Collecting the first four issues of the successful Kickstarter series, the Aw Yeah Comics trade paperback “And…Action!” is an all-ages anthology starring two new characters named Action Cat and Adventure Bug, and primarily written and drawn by Art Baltazar and Franco. Is it good?
Aw Yeah Comics! And . . . Action! TPB (Dark Horse Comics)
I’ve always supported the idea of all-ages comics, but I recently had a development in my life that significantly increased my invested interest in this particular corner of the world of comics. Through Americorps, I recently started a year-long commitment working in an impoverished elementary school teaching writing enrichment to advanced fourth and fifth graders. A lot of these kids have expressed a great deal of interest in comics, to the point where they frequently ask to read the copy of Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics” I’ve been rereading over the past few days, despite my warnings that it’s a “grown-up” comic that they may find boring.
I tried to keep these kids in mind as I read Aw Yeah Comics, because they are more of the target audience for this comic than I am. Still, it’s not like I didn’t find anything to enjoy for myself. I enjoyed the little I’ve read of Art Baltazar’s and Franco’s Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures, and the charmingly simple, childlike art style really appeals to me. I liked the structure, too. While most of the stories are done by Franco and Baltazar, other creators, including Denver Brubaker, Scoot McMahon, and Brad Meltzer (yes, the one that wrote “Identity Crisis,” largely considered one of the worst superhero comics of all time), contribute work to short segments, none of which are much longer than a few pages. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy Aw Yeah Comics as much as I did Franco and Baltazar’s other work, and I was starting to get bored before my nine-year old cousin came in and asked if he could read it.
I read the rest of the comic to him, and he loved it. Whenever I started to get bored, he remained smiling and excited. Where I had thought the jokes fell flat, he laughed hard. And it occurred to me, once again, that this book is not for me. It’s for him, and other kids like him. So if you’re a parent of young children, a teacher, or have a relationship with children in any way, you should give this book a try.
Is It Good?
If I hadn’t read this to my cousin, I probably would have given this a lower score, as it didn’t quite hold my interest, but since he gave it an 8.5, I’ll give it a slightly higher score than I otherwise would have.