KinderComics is a critical blog at the intersection of comics studies, childhood studies, and children's publishing. It features reviews and commentary centered on children's and young adult comics and picture books, children and young adults as readers, fans, and makers of comics, and depictions of childhood, adolescence, and coming of age in comics. Its content consists mostly of brief reviews of recent graphic books, comic magazines, picture books, and other visual texts aimed at or depicting young people—but may also include longer essays, commentary, interviews, links to online resources, et cetera.
KinderComics is primarily the work of Charles Hatfield (See Hatfield), the comics scholar. That's me. See below if you like for more info about my work.
At the heart of KinderComics is my enthusiasm for comics and picture books as art forms, and my critical interest in the ongoing reception, or cultural construction, of comics as a medium "for" children. You may notice here a certain skepticism about reading levels, developmental theory, and formal educational uses of comics. These are important topics that I don't mean to dis or reject outright, but let's just say that I'm strongly invested in the idea of comics as a form of art and of text with its own traditions and aesthetics, and that this idea tends to matter more to me than moral or pedagogical prescriptions. Of course I will sometimes be just plain wrong about these topics, or all sorts of topics, and will be glad to hear from readers who can set me right!
In short, I'm less concerned about work that is "good for" or improving for children, more concerned about work that I find artistically startling and enriching. I enjoy practicing the art of reviewing comics, and KinderComics is the place where I can share my thoughts about that part of my comics-reading life that most directly concerns children and concepts of childhood. I will sometimes this space to prepare for my teaching as well—that is, you may see some of my brainstorming made public.
BIO: Charles Hatfieldis Professor of English at California State University, Northridge, the author or co-editor of four books in Comics Studies, curator of Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby(CSUN Art Galleries, 2015), and founding President of the Comics Studies Society. He has published essays on children's comics in the Children's Literature Association Quarterly, The Lion and the Unicorn, and ImageTexT and chapters in Keywords for Children's Literature (ed. Nel and Paul, NYU, 2011) and The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature (ed. Mickenberg and Vallone, Oxford, 2011). He currently serves on the Children's Literature Association Book Award committee.