Monday, 30 July 2012

The Phoenix Comic by various lovely artists / illustrators (Phoenix Comics)

It's OK, we haven't gone completely bonkers after the surreality of the Olympic opening ceremony (but ah, wasn't it great! Weird yes, but great!), we have started looking at more diverse material here at ReadItDaddy. I'd aimed to do something on The Phoenix Comic for a while, but a couple of tweets from one of their mainstays on Friday about how rotten a brit comics forum were being about the mag (What do a bunch of annoying cheesy-wotsit-eating live-at-home-with-mum-and-dad types know anyway) made me want to give it more coverage and spread the love.

The Phoenix Comic is that rare beast amongst comics. Something that you'd be quite happy to let your kids loose on, knowing that A) it doesn't come with an annoying free gift that will end up found at various locations around the house until you bin it in frustration for the piece of plastic tat it is and B) it's not aiming to sell your kids a bunch of annoying toy / character-based merchandise (though I would quite happily wear a Pirates of Pangea T Shirt if they ever made 'em available).

Based literally a stone's throw from where I'm typing this. The Phoenix Comic blazed onto the scene 30 issues ago, and it's that good, it feels like it's been around forever. I was brought up on a diet of comics like 2000 AD, Warlord and other 'boy' comics, and my other half pointed out that The Phoenix does feel a bit boy-centric but Charlotte disagreed and consumed Issue 30 with gusto.

Comics always made me want to draw (and I drew a lot of portraits of characters like Ol' Stoney Face himself, Judge Dredd to learn things like anatomy and action poses). I'd be very happy if comics like The Phoenix had the same effect on Charlotte (in fact once we'd read Issue 30 of The Phoenix we had a go at drawing superheroes from the comic's excellent (and funny) tutorial and then drew our own comic strip about Charlotte being hungry and secretly wanting to eat Mikados rather than bread & jam).

So to the team working their butts off to produce the stunning artwork and vibrant stories of The Phoenix every week, we'd just like to say that there's a reason you don't get many kids hanging around crusty old comic forums. They've got better things to do with their time, like actually reading your comics, loving them to bits and being inspired by them to go and create their own. Right there is where you're building the legacy of British comics, not on some dumb forum.

I've often spread the love about The Phoenix to other parents and so if you've never heard of it, or fancy introducing your child to comics that aren't dumb, aren't chock full of merchandising and are written and drawn with a lot of passion and skill, then go and check out the Phoenix website for an electronic taster.

Charlotte's best bit: Gary's Garden - "Wake up wake up, why are you lying in a poo!"

Daddy's favourite bit: The eye-meltingly lovely artwork on "The Lost Boy"

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars