American comic books have always had the stigma of being aimed at kids. It’s been that way in public perception since the beginning, regardless of the darker and increasingly mature trending titles that have moved to the forefront in the past thirty years. More and more, the late 20th and early 21st centuries were proving comics really weren’t for kids at all. When traditionally younger skewing characters like Spider-Man and Batman have books that deal with topics which are reserved for cable programs, you have to acquiesce even these stalwarts have in general moved away from younger readers.
But the past few years have brought in new players to the all-ages market and with them has come a wave of comics that are not only kid-friendly but are designed to be enjoyable for a wide range of readers. Titles like Adventure Time, Peanuts, My Little Pony, Spongebob, and Strawberry Shortcake have widened the opportunities for new generations of readers to come in and enjoy books that are not written down to them, but instead are clever and wry on multiple levels. Their recognizably is a strength that opens the door for parents to pass the item on to their children and bridges the age gap to develop multi-generational comic book reading families. This is something we’ve desperately needed in comics for a long time.
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