The last couple of months of Previews catalog has had quite a few titles for All Ages rating, or Kid Friendly as Previews likes to mark them. Maybe it’s because Free Comic Book Day is coming up in May, and Publishers want to have books available that parents won’t mind buying when they walk in the store, or maybe they’ve just figured out it good to get them young. Either way, there’s a plethora of titles coming out to keep a watch out for.
Let’s look at what’s coming in April:
Thumbelina: The Pop Wonderland Series – This is a new series of children’s story books drawn by manga artist POP, who is known for the Japanese educational TV series Moetan. This first book is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of Thumbelina.
The Lapis Lazuli Crown Vol 1 – Miel wants to live a normal life, while everyone in her family has magical powers. But, when she encounters a boy who needs her help, who also happens to resemble the prince of the realm, she may have found the motivation to develop her own gifts. It’s a short series, only two volumes long, but looks to have a lot of potential. The manga artist, Natsuna Kawase, is a former assistant of Arina Tanemura, who has had several series’ published in english.
Blue Apple Books
Long Tail Kitty – Created by Lark Pien, this book is her debut into the children’s books world. This book introduces Long Tail Kitty and his friends; a bee who is the friend to flowers, Good Tail Mouse who likes ice skating, and a family of aliens who drop by for a night of fun. The book isn’t too long for younger readers, and this first edition is a Hard Cover, perfect for libraries.
The Muppet’s Robin Hood #1 – Former Tokyopop Editor Tim Beedle takes a hand at writing in this Muppet’s version of the classic Robin Hood. Robin Hood (Kermit the Frog) joins the Merry Men, Sherwood Forest’s gang of misfits against the stuffy Sheriff of Muppetham (Sam the Eagle) and the Gonzo of Gisbourne.
The Muppet Show #2 – This title actually started last month, and brings the old TV series to comics. This second issue features Fozzie Bear. His comedy act is worse than normal, and he asks Gonzo for help. And that can’t lead to good things.
Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story: The Mysterious Stranger #1 - Woody and Buzz are back, as they must face a new toy to Andy’s room; a circut laden egg. While Woody and Buzz greet the mysterious stranger, Mr. Potato Head and Rex, afraid of the orb, plot to destroy it.
Disney/Pixar’s The World of Cars: The Rookie #2 – Another title that started last month, this issue continues Lightening McQueen’s untold origin story. McQueen has joined up with Mack, and they go to the Piston Cup’s pre-season test track, and are ignored. But they’ll do anything to get that big break.
Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles: Family Matters #2 – Written by Mark Waid, a well known creator in the comics world, this issue has Mr. Incredible facing his most dangerous challenge yet – the loss of his powers! Not knowing the cause, he must go to see Doc Sunbright, the doctor who treats superheroes.
Grumpy Old Monsters – Even Monsters get old. Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, the Wolfman and the Mummy have retired to an old monster’s home. But when word comes that Frankenstein’s Castle is going to be torn down to build condominiums, the monsters break out to go on one last quest. The art is very cute, having a Simpons-ish, friendly style. This is a re-release of the title in a new format.
My Mom – From Worthwhile Books imprint. This hardcover is about a little boy and his silly mother who comes up with all kinds of funny ideas – from wearing goofy disguises to practical jokes. It’s a sweet story perfect to the littlest of readers.
Lerner Publishing Group
The Elsewhere Chronicles Book 1, 2, 3 – First published in France, this series has been translated intoo English with all three books coming out at once. One of the creaters, Bannister, has pubished stories in the Fight Anthology as well. While exploring the house of Rebecca’s Grampa Gabe, she, Noah, Max, and Theo find a passageway into another world populated by shadows and monsters. Rebecca and Max get trapped in the other world, and it’s up to Noah and Theo to find a way to help them.
Little Brown & Co.
The Adventures of Tintin HCs – Little Brown is re-releasing the Tintin books in 3-in-1 format for a easy to swallow price of $18.99. They are releasing 7 volumes, and with the upcoming Peter Jackson film, these books may become in great demand.
