And Now I Spill the Family Secrets

In some ways, And Now I Spill The Family Secrets reads like a police file or murder board, carefully drafted forensics shots of the crime scene as a frame for analysis: transcripts of conversations, reproductions of documents, photographs of persons of interest. It is a reconstruction of an adolescence, a reconstruction of a family. I was two thirds of the way through reading it before I realized I hadn’t seen dialog and faces at the same time, that it was so thoroughly different from most graphic novels I’ve ever read. The emotional strength of the narration, the way the story is laid out, drew me in and made me stay up late to get just a  few more chapters in. It’s curiously engaging, the people we see are only drawings of photographs, to give us just as much context as the meticulous interiors of apartments and houses. There’s no visual action, no living characters on the page, only in the words. 

The book begins with a moment all too familiar to those with a much recorded and photographed childhood, hearing a truth or context that changes something you mostly only “remember” via photos and videos. Is she an unreliable narrator or is what she knows about her family predicated on incomplete understanding and information? Over the course of the book she moves back and forth between the modern day and stories about the past, including her grandmother’s early life and the time her grandmother and mother have spent hospitalized. Extensive documentation comes with the parts that aren’t about Kimball herself, or conversations and asides about why she can only get scant information about some areas. The bulk of the story is about her childhood and teen years, growing up in the ’90s with divorced parents and the strange trajectory of her father’s second marriage. The story focuses on what family means day to day, for supporting one another, and what it might mean as pathology for mental illness. 

The art is draftsman style line art of buildings, inside and out, with varying gray washes for shading. Despite the lack of characters and action in the locations, the narration and minute personal details (a label for the location of a memory, haphazard shoes on the floor) makes the pages buzz with the same emotional connection you might have looking at a photo of your childhood home. Kimball excels at transferring that experience to the reader. The interiors are can be claustrophobic and there are times when she lets a bubbled conversation unfurl over a black background or highlights just one image swimming in black. 

It’s an arresting memoir but not good graphic medicine. It doesn’t claim to be graphic medicine but it seems important to make the distinction when so much of the book is about bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and there are still so few realistic depictions of those in literature of any kind. Dr Ian Williams, the founder of and the one who coined the new genre term “graphic medicine” defines it as the “intersection between the medium of comics and the discourse of healthcare.” For all of her extensive family history excavation, she doesn’t place a lot of context on their experiences against fuller knowledge or information about mental illness. It feels like she offers her mother’s bipolar disorder as a condition to explain a lot in her life without making it clear that it’s an individualized experience, that many people are capable of getting it under control, that many others struggle at finding a good medication or at staying on their medication. Maybe part of that was not going into more detail on what her mother’s actual treatments have been and respecting her privacy, but the few Kay Redfield Jamison quotes about mania and depression just made me want a lot more context. Even the mention of her mother’s spending binges (common symptoms of mania) being hints isn’t fleshed out for people who don’t already know that detail about bipolar.

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys family history memoirs and wants to read more about how children experience divorce, a good read-alike for Fun Home. Because the connection between the art and the text is more illustrative than carrying the story the way other graphic novels do, it may be more accessible to people who aren’t familiar with graphic novels or worry about “missing” something in trying to navigate back and forth between pictures and text. It would be a good choice for a book group as there’s a lot to talk about in Kimabll’s intentions and how her family’s wishes contradict the story. There’s no content that would cause any issues beyond the frank discussions of suicide and mental illness. Older teens might find it interesting but the level of introspection will be better appreciated by adults. Readers who are interested in graphic medicine depicting schizophrenia and bipolar should try Swallow Me Whole by Nate Powell, States of Mind by Patrice Guillon and Emilie Guillon, and Marbles by Ellen Forney.

And Now I Spill the Family Secrets
By Margaret Kimball
Harper Collins, 2021
ISBN: 9780063007444

Publisher Age Rating: Adult

NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)

Bright Family, vol. 1: Versus the Multiverse

Giant fungi, squishy aliens, and wobbly planks of doom make this story a fun and entertaining one to read through. This debut graphic novel features a futuristic family set out to change the world, while keeping up with dreaded homework assignments. 

Middle schoolers Nia and Jayden Bright have extraordinary parents, who are also extraordinarily busy. Their mother, Banira, is a world famous adventure scientist, and their father, Benjamin, is a Nobel prize winning inventor. With each of them having their own dedicated careers, they miss out on important events at their kids’ school and don’t have time to keep up with making sure that both Nia and Jayden are staying on top of their schoolwork. 

