Anyway, I've been thinking non-stop about this Library Presentation thing, and I thank everyone who has taken the time to comment. Please, please, please keep the comments coming.
As far as my recommendation list goes, here's what I'm basically sure of so far:
- Blue Beetle
- Batgirl: Year One
- Fantastic Four (Imaginauts)
- Fantastic Four: Franklin Richards
- Justice League Unlimited
- Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century
- Marvel Adventures: Avengers
- Marvel Adventures: Iron Man
- Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man
- Power Pack
- Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil
- Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane
- Superman: For All Seasons
- Superman: Up, Up, and Away
- Teen Titans Go!
- Ultimate Spider-Man
- X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga
- Various Essentials (Amazing Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Avengers, X-Men, Wolverine, Ms. Marvel?) and Showcases (Wonder Woman, Justice League of America, Superman, Supergirl, Teen Titans, Legion of Super-Heroes, Green Lantern, Flash, Batman).
- Baby Mouse
- Mouse Guard
- Minx: The Plain Janes
- Minx: Re-Gifters
- Scott Pilgrim
- Star Wars Tales
- Azumanga Daioh
- Sailor Moon
And here's what I'm less sure on. Most of this is stuff I've either never read, or haven't read in quite some time, so I can't remember (or don't know) how accessible or appropriate it is. I'd appreciate anything and everything that you can give me as far as quick reviews, yays and nays, or counter-recommendations. I'd like to represent as much as I can of the big guns, especially the ones with recent or upcoming movies or other media presence.
- Wonder Woman: Down to Earth (Greg Rucka trade; I'm thinking next best thing to Gail Simone)
- Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin (I'd like Iron Man to be well-represented on the list, but I haven't read much. I know people were excited about this when it was announced; did it turn out to be good/appropriate?)
- Batman and the Monster Men (haven't read it yet; how is it for the budding Bat-fan?)
- Other Batman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men trades.
- Other trades with some sort of diversity to 'em.
- Amelia Rules (what's it like?)
- Blue Monday (Adam Ant? I think I'm gonna have to read this!)
- Leave it to Chance (is it in print still?)
- Little Vampire
- Minx (What's good? I've only read the first two titles.)
- Patrick the Wolf Boy
- Queen Bee
- Sardine in Outer Space (what's it about?)
- Gon (I remember that this was kind of a big deal a decade ago, and I notice trades are still in print. Is it as good as the Wizard hype suggested?)
- Dragonball (too violent? Too graphic?)
- Galaxy Express 999
- Bleach (how's the violence?)
- What else?
I've been reading oodles (which has given me quite a bit to blog about--look for Scott Pilgrim and Re-Gifters reviews soon) for this, and I really appreciate all the advice. You've all been fantastic, and I can't thank you enough for the help. This comic book club thing is going to rock.
Oh, one more thing: I've been asked about all-ages-friendly comic sites and blogs. Obviously the company sites will make the cut, but what else?
I have to say, the list of what you're sure of looks great, here are a few thoughts on the other stuff:
Batman & the Monster Men might be a little too intense for little kids. However, it could be a great thing to have people read this and then the original stories from the Batman Chronicles books to compare and contrast how comics are written over the course of 70 years.
Blue Monday is great, but it's definitely not for 10 year-olds. Perfect for high school age kids though.
Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin, was good, and probably the best thing you'll get for all ages, short of the Adventures title. Iron Man just doesn't have that defining story you can throw at new readers. Demon in a Bottle just doesn't hold up anymore. If the youngest you were targeting was around 14, I'd say Iron Man: Hypervelocity would be good, but it's a little to...um..sexy for the young-uns.
You could also try Wonder Woman: Gods & Mortals, the first book of George Perez's run on the title. That's a good book.
What do you think of Sequential Tart? There's nothing objectionable, but I don't know if the younger readers would grok the subject matter.
Actually, I take that back. They occasionally review/talk about yaoi manga, which isn't exactly good reading for the middle-school set.
I would recommend Mike Kunkel's "HeroBear and the Kid." It is definitely kid-friendly.
"Gon" also lives up to any hype you've heard, it is one of my personal favorites.
You should seriously think of adding "Ah! My Goddess!" (or Oh!, My Goddess!, I guess the U.S. version is called.)
Also, "What's Michael" is a funny little manga about a tabby cat, but with much more heart and humor than Garfield ever had.
Blue Monday is definitely not for ten year olds. There's nothing awful in it, but it's very aware of churning teen-age sexuality, and the sort of humiliations that go around with it.
Little Vampire -- well, the only book in the series that I read was Little Vampire Learns Kung-Fu -- is definitely for children. It's sort of a kiddie monster book, and has the sort of delightful randomness of children's books. Ditto for the Sardine series. It features a couple kids who travel through space with a pirate named Captain Yellow Shoulder, and fight a villain named Supermuscleman. It's sort of crazy and fun, and definitely intended for kids. Both feature the art of Joann Sfar, which is much looser than what you find in American comic books.
I'll give Queen Bee a look this weekend.
Are all the books that you are recommending intended for all-ages? There are some non-superhero books I can think of that would be appropriate for teens, but which would do nothing for kids, not because of any inappropriate content, but just because the themes wouldn't mean anything to them.
Ooh, yeah. I second "Herobear & the Kid". That's a great comic. Calvin & Hobbes if Hobbes were a superhero bear, basically.
Looks like Amazon still carries the three Leave it to Chance trades at reasonable prices. That's 11 of the 13 issues right there.
As for Amelia Rules, here's the overview from the official site, which is better than any I can give -
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