Raw Junior LLC
Benny and Penny: The Big No-No! – I’m not sure when this is supposed to come out, or if it was a re-release, but it’s solicited for April, and has a April release date at Amazon, so I’m going with it. This is written and drawn by Geoffrey Hayes, a best-selling children’s artist. Benny and Penny team up to solve the mystery of missing pail, and brave the dangers of the neighbor’s backyard, who might be a monster.
And in May we have:
G-Man: Learning to Fly – From Chris Giarrusso, the creator of Mini-Marvels, comes a new compilation. This collects previously printed one-shot, Christmas story, and Comic Bits comic strips of G-Man and his pals, the new wave in kid super heroes! Mini-Marvels were hilarious, so this new creation should be too.
Evil & Malice: Save the World – Image doesn’t do all ages comics often, but when they do, they are usually very good. This is another mini-series with a lot of potential. Evelyn and Malinda are the 13-year old twin daughters of the infamous, but shoft hearted villain, The Black Eye. When a group of super villains start picking on their father, the girls decide to make things tough on them by becoming superheroes! The art has a very animated/manga look to it, and should appeal to girls as well as boys.
Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers – Marvel collects all their superhero critters for a mini-series of their own. Led by Lockjaw of the Inhumans, Lockheed the dragon, Redwing, Hairball, and introducing perhaps the most awesome critter of all, Frog Thor, or Throg, take on threats that their human counterparts can’t see. This series just sounds too cool, for both kids and animal lovers who just know their animals know more than they’re letting on. What for a review of this when it comes out.
Finding Nemo: Rescue Reef - Adding to their already long line of Disney properties, Boom starts a new series featuring Nemo and his friends. Nemo, Dory and Marlin, now local heroes embark on a new adventure to find out why their reef is mysteriously dying.
Astro Boy Movie Prequel: Underground – Old school anime fans are both waiting and dreading this movie, but IDW has a preview on what may be in store. In this all new adventure, Astro is searching a subterranean kingdom for his long lost father. All the way, he meets lots of strange creatures big and small. Are they friend or foe? Astro Boy is a classic, and hopefully this series and the movie will live up to it’s reputation.
Gary the Pirate – Another title from Scott Christran Sava, this one is about a girl named Judy. She’s sick of boys and their immature ways. One night she mights a boy of a different kind, a real life pirate! He’s not after girls, but treasure. Judy offers to help, and they go off on an adventure of a lifetime. Sava’s reputation for quality all ages titles preceeds him, and this title is bound to be no different.
Salty Sugar Comics
Seaweed: A Cure For Mildew - Previous self published, this title is now available through Previews/Diamond. Creator Ben Balistreri, who has worked for Dreamworks, and characters designs for Cartoon Network’s Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends has his own project out. Seaweed is a pirate pelican. He takes on a quest with Mildew, an old bat, to find the Devil’s Cookbook, a book said to be able to cure any illness or grant immortality. This looks like an interesting title, and the art is fantastic!
The Big Adventures of Majoko vol 1 – From Udon’s new kid’s line come three new manga titles. While cleaning her room, a girl named Nana frinds a mysterious diary. When she opens it, Majoko, a wizard from the Land of Magic appears. Nana and Majoko the embark on a series of adventures in Magic, spells and creatures.
Fairy Idol Kanon vol 1 – Fourth grader Kanon loves to sing more than anything. When a magical fairy princess named Alto meets Kanon, she decides to help the girl’s dreams of singing professionally come true. Friendship, magic and music; all things girls will love.
Ninja Baseball Kyuma vol 1 – Kyuma has been training as a ninja in the mountains where he lives with his dog Inui. He mistakes the captain of a local baseball team as his training master, and ends up joining the team. Can he cut it? This is definitely a title more for boys, but sports loving girls will no doubt enjoy it too.
Pokemon Adventures vol 1 – This is a re-release of the Pokemon manga series Viz released as floppies in the early 2000s. Before they had releases two volumes of this series with selected stories about trainers Red and Yellow, but this series seems to be starting from the beginning again and releasing all the stories in order. It starts with trainer Red, trying to make friends as well as train pokemon. Bulbasaur and Poliwhirl seem game, but independent Pikachu isn’t won over so easily. Finally read the whole Pokemon Adventures without having to search for the floppies!
Keep an eye out of these titles either on my Weekly Picks lists, or full reviews from our crew!