When their parents aren’t around again, Banira and Benjamin accidentally get sucked into their basement dimension portal and shot out into who knows where in outer space. Nia, Jayden, and their babysitter, the nanny bot, dive through to save them, which turns out to be the start of a wild interplanetary adventure. 

First, they find themselves on planet Kaiju. Here, they are immediately surrounded by massive, dangerous fighting aliens. They’ve got to stay clear of the giant red eyed fungus and giant space dinosaur pair to find the next dimension portal and rescue their parents. They venture planet to planet where they face stranger and stranger situations. Cute squishies that are super hungry and can clear a whole field within minutes, intergalactic relish, and a game show where they need to navigate super tipsy pillars are just a few of the weird cosmic things they encounter.

This graphic novel is filled with wonderful splashes of color that occupy the pages. Derick Brooks and Warren Wucinich teamed up to create adorable big eyed characters and super creative alien beings. This isn’t a comic that just fills the backgrounds of individual frames with solid colors, there is a lot of detail and extras included that make the pages a lot more interesting. 

Overall, this series is off to a strong start. It’s anticipated to be a five book series and I would recommend adding this one to any elementary to middle school library collection. The characters are relatable, the challenges they face are exciting and suspenseful, and there’s humor sprinkled in all through out the story. This team of creators works well together to blend their talents into a fun and quick read.

Bright Family, vol. 1: Versus the Multiverse
By Matthew Cody
Art by Derick Brooks
Andrews McNeel Epic, 2021
ISBN: 9781524870799
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12

NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11), Tween (10-13)

Family Tree Vol 2: Seeds

The supernatural drama Family Tree continues as eight year-old Meg comes to the point of no return in her transformation into a tree. Her mother Loretta can’t fully grasp what is happening to her little girl. We flash forward five years and see son and older brother Josh in a new role—trying to save the world, which is now mostly covered in vegetation. The rest of the volume switches back and forth between Josh’s present day and him remembering snippets of his past that led him to this point. Grandpa Judd continues to fight against the Arborists, but his efforts lead them straight to Loretta and Meg.  

Volume One may have been better served having issue five as its ending, as the time jump starts to make the rest of this story make more sense. This is an adventure story of nature vs. man, and the concept of Josh being a sort of post-apocalyptic warrior is more interesting than him as an irritable teenager.  This story is extremely fast paced and full of action, so there isn’t as much story or character development. Veteran comic writer Jeff Lemire omits the bits where Meg learns some important information, presumably to build suspense, but the effect is fewer opportunities to sympathize with the main characters. The only time Loretta adds anything to the overall story is in her flashback at the beginning of the story, where she isn’t really portrayed in the most positive, mom-of-the-year light, so her contribution is insignificant in this volume.  

The art style for this series is jagged and gritty. The art team of Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur and Ryan Cody makes frequent use of heavy, dark shadowing across the page. Most of the coloring is grounded in earth tones and muted colors. The atmosphere established in the illustrations is perfect for this strange, tree-people battleground.

Violence and frequent language, as well as drug and alcohol use, makes Image’s rating of Teen+ appropriate.

Family Tree Vol. 2: Seeds 
By Jeff Lemire
Art by Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur and Ryan Cody
ISBN: 9781534316966
Image Comics, 2020
Publisher Age Rating: Teen Plus
Series ISBNS and Order

Title Details and Representation
NFNT Age Recommendation: Older Teen (16-18)

Spy x Family, vol 1

Loid, codename Twilight, is a super-spy, master of disguise, and completely dedicated to his job. He has no attachments, can quickly jump into most jobs, and he’s ruthless. His next assignment is to get close to a man who is extremely protective and reclusive, except for school events for his child, who attends the extremely prestigious and elite Eden academy. Therefore, part of this assignment is to obtain a child, something Loid has never wanted. Loid loathes trusting other people with his success. First, Loid visits an orphanage to find a suitable child for his mission. There, he finds Anya, who has been sent back to the orphanage several times. Loid believes she’s clever, so he picks her, but Anya has a secret talent—she’s a telepath. When Anya gets an admissions interview, the snag is that BOTH parents need to be present! Needing a wife, Loid finds a girl, Yor, who is willing to agree to a sham marriage. While this move means her brother and other friends will stop making fun of her for still being single. What Loid doesn’t know is that Yor is actually an assassin. And she’s using Loid as her cover. Of course, Anya knows all of this, and her family’s dynamics play in her head like her favorite spy tv shows.

