I’m not in New York right now. This bothers me on a certain level. New York Comic Con is in full swing. I’m not there. I’m drinking box red wine and listening to Skunk Anansie on a Friday night. I know one hundred ways to be a good girl, but none of them are putting me in front of comic book creators or cognoscenti right at this very moment. I keep pointing out to Rob that we are a Fung Wa Bus ride and an Avatar Press VIP Package away from rectifying this situation. He points out that he likes his interstate travel to remain upright and cause him to, you know, not die. Also, the cheapest Avatar VIP ticket is $275. Times, well, 2. I’d bring Rob with me, after all. Hello? I have a bar tab two blocks from my house. One block from that is the comic book store. The owner knows us and only mostly never closes early if he notices us wandering down the hill from our place at 6:45 pm on a Wednesday. Based on the motley, rather Mos Eisely like crew already gathered there by the time we make last comic call, most Wednesdays are a kind of impromptu con within staggering distance from where we already live. Why should I feel the need to cross state lines?
Well, here’s the thing – today Stan Lee announced at NYCC that he’s starting a new line of comics for kids. Marketing for kids, even by way of giving them their own damn store certainly isn’t new. But, it’s Stan Fucking Lee. The man behind Spider-Man, X-Men and Fantastic Four – from back in the day, y’all…when there were 24 standard pages of four color awesome and Jessica Alba was a gleam in an Air Force career man’s eye. You could win a kid over with a rag distributed through a spin rack at the local packie, to be read as distraction while mom and dad argue over Narragansett versus E&J in the weekly “make this shit go away” budget.
Things have changed somewhat now, and it’s not just because of the shift to prescription drug abuse. Stan wants to be there to usher these newbies into a safe comic space. One, presumably free of unnecessary sexual foolishness, and more about crocodiles who like, well, plants.
The first books under the imprint will include “Monsters Vs. Kittens,” from writer and artist Dani Jones, and “Once Upon a Time” in 2012, followed by “The Fuzz Posse,” ”Reggie the Veggie Crocodile” and “The Animal Band.”
“Reggie the veggie-eating crocodile!” Lee said of the creation who’s always favored vegetables while his crocodile colleagues stick with being carnivores. “They’re not supposed to be vegetarians and poor Reggie becomes an outcast.”
I suspect I will buy Monsters vs. Kittens. I hope it looks a lot like this, but, I’m biased:
Look, say what you want about Stan Lee, but he was significantly responsible for ushering comic books into the homes of most boys (and, well, me) between the ages of 18-49, period. Full stop. If you have statistics that differ, throw them in the comments or email us. I’m willing to talk if you are willing to buy beer. If Mr. Lee has a plan for getting kids back into comics again, he should be given a position on the Federal Board of Education. Or at least an honorary doctorate. Hell, Bill Cosby created an animated tv show as part of his doctorate, and I think that was for like, gym, or something. Comic books make you read. Who wants to give The Man an honorary degree in English?