Berkeley Parents Network >
What/Where to Buy >
I am looking for comic books/manga/graphic novels geared to the
8-12 year-old age group for girls. Basically, no superhero or
violent material. My daughter loves the comic pages and animation
and I would like to try something like this but don't know where
I really like the people who work at Dr. Comics and Mr. Games on
Piedmont Ave. in Oakland. They have given me excellent
recommendations for graphic novels and comics that my kids have
enjoyed. I would bet that they would be able to help you, and
it has the added benefit of being a local independent store.
Here are some things I've liked, in no apparent order:
Bone by Jeff Smith (very funny, literate, inspired); Ranma 1/2
by Rumiko Takahashi; Hayao Miyazaki has quite an ouerve of
comics and animation (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, NausicaC$
of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery
Service, just to name a few); Maus, Art Spiegelman's masterpiece
about the Holocaust; Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi is great but
read it first to check your comfort level for your daughters age
group (maybe the first book now, and the sequel tale of
Satrapi's rebellious college years can wait); Joe Sacco while
we're on this journalistic roll has amazing comics about
Palestine and Bosnia; Gene Yang's ''American Born Chinese'' and
''Good as Lily'' by Derek Kirk Kim; Lynda Barry is a genius at
capturing ''family life from the perspective of pre-teen girls
from the wrong side of the tracks'' (got it from wikipedia when
the words failed me); Love and Rockets by the brothers Hernandez
is wonderful (again, now that i'm a mom albeit of a 3 y.o. daughter, I might pre-read to check
age-appropriate-ness - I recall heavy stuff); Sara Varon's Robot
Dreams is amazingly eloquent (Chicken and Cat is good for a
younger set too), and I liked punky Julie Doucet (but not sure
how it flies now on mom radar - amazing how parenting shifts
your worldview). I am sure there is more, with a little
digging. My firend Ludon Lee is publishing Super Stories - two
short comics penned by Adrianna Tucker and Zach Toma (kids with
leukemia) (buy the print comic as a fundraiser for the Leukemia
Society or find it online for free.) yes, we need more good
comics out there, for and by girls. hope you and your daughter
grrl comix fan
Check out Amelia Rules by Jimmy Gownley.
My daughter loves the Bone series by Jeff Smith.
I can personally recommend several dozen comics/manga, but my
best suggestion is for you to go into a comic book store. Dr.
Comics & Mr. Games on Piedmont Ave in Oakland is my favorite.
Their staff is super friendly and very helpful. You can tell
them what you are looking for in a comic and they will point you
in the right direction. (510) 601-7800. You may contact me for
further suggestions, but please understand I do not get to my
e-mail very frequently.
My 11 year old daughter enjoys manga and other graphic novels
and while I have not read everything along side of her, a few of
the ones that have particularly caught my eye are the following:
Azumanga Daioh by Kiyohiko Azuma (series available at Amazon)
Yotsuba&! by Kiyohiko Azuma (series available at Amazon)
Amelia Rules! series by Jimmy Gownley
There is also a new series of the old Babysitter's Club books
that have been re-issued as graphic novels that are very cute (I
think the first three are now available, also through Amazon).
I will be interested to see other recommendations!
You could ask in Comic Relief in Berkeley on Shattuck. They have
an amazing assortment of comix, manga, illustrated novels, etc.
Mostly for adults, but there are things there for kids too. It's
a really cool place to visit and shop. And there is a real
Also, stop into Bazaar of India on University Ave., they have a
selection of Indian comics that tell stories of traditional
figures in their pantheon of gods and goddesses. Pretty
interesting and a great way to learn about that culture.
Try the Baby Mouse graphic novels pub. by Random House. Lots of
Run, don't walk, to Comic Relief in Berkeley. It is, far and
away, the very best shop for comics, manga, graphic novels, and
other such materials. The staff there are very experienced at
finding just the right thing for a wide range of tastes and
interests - ask for Todd or Uel if you're unsure.
The shop is on Shattuck Avenue, just south of University, so you
can take BART if you want. You can also check out the Berkeley
Main Library (comics supplied by, yes, Comic Relief) if you
like, but it's worth stopping by the store to get ideas first.
There are even a couple of store cats that might come over to
greet your daughter!
They Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco might be able to
asssist you. A lot of their stuff is geared towards adults, but
I've seen comics for younger folks there as well. Their website
I liked ''ElfQuest'' graphic novels when I was in Junior High
School - it's sweet - they're little elves, like fairies - a
total soap opera but nice - not too much violence (mostly
swords) and maybe some kissing?
have you looked at any of the sailor moon graphic novels
by Naoko Takeuchi, you can find them on amazon
your best source would be to hit a comic book store
they would be able to direct you to the right material.
If you are near Alameda, there is a store on Park street
just up from Starbucks. My son loves graphic novels
he was really into the Bone Series by Jeff Smith more
fantasy ala lord of the rings but a fun series and
you can find them at most libraries
Joss Whedon (of Buffy the Vampire fame) writes great comics with a high
school girl as the star. We love them.
