And more importantly, it looks good for comics. I’ll explain what I mean further down, but first a little about the book:
Takio is a new all-ages comic from the creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming (that’s a whole lotta names). Due out in February, here’s the preview blurb:
Takio tells the story of two sisters in a multiracial, adoptive family who are driving each other insane!!! Their overprotective mother makes them walk to school together, eat lunch together, and play together. They can’t get away from each other!! But when a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime accident gives them real-life superpowers, these two sisters become the first