This action-packed, comedy-of-errors is full of really humorous moments as the reader and Anya understand everything that’s going on. They watch as Loid and Yor navigate their secret lives and the web of lies.  The attention to detail to the character’s backstories and development is necessary, even though some might be frustrated that we are still nowhere near beginning the actual mission. Each of the three main characters are so appealing that it’s hard to choose one as a stand-out favorite. Anya definitely contributes to the cuteness factor with her wide eyes and expressive features, especially when “spy-papa” has revealing thoughts. 

Much attention is paid to illustrating the characters and their clothing, while backgrounds are often sparse.  Endo certainly can draw detailed backgrounds, as they are sprinkled throughout when necessary. The strength of Endo’s illustrations come in the expressiveness of his characters. Their facial features and body language elevate reactions and are often comical and fitting.

VIZ rates this for older teens because of realistic violence. If the younger teen crowd can handle some bloodshed, there is nothing else in this title that would make it inappropriate for them.

While the story employs some familiar tropes, several are turned on their head in a family dynamic but withholds a major reveal or misunderstanding. This is a really fun story that is sure to have readers clamoring for the next volume.

Spy x Family, Vol 1 01
By Tatsuya Endo
Art by Tatsuya Endo
ISBN: 9781974715466
VIZ Media, 2020
Publisher Age Rating: Teen Plus
Series ISBNS and Order

Title Details and Representation
NFNT Age Recommendation: Older Teen (16-18), Teen (13-16)
Creator Highlights: Japanese

Amazing Decisions: The Illustrated Guide to Improving Business Deals and Family Meals

Amazing Decisions is a book that aims to explain the advantages social norms have over market norms in encouraging people to be good employees, neighbors, and friends. A gender non-specific character named Dana is our guide through exploring these concepts, namely through improving the life of Adam, who seems to be named in clear reference to economist and philosopher Adam Smith. Adam’s problem is that he tries to apply the logic of market norms to social situations, blundering through first dates, family dinners, and his own birthday party. For example, in appreciation of a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, he offers to pay his mother-in-law $300, and doesn’t understand why she ends up in tears. His attempt at trying to turn a social situation into a market situation has offended his host. With the help of Dana and two fairies, one representing social norms and one representing market norms, Adam learns about many research studies regarding people’s motivations as they relate to monetary compensation and social rewards.

The book is broken down into nine chapters, each examining similar concepts in different situations. There’s a certain redundancy to the ways that some concepts are explained within the chapters that make me feel as if many of these chapters could have been streamlined or condensed for clarity. However, there is a certain amusement in seeing Adam repeatedly stumble through situations before correctly summarizing the relevant concepts, Dana squeezing him with joy and excitement at his comprehension. Amazing Decisions doesn’t aim to merely introduce the concepts to readers, but to teach them, so that they may comprehend and apply the concepts rather than just restate them. The tone of the book is a little bit corny, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing–just a bit of playful, over-exaggerated storytelling in service to the concepts being communicated.

Though some of the examples given, such as the Thanksgiving dinner situation, are kind of silly, I appreciated them alongside the actual examples from research studies. It becomes fairly easy to identify examples from one’s personal life. If someone does you a favor, a sincere thank you card or a favor in kind will build a much stronger social relationship than it would to offer to pay someone for their services. At its core, Amazing Decisions is about trust—the trust that someone will reciprocate the generosity you express, and that kindness and appreciation will be repaid with more kindness. In the case of work relationships, when employers give social rewards to their employees, such as daycare benefits or an expenses-paid vacation, employers build on social norms in order to make employees feel more connected to and dedicated to their work, so that they will work hard because they take pride in their work, not because they are being paid well.

The last example used was a compelling research case about voting, discussing research about Facebook. When Facebook shared that a user’s friends had voted, the user was more likely to report that they had voted, as compared to Facebook sharing that a large number of Facebook users voted. In this case, seeing that one’s friends voted presented voting as a social norm, which encourages others to vote. While there was a discrepancy between who reported that they voted and who actually voted, users receiving the positive social message from Facebook did have a slight increased voting rate. From Thanksgiving dinners to employee bonuses to shaping the future of our country, Ariely very effectively demonstrates how these issues scale up, highlighting the research that has been conducted to support using social norms to your advantage.

The art style reminds me a lot of webcomics like Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. The art is pretty straightforward and simple—its purpose is to clearly communicate the concepts, which it does effectively by avoiding things like distracting backgrounds. It’s easy to focus on what’s being communicated and the art supports the arguments being made and the research being presented. However, I’m a little puzzled by the decision to render all of the art in grayscale. Shading is used inconsistently for characters, making it appear as if their skin tones are constantly shifting. Color would have been helpful to make the art appear a little less flat.

Reading this comic book might take longer than reading a research paper or even a blog post, but I think the format effectively keeps the reader interested and engaged. Notes are provided at the end of the book with the cited research for folks who are interested in a bit heavier reading. Amazing Decisions is not one of those books that gives you a “eureka” moment of understanding, but the more situations you consider—climate change policies, healthcare, and even library fines—the more applicable and relevant it is to innumerable aspects of our lives.

Amazing Decisions: The Illustrated Guide to Improving Business Deals and Family Meals
By Dan Ariely
Art by Matt Trower
ISBN: 9780374536749
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019
NFNT Age Recommendation: Teen (13-16), Older Teen (16-18), Adult (18+)

Browse for more like this title
Creator Highlights: LGBTQIA+ Creator

Bitter Root, vol. 1: Family Business

Meet the Sangerye family: Ma Etta is the matriarchal grandmother, guiding her precious grandchildren after the untimely deaths of several of her children. She’s especially protective of Blink, whose folks died due to a terrible accident involving Uncle Enoch. Among the boys, Berg looks like a powerhouse but is more of an intellectual—readers will learn the word “indubitably” by the end of the book, along with a bunch of other SAT words. The young, scrappy Cullen wants to prove himself. Ford is a black sheep, doing things his own way, but still respecting the family. The family business, by the way, is fighting jinoo—monsters created by the violent corruption of people’s souls. A white cop beating a black person for no reason could sprout horns and razor teeth, for example. It’s 1924 in Harlem, New York, and there are plenty of people in need of curing.

Bitter Root explodes off each page with thoughtful plotting, unique character designs, thematic color palettes, and shape-shifting lettering that always fits the bombastic and gentle moments alike. These storytelling techniques come in handy throughout the book as it balances four narrative threads that eventually converge. The center of the story focuses on Ma Etta, Blink, Berg, and Cullen as they seek out jinoo and purify them back into humans by injecting them with specially prepared “fiif’no serum.” They run into jinoo-like creatures that pose a considerable challenge to classification and defeating. Ford takes a separate approach to the jinoo, choosing to “amputate” or kill them instead. The first chapter ends with him murdering the members of a Ku Klux Klan rally as they try to lynch a black man accused of touching a white woman. They revive as monsters and must be killed all over again. One white survivor at the rally does not turn into a jinoo because he has not engaged in racist violence, therefore sparing his soul. He tags along with Ford to find more jinoo. A couple seemingly on the fringe of the story, Dr. Sylvester and Miss Knightsdale, are using serums and demons for their own ends. A pair of police officers, Sullivan and Samuels, repeatedly collide with story beats and are generally bewildered by the supernatural action.

Rico Renzi and Sanford Greene’s coloring helps distinguish scenes, which comes in handy when different characters are fighting demons at the same time. Palettes for scenes seem to focus on violet/blue, yellow/tan, and pale green against black, with plenty of color motifs such as glowing green serum and blank red eyes. Greene’s illustrations are barely contained on the page, with action scenes leading to tumbling panels and page-filling perspectives that can feel like the storyboards to an animated feature. The Sangeryes are skilled combatants, and Greene renders their fighting styles with respect for how each of them moves. Cullen’s wild fighting style is vastly different from Blink’s exacting strikes, for example, and Ma Etta can lay the smack down when needed.

