Writer: J. Torres
Artist: Justin Wagner with Warren Wucinich
Publisher: Oni Press
When was the last time you went into your local comic book shop? Last Wednesday? Yesterday? If your shop is anything like mine you may notice the lack of kids in there. Whose fault is that? The retailer’s? The publisher’s?
How about, it could be ours!
I was lucky growing up. My Dad, back in the 70’s was a kind of proto-geek, ensuring that my brother and I had a working knowledge of both the DC and Marvel universes as well as an appreciation of 50’s sci-fi B movies. Every Monday night, we would sit and watch Star Trek as a family. Nowadays there are quite a few distractions, be it X-Box or PS4 for kids to get into comics. I would even say, that the success of comic book movies is more based on us “old school” fans rather than a new wave or comic book readers, who after seeing the movies, still do not enter the hallowed turf of the local comic book shop.
Do-Gooders is a chance to redress the balance. Its a very simple book, with a very simple message. Yet the books’ strength is threefold. Firstly, its a book that parents can read with their young child, creating that one on one family time, even if you read it at bedtime. Secondly, by reading with a parent, the child can understand the mechanics of reading a comic book and lastly, the message, whilst saccharin covered sweetness to a cynic like me, will to the target audience show the child how to “do good”.
The book is written by J. Torres with art by Justin Wagner and has a very clear structure. Torres comes up with a situation with two actions, one not so good and the other the Do-Gooder way. With the ages group this books is aimed at, Wagner produces expressive art which captures the fun element of the book. The situations used are situations that every parent will have seen at some point, adding relevance to the proceedings.
It’s good to see publishers trying to interact with a younger audience again. I remember how great the books based on Batman: The Animated Series were. they were good clean stories, capturing the feel of the show and giving parents a safe option at the comic rack. Yes, this book isn’t primarily aimed at me, but for those readers with kids, its a great way for them to help share their love of the medium.