Last week I talked about some cartoons that are breaking boundaries and providing kids with fun and yet progressive and intelligent cartoon series. I wanted to add one more to the list, and its a doozy; SheZow. The premise of the recently imported The Australian/Canadian cartoon on Hub about a boy that is granted the ability to turn into a superhero from his aunt’s magic ring, the twist is that his superhero form has the appearance of a girl. He can’t have the powers otherwise.
The show has already premiered in other countries and was just brought to the States June 3rd. The premise alone is daring and it’s already gathered criticism both constructive and damning from all sides. One Million Moms in particular condemns the cross-dressing for the sake of humor (no surprise). I think it’s too new to weigh in for sure but overall I feel this cartoon is another that is noteworthy since it treats the condition, that is powers comes from the female alter-ego so cavalierly. This kind of gender stuff hasn’t really been played with in Western cartoons much to my knowledge. So kudos SheZow.
Moving on, I wanted to shift some focus onto two things I think are worth your attention, this time in comics form:
EARTHWARD from Bryan Q. Miller and Marcio Takara is a graphic novel coming out for kids and teens that is set to launch sometime later this year.Starring a wonderfully diverse cast, the graphic novel series is meant to follow the “Mercury Six” as they solve a mystery concerning their missing parents.
From Bryan Q. Miller;
The MERCURY SIX, consisting of Eldest BEN and his hot-tempered sister, ALYSSA; SMACK, the hustler; CODY and TRIN, the learned, proper set of twins; and little DANIELLA, orphaned by a SPACE PIRATE assault, then taken in as one of Mercury’s own.are sent on a standard supply run, but return to find Mercury adrift, and their respective parents missing. The only clue as to what happened – a warning recorded by their trusty TEACHBOT:
“DON’T COME LOOKING FOR US.”
Wet your appetite? Sound sorta familiar? Well I ran an announcement for the then unfunded project back in January. I think this type of media is exactly what I personally am looking for and think we need more of for children, teens and adults alike. It is sophisticated and yet accessible. Bryan Q Miller get’s it;
Again from Bryan Q Miller:
The goal is to create a piece of Graphic fiction that can be enjoyed by both children AND adults, while pandering to neither – a line that is rarely ridden in the current climate.
That said, while trying to make this as all-ages as possible, there is still some danger and space violence (explosions, blasters, etc.) present that may be uncomfortable for a reader younger than age 7. “Earthward” definitely wanders into the “PG”-range of the media spectrum.
The secondary goal, of course, is to have this be the first in a yearly series of adventures for the Mercury Six.
This is EXACTLY the philosophy I am espousing. There is a place for gratuitous violence and adult, grown-up stories. But I feel there really is a need for this at the moment as well. Strong emphasis on family , adventure, and a generality that is neither dumb nor pandering. Everyone should look into this when I believe it becomes available sometime in September.A second comic I feel is amazing, and is pretty much the antithesis to all the complaints I have for the Disney Princess line. This so called antithesis? Princeless by Jeremy Whitley.
That’s Princess Adrienne. She’s, well, amazing:
A little blurb.
Princeless is the story of Princess Adrienne, one princess who’s tired of waiting to be rescued. Join Adrienne and her guardian dragon, Sparky, as they begin their own quest in an all-ages action adventure designed specifically for those who are tired of waiting to be rescued… and who are ready to save themselves.
Starring a heroine of color, for that fact alone Princelsss is enough in a world where characters of color in Medevial and Rennaisance-society styled fantasy genre are often given the cold shoulder by writers when that just shouldn’t be. Additionally the writing is top notch, extremely genre savy, critical and almost fourth wall breaking in its satire and criticisms. It’s also extremely conscious of race and representation
While the spunky and brash and self-saving Adrienne is the lead; she is also only one of many sisters who well, are also princesses. Each sister is different and will be featured. The different types of girls and their different interests and personalities are amazing. Because it shows the different types of girl you can be if you want or that it’s okay to. Notably whilst Adrienne is tomboyish her younger sister is your more traditional hyper-feminine Snow White style princess. The comic argues it can fine to be either if you choose. The variety of characters, the genre savvy nature and overall critical eye to comics, it’s own genre, sexism and race issues are all things going for it but above all; it’s also fun.
What about you readers? What do you think being published right now is a must read for those who want good comics that anyone can read? The only thing DC Comics is putting out right now worth buying is Li’l Gotham which is more or less spectacular if only going off of Dustin Nguyen’s wonderful watercolor artwork.
Any suggestions? Put them in the comments!
Staff Writer/The Doctor