Greetings readers, new and old. I’d like to thank you all for dropping in on us and getting involved in Banned Books Week, to whatever extent and in whatever way you did. BBW is a yearly event, not just to celebrate banned and challenged books and the freedom to read, but to draw attention to the fact that, yes, this is still happening. Here. In the US. In your state. In our schools and libraries and sometimes our legislatures. Read More…
Though often thought of as the domain of kids, many comics these days are written and marketed to adults. As I’ve said before on the blog, assuming a genre or medium is automatically kid-friendly or mindless fluff is where many parents go wrong. It’s also how many things that expect a level of maturity of their young readers, or were never intended for young readers to begin with, get banned. Or how you end up like that mom who accidentally bought her son a pornographic pop-up book because she assumed Game of Thrones was like Narnia.
My friendly neighborhood comic book expert brings you a second installment of his Geek Parenting series with more reading suggestions for your teen titans to help geek parents (and regular parents) raise their nerdlings right. Remember, most comics are not all-ages and everyone has their own ideas of what is or isn’t age-appropriate. If more parents did a little research beforehand, there might be a lot less banned comics and graphic novels.
Welcome back parents of the geeky and geek-adjacent variety. I got a lot of attention on my last Geek Parenting article so I’m back to offer a few more suggestions for those looking to support their double-digit Supermen and Wonder Women.
This list is once again going to look at books I’d suggest for nerds at that in-between age of 10 to 15.
This time we’re going to look at a couple of old classics that are currently out of print but should be easily available online or at comic conventions.
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The most popular baby names of 2013 are out and Arya made the list. Awesome. Not only is Arya a kickass character in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, a generically competent character in Eragon, and reminiscent of Arwen, it’s also an actual, historical name meaning “Noble”. That’s where the Aryan Nomads got their name.
Of course, a name need not have historical precedence. The names Jessica and Olivia were made up by Shakespeare and both have graced the top five lists. Belladonna was first used as a woman’s name by J. R. R. Tolkien in The Hobbit. Still, in an age of Jaymzes, Irelynds, and Apples, a little validity never hurt anyone. Read More…
A friend of mine sent this article my way. It’s a parent’s reflection on another parent’s choice to censor Harry Potter as she reads it aloud to her five-year-old son.
I highly recommend checking it out because this article brings up some excellent points. First off, if you find yourself so concerned about the material in a book (or anything else) that you have to constantly edit it, don’t read it. Give it a few years. Harry Potter will still be there when the child in question is six or seven or even eight. Secondly, the article points out that this is not about the child’s discomfort, but the parent’s.
Trying to raise your nerdlings right but not sure what’s age appropriate? Having trouble finding that happy medium between Tiny Titans and Saga? Though people think of comics as the domain of children and teenage boys, it can actually be quite the challenge to find comics suited for the 9-15 crowd. Terrible marketing flaw there, guys. Fear not, good nerd parents, Reviews by Lantern’s Light is here to save the day.
I know, I know, it’s strange for me to push “appropriate reading material” for the “young and impressionable”, given the mission of my blog. But though you can have my comic books when you pry them from my cold, Black Lantern hands, I can understand if parents aren’t quite ready to expose their child to the Joker beating Jason Todd to death with a crowbar or Dick Grayson getting sexually assaulted (Jesus, Batman, protect your kids).
In addition, graphic novels/comic books are so frequently the subject of library challenges and moral panic because parents aren’t sure what comics are geared towards what ages and don’t always read them beforehand. Thus, they end up handing their ten-year-old Elfquest, resulting in their panic and outrage when they realize what exactly is going on with those polyamorous warrior elves. So, to avoid further book challenges, awkward conversations, and lifelong fears of clowns, here are some suggestions from an expert. There’s even an overview of what content you can expect, allowing you the parent/teacher/librarian to decide what is appropriate for your child, your family, and your peace of mind.
Take a deep breath. Even Batman knows raising kids is harder than saving Gotham. Have fun, talk to your kids, and remember: knowledge is power, and with great power comes nerdparent responsibility.
Despite the insistence of people who haven’t picked up a comic since Adam West was on the air, comics aren’t really for kids anymore. Modern comics are full of sex, violence, and all manner of problematic details that a parent might not want their kid seeing. There are, of course, ‘all-ages’ comics, but not all of them live up to that name. Many are aimed at the very young and can leave older readers feeling patronized, while others are simple stories full of easter eggs that go over the head of the supposed target audience and bore pickier comic-fans.
With that in mind, I thought I’d do my part to aid those in the world’s most important profession and give some suggestions to those looking to bring their little nerds up right.
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As we’ve seen from the Nerdfighters and the Harry Potter Alliance, the power of fandom can indeed be harnessed for the greater good. However, 2012’s most popular baby names show the ugly face of fandom gone awry. Amidst the most popular names are Anna/Ana, Anastasia, Christian, and Gray/Grey (in the form of Grayson/Greyson). As much as I want to believe the latter is an homage to Bruce Wayne’s former ward and the former a tribute to the last Grand Duchess of Imperial Russia, the sudden popularity of these names is attributed to the breakout success, 50 Shades of Grey.