s book fair. She instantly became a Raina devotee. I’d already read Smile with her, but something about Sisters flipped a switch — maybe because my daughter has to deal with sibling drama of her own at home.
Raina’s a friend of mine. I knew from Facebook that she was doing a signing near us, so I told my daughter we’d go see her. On the morning of the signing, my daughter woke up chanting Raina’s name.
The signing was freaking amazing. I’ve never been to a comics signing like it, not even with the Image Comics founders when they were at the height of their fame in the 90s. Raina did a joint event with the inimitable Kazu Kibuishi, and the entire store was packed with parents and kids holding stacks of Smile and Drama and Sisters and Amulet.
I took my 9- and 5-year-old daughters to see The LEGO Movie on the second day it was out, and all three of us loved it. It is a true family film, one that can be enjoyed by different age groups at different levels — kids will love the humor, the action, that song they won’t stop singing once they get home, and, hey, it’s LEGO, while their parents will appreciate all the references to the kits and playsets of their childhoods, the inside jokes (ones that stick in my mind include the bearded fantasy wizard confusion, needy Green Lantern, Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson playing parodies of their archetypal screen personas, and, of course, Batman and his song), and the amazingly detailed art and animation. It is also more subversive and heartwarming than you’d expect an hour-and-a-half-long corporate toy commercial could ever be.
For four years and fifty issues, DC Comics published what should be considered, in my opinion, one of the best kid-friendly comics in the history of the medium: Tiny Titans. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. The series was nominated for multiple Eisners, and actually took home the award on two separate occasions — in 2009 and 2011 — for Best Series for Kids. And while DC no longer publishes (for now) the adventures of Robin, Kid Flash, Beast Boy, Raven, and the rest of the gang at Sidekick Elementary School, Art Baltazar and Franco’s creation has left an indelible mark on how good “comics for kids” can truly be. Plus, my daughter loves these books. So much.
In honor of The Nerds of Color’s first Halloween, this week’s School of Hard NOCs features our own little NOCs in Training in Halloween costumes past and present. We’ll forgo any identifying information to protect the innocent (inasmuch as we can do so while acknowledging that we are both dressing our children in geeky costumes and posting their pictures in said costumes online), but astute readers can probably figure out which younglings belong to which NOC.
To whet your appetite, we wanted share our favorite Halloween-themed commercial that proves the old adage that the NOC family that dresses in themed costumes and trick-or-treats together stays awesome together; click on the “more” link below that to see our own kids (both human and non-) in costume. From our families to yours, Happy Halloween!