Boy Howdie is back and I have to agree with the cover, he is America’s favorite new scamp! The thing that I like and appreciate about Nix Comics for Kids is that it teaches a lesson or actually lessons. The majority of all-age titles or titles focusing on kids, there are like five lessons that they teach over and over if they even bother at all. This issue might not change a child’s perspective on life, but they’ll come away with something they might not have known before while having fun reading it. As with the bulk of Nix Comics, the issue is made up of shorter stories. The first story Boy Howdie learns how to make pottery from his mother. Eventually though he gets bored and sent to his room to listen to music. The charm of this story is that it goes into a lot of detail about pottery all the way from the structure of clay to the spinning and so on. The next story is a fun tale that follows Boy Howdie’s dog… Dog Howdie. Dog Howdie is sitting at the front door waiting for Boy to return from school and so dear ole dad decides to take Dog out for a walk and keep him from being bored. Dog and Dad have a fun day and for one of them it’s exhausting. There’s only one other story, but it’s the bulk of the issue so I’ll leave it for you to discover for yourself. It’s actually my favorite of the issue for several of the reasons I listed in the first paragraph.
The writing is good. Ken Eppstein manages to write for adults and kids. I wouldn’t say that he writes down to his audience, but he does simplify it to an extent. There isn’t excess character chatter and all the stories are pretty straightforward. It’s solid writing and he teaches a lesson of some kind with each story, even the one with Dad and Dog. The key thing about the stories is that they’re wholesome. Now I’m not one to say that kids should only be reading wholesome titles because that’s incredibly limiting, but there should be a healthy diet of wholesome reading for sure and this fits that criteria.
Brian Kraft’s art is not for everyone. I get that and can understand it. It’s not the prettiest art. The composition is at times too simple, but it fits the story. I personally like Kraft’s style and if I were a kid I’d like it as well. The thing about it is that it gives everyone hope, the hope to make a comic and I don’t mean that as a slam. Everyone should be able to make a comic because comics are art and anyone can make art. There are always degrees of talent and Kraft has made vast improvements from the first issue, but he’s a different artist from the usual talent pool you find in comics and I like that about his style more than anything else.
Overall this was an entertaining read. Is it perfect? No, but what comic really is. There’s always something, but at the end of the day it’s the enjoyment that it brings and this issue brought me joy. If you have a kid at home you should definitely check this issue and the first issue out from Nix or even just for yourself.
Writer: Ken Eppstein Artist: Brian Kraft Publisher: Nix Comics Price: $3.00 Website