My 11 year old son is not reading as often as we would like,
but has become interested in TinTin comics. I am glad for
these, but don't know what to look for when he goes through
them. What other similarly ''cool'' comic books can anyone
recommend for an 11- year old?
My boys also loved Tin Tin, and spend a lot of time reading comics and graphic
novels. I think that as long as they're reading, it's a good thing. Your son
might want to try the Asterix series. Some of the graphic novels are very
compelling and sophisticated, such as the ''Bone'' series. Go to Dr. Comics
and Mr. Games on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland and ask for suggestions. Anon
The Sandman series from Neil Gaiman is exceptional. They are a bit darker than
TinTin, but not much more violent. I would check out one first before you got
your son the series. Your comfort level might be different from mine.
The Dark Knight Series by Frank Miller is excellent as well. It's a
reimagining of Batman with a sensibility that's similar to the recent movies,
especially Batman Returns.
If these are too edgy for your taste, try DC's Teen Titan series (there's also
a TV cartoon). These aren't pandering but are not as dark as the other ones
above. However, given that he is reading TinTin (colonialism, racial
stereotypes) you may be comfortable with them. Good luck!
Asterix & Obelix by Uderzo and Goscinny. They are also tried and true; one of
the due died a few years back, but the other one (I think the surviving one is
Goscinny) soldiers on. Some of the Tintins are available on cassette, by the
way, with Leo McKern as Captain Haddock. A&O are a lot funnier than Tintin,
and are VERY well translated.
If your son likes TinTin, then he might like some of the other
French (although TinTin is Belgian) graphic novels which have
been translated into English. Asterix comes leaping to mind, as
well as Boule and Bill, Lukey Luke, etc. Japanese Manga, at
least the more benign ones are also a possible choice. The
graphic novels are really popular now, so there are several to
choose from. Go down to a place like Comic Relief, at Shattuck
nr University, and check out the section that is oriented toward
kids, or ask the always knowledgeable staff for guidance - let
them know what your parameters are about violence, etc. The
Tintins are not completely without that, nor are they always PC,
so I'm sure you can find something that meets your standards.
I don't know if they are cool, but I think Asterix and Prince
Valient comics are lots of fun!
Love comic books!
There are so many good comics! The first two that spring to mind are BONE and
ASTERIX, but really the best recommendation that I can offer you is Comic
Relief. It's a comic shop in Berkeley on Shattuck Avenue; either Todd (the
manager) or Rory (the owner) could give you a great range of choices for your
son. Comic Relief has been around for nearly 20 years, supplying terrific
comics to individuals, schools and libraries. Kathleen
Asterix is fun and there are a lot of them. Check out the comic book shop on
Shattuck near Addison. You have to be with him/her because they have stuff for
all ages. But, it is fun & quite diverse
Tin Tin boosted my son's reading tremendously.
My 11-year-old, also a big Tintin fan, loves Calvin & Hobbes, the Far Side,
Bloom County and Doonesbury books. He has learned a ton about 1980s politics
from these. Recently he discovered a series called Bone, which he also likes.
And he reads the funnies in the newspaper every day. Reader's mom
My son is also a Tintin fan. With a little help from our
friendly public librarian, he's branched out to Asterix and Lucky
Asterix! Tintin and Asterix were pretty much the only thing I
would read when I was 9-13.
If he doesn't like Asterix, here are lots of ''graphic novels'' now
- but be careful, the content can often be for grownups
Asterix and Tintin fan
My 1st grader is interested in comic books, thanks mostly to
Captain Underpants. A brief trip to a comic book store
revealed that most comic books these days are not for little
kids. Can anyone point me in the direction of some age
appropriate titles for a boy who's into Bionicles, good guys
and bad guys, science fiction, aliens... you get the picture...
the usual 7 year old boy stuff. I could do without the swear
words and bulging breasts, but maybe that's asking too
You're right -- all the comic books nowadays are really too
violent/graphic for a young child. My 5.5 yo son, a voracious
reader, is also into comic books, especially superhero ones (also
thanks to Captain Underpants). The librarian at the Berkeley
Central Library gave me a few books that he liked: SparrowBoy
(picture book), Wingman (chapter book). A long time ago he read
a graphic novel called Burger, which he liked. I wish there were
more of this type of thing. Oh yeah, he also LOVES Calvin and
Hobbes, although it gives him many bad ideas :)
We have recently moved onto more traditional heroes, like
Gilgamesh, King Arthur, etc. The library has child-appropriate
storybook versions of those characters and we're enjoying them as
read-alouds. Good luck!
I would suggest Calvin & Hobbes and Garfield. The vocabulary may
be a bit above his level but the graphics are very inviting.
My 7yo has just LOVED Calvin and Hobbes. The Far Side, although
sometimes a bit too far, was also a hit. Find them in the
library and used book stores.