Bitter Root isn’t all martial arts and demon hunting, though. In one scene, the Sangeryes serve soup to people who escaped a jinoo attack. Ma Etta says, “The Sangeryes don’t turn their backs on folks in need. That ain’t the way we do things. We gonna fight the fight. But we also gonna feed the hungry, we gonna comfort them that’s scared… and we gonna heal the sick.” Historical references ground the story in 1924 and Harlem; Dr. Sylvester references the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, and a theater marquee advertises George Gershwin’s “Sweet Little Devil.” The opening spread of the book depicts a club named Sweet Pickin’, packed to the brim with black people dancing to joyful music.

There’s still a lot to unpack about the themes and influences of the book and how they’re reflected in the characters’ decisions and dialogue. The Sangeryes are a black family exorcising and fighting what is essentially a contagious spirit of racism, after all. Luckily for us, the trade edition includes essays written by black academics such as Regina N. Bradley, Qiana Whitted, Stacey Robinson, and Ceeon D. Quiett Smith. To quote a couple of selections:

“How do you unmake the harmful stories of race and ‘difference?’ By making our own.”—John Jennings

“Representation matters and the efficiency and directness of the graphic image is a powerful conjuring tool.”—Kinitra Brooks

A plethora of variant covers are also included and serve as an additional proof of how fully formed this concept is right out the gate. The story and artwork hold up even more on a second reading, and all the moving parts of the converging plot lines beg for a second (third, fourth…) volume to continue them and their rich influences. This comic is perfectly appropriate for teens—tell them it’s the supernatural hunt of Ghostbusters mixed with the family dynamic of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by way of the parts of their schools’ history books they’re not assigned to read. If March is the nonfiction shot, Bitter Root is the fantastical chaser. However, there’s also plenty of food for thought that adults would enjoy, plus Greene’s artwork is a treat in and of itself. This is an absolute must-have for your library, though violent scenes including decapitation and blood might turn away the squeamish.

Bitter Root Vol. 1: Family Business 1
By David Walker Chuck Brown
Art by Sanford Greene
ISBN: 9781534312128
Image, 2019
Publisher Age Rating: M (Mature)

Browse for more like this title
Character Traits: Black
Creator Highlights: Own Voices, BIPOC Creator

Family Ties: An Alaskan Crime Drama

Family TiesI’m enough of a literature nerd to love Shakespeare and enough of a pop culture junkie to love a remake. Shakespearean adaptations have been all over screen and print for decades, including my personal favorite, the movie: Ten Things I Hate About You. Into that grand tradition comes Family Ties: An Alaska Crime Drama by Eric Hobbs and Noel Tuazon.

To be honest, I was prepared to judge this book fairly harshly both as a Shakespeare lover and as an Alaskan resident, but I was pleasantly surprised. The set up is simple but classic: King Lear retold in a mobster family. Jackie is the patriarch/Godfather of the family and his daughters, Kim and Shannon, have stayed home to act as his lieutenants. His wayward daughter in this version is replaced by a law-abiding son, (a male nurse) Cain, who refuses his share of the family’s crime drama.

What follows is pretty much the exact plot line of the Shakespearean original with a few guns swapped in for swords. And yet, it is rich material that does not feel clichéd or pedestrian. While I might have known how the story was going to end, and how it was going to get there, for that matter, I really appreciated the journey. It’s a fantastic story that carries the reader along. Lear’s daughters’ hijinks lend themselves well to the machinations of a mobster family and the soap opera-style intrigue (two daughters cheating on husbands with the same bastard son) feels appropriate to the gangster 70s action movie vibe.

As true to Shakespeare as this was, it was credible as an Alaskan work too. The look and feel of locations was correct, as were the naming of neighborhoods, businesses, and landmarks. My only complaint is that other than one plot point on snowmobiles, this could have taken place in any major city. If the author didn’t misname any areas or make any mistakes, he also didn’t incorporate unique enough Alaskan elements to make me appreciate the Arctic setting. The setting provided a lot of potential, but the story focused on plot and characters and used the setting as backdrop only.

The character of Cain, the prodigal son, was well drawn as were some of the business associates and Edmund, the evil bastard son. However, I had trouble distinguishing plot lines and secondary and tertiary characters.

The artwork is black on white in a very frenetic style. For the most part, this matched the frantic pace of the plot and seemed like a good stylistic choice. However, the less well-defined lines and lack of detail is what contributed to the problem with identifying characters. At times, the blurriness overtook the action, leaving things to be merely implied instead of shown. This could have worked, but it just felt as though the book were incomplete. I actually checked to be sure my book didn’t have a “final artwork to come” label—it didn’t.

This is an adult book. I would love to recommend it to high school libraries for Shakespeare units—and perhaps it could fly in a community that isn’t too conservative. However, there is a lot of violence (not surprising) and some fairly graphic sexual content (no body parts, but clearly visible positions). I wouldn’t rule it out for a school library, but it would not be my first choice.

Overall, this is a good read. It’s fun and does a good service to the original source matter. I doubt this will be the graphic novel to win all fans of the Bard over to a new format, but it will absolutely find a readership in medium to large public libraries.

Family Ties: An Alaskan Crime Drama
by Eric Hobbs
Art by Noel Tuazon
ISBN: 9781561637294
NBM/ComicsLit, 2014
Publisher Age Rating: Adult

Superman Family Adventures, vols. 1 & 2

supermanfamad.jpgFor all those librarians and parents who breathed a sigh of relief when Ralph Cosentino came out with the Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman picture books because there was finally something to offer three-year-olds desperate for superhero books, Eisner winner Art Baltazar is here to answer the question,”What do we do after we’ve read those books a zillion times?” Baltazar and Franco’s kid-friendly stories and accessible cartoon drawings are a great place to start. In Superman Family Adventures, the team that brought us Tiny Titans, turn their focus on Superman and his cohorts in a similar format, where nothing too terribly awful happens and lots of funny antics ensue.

Volume 1 collects issues #1-6 of the series, and Volume 2 collects issues #7-12. Both books are chock full of stories with occasional vignettes to break them up. There’s no origin story, but readers who don’t know much about Superman will catch on quickly as Volume 1 plops us right into a story that begins, “Meanwhile…in the far reaches of space…a fiery meteorite is on a collision course towards Earth!” Along comes Superman, accompanied by the familiar refrain, “Look! Up in the sky!” From there we’re taken through the paces that will become familiar as the books progress: Superman saves the day, Perry White yells out for Jimmy Olsen and his coffee, Lois Lane gets the scoop, another emergency happens that calls for Superman’s intervention, and off Clark Kent goes, quickly transforming into his alter ego. The action is frenetic and funny, and many of the quips become a wink to the reader as they are repeated and referred to over and over again throughout the books. The meteorite in the first story, for example, is by no means the first flying object to come plummeting toward Earth. These refrains should have great appeal to kids who love to run a joke into the ground—and I mean that in the best of ways.

The “family” referred to in Superman Family Adventures stars just about anyone who’s ever had anything to do with Supes: Conner as Superboy, Kara as Supergirl, Superdog Krypto, Ma and Pa Kent, various super pets—even a lovable, nonthreatening Bizarro is welcomed into the fold. In this world, Superman’s tragic past of being forever alienated from his birth family and home planet is lessened by the appearance of dad Jor-el and mom Lara, both of whom escape their different prisons to help their son out when the occasion demands. (The two even get to go on a date before Jor-el returns to the Fortress of Solitude and Lara returns to the Phantom Zone.) Volume 1 features guest appearances by Baltazar’s Tiny Titans and John Henry Irons, and in Volume 2 the Justice League shows up to cheer Superman on and help him out.

The peril is all good, goofy fun: In Volume 1, evil genius Lex Luthor is the primary foe, weaving in and out of the stories, constantly being thwarted in his efforts to outsmart Superman. In Volume 2, Zod tries to take over the world by opening up a hot dog stand that features hot dogs engineered with red Kryptonite, causing giant hot dogs to go on the rampage. Ma Kent is extra spunky and even puts Solomon Grundy in his place. The villain Parasite absorbs Superman’s powers and takes a moment to sweep Lois Lane off her feet before engaging in a battle with Superman.

The artwork is drawn digitally with bright, fully saturated colors, and the characters have the same round-faced cuteness Baltazar has become famous for with his Tiny Titans comics and Super Pets chapter book series. The books are laid out in classic comic book style, with six to ten easy-to-follow panels per page, along with some variations to make room for large flying objects and explosive villains. These comics will work wonderfully for children ages 5 to 9, but the slapstick humor will appeal to older kids (and adults), too.

Superman Family Adventures
by Art Baltazar, Franco
Volume 1
ISBN: 9781401240509
DC Comics, 2012

Volume 2
ISBN: 9781401244156
DC Comics, 2014