Both my kids learned to read using the Garfield immersion
method. The library has them all and many used
bookstores sell them cheap. The only downside has been
that lasagna is now considered a major food group and
must be eaten at least twice a month.
My almost 7 year-old loves Tin Tin comic books. And, so do his
Dad and I. They're entertaining, action-filled and really, really
funny. For the most part, we read them to our son because the
language can get pretty dense and elaborate. One word of caution:
they were written in the 30s, 40s, 50s and cultural stereotypes
rear their ugly heads in some of the stories, which you can talk
about with your child. On the other hand, you won't find any DDD-
breasted, empty-headed women in them.
Tin Tin Fan
My mother-in-law recently bought some comic books for my
8 year old son at a book faire in LA. The series looks pretty
age appropriate, no violence, sexism...
RQW.. . the Continuing Adventures of Raymond Q Wonderful
by Ray Friesen. The book states to visit
www.donteatanybugs.com for more info.
I have been going through this dilemna for two years now. I have
given in to the large chested women as long as they are butt
kicking and of the hero persuasion. We had much better luck with
two sets of books to begin with, both of which I got at Comic
Relief. One was calle Bones (sorry I don't know the author), and
we succeeded with a book of the Spiderman series). Buying the
entire books is not only cheaper in the long run, but makes it
easier for you to flip through quickly and get a good sense of
the ''danger zones''. My son also read all the Tin Tin books. At
this stage, we are into X-Men and Japanese animated novels...but
that goes back to the large breasted woman debate. I suppgest
you ask the comic book store employees. They really know their
stuff and can tell you quickly what to stay away from. Can't
wait to read the responses myself.
I have looked around casually for a while for comic books for little kids,
of the Richie Rich & Casper variety. My son was given a Roger Rabbit comic
book from a friend & he literally loved it to pieces. It was a bit on the
violent side for us though, esp. since we had to read it to him a few
times. (He's only 4!) So far I haven't seen a thing. I even tried the
old 7-11 where I used to buy them as a kid & was told they were
"discontinued". Are the old-fashioned comic books still around, or have I
missed something? Thanks very much. Leah
My son Jake, who is reading the digest over my shoulder as I assemble
it, tells me that Collector's Realm on Telegraph below Dwight has
a whole bunch of old comic books. He thinks they would probably
have the old-fashioned comics there. Also try Comics and Comix
corner of Dwight and Telegraph next to 510 Skateboarding, (news to
me there's a skateboard store but apparently it's a landmark, per Jake.)
Note: these two places also carry adult comics, although they seem
to keep them cordoned off from the little kids' stuff, but you might
want to check it out ahead of time without the little one.
Dr. Comix and Mr. Games on Piedmont Ave around 40th Street
has a wide variety of comic books for all ages. Andrea
I need to put in a plug for a store I haven't seen listed here already:
Comic Relief on University. This store, like most comic stores, is not
aimed at young children. But the proprietor, Rory Root, is a friend of
mine. Rory is very helpful if you need to locate unusual graphic art or
comic book material of any sort. And of course the store is conveniently
located to Campus (on University between Shattuck Square and Oxford). If
you want to talk to Rory himself, your best bet is to go in the late
afternoon; he's often "schmoozing" with other folks in the biz till late at
afternoon; he's often "schmoozing" with other folks in the biz till late at
night, so is rarely in during the morning hours.
And while we're at it, let me suggest, for slightly older children, the
great line of illustrated books called either Classic Comics or (the more
recent release) Classics Illustrated. These are great "comic books" that
are beautifully illustrated versions of books from Classic Literature. I
read many classics this way the first time, including the Cask of
Amontillado (spelling?), the Black Tulip, the Deerhunter, Moby Dick, etc
etc. They come around every ten or fifteen years or so, and were
re-released about 5 or so years ago. They may be available in thrift
stores or at yard sales. The most recent versions are too recent to have
much collectibility, so they should be pretty cheap. I was fascinated by
these when I was around 10 years old, and in some cases they inspired me to
go find more books by the same author, or to go on to read the originals.
I highly recommend them.
Thank you everyone for your advice! It turns out, if the guy at Comics &
Comix is correct, that the Harvey company, which published Richie Rich,
Caspar the Friendly Ghost & Little Dot, among others, has gone out of
business. He recommends garage sales & flea markets. The good news is
that these are not "collectibles" particularly, so they're still quite
inexpensive. I was then referred by Collector's Realm on Telegraph, which
hasn't got them, to Treasures of Youth in Hayward. The phone # is (510)
888-9675. Scott, the proprietor, gathered up a bunch of Richie Rich, took
my credit card # (ok, I trusted him), and he's mailing them to me. It's
not his usual thing, but he said he's willing to go to the post office for
anything over $5.00 or so. Also, he told me about a comic book convention
this weekend at the Oakland Convention Center w/tons of comic book dealers,
not to mention the appearance of the old Batman & Robin guys (Adam West & ?)
this page was last updated: May 7, 2012
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2013 Berkeley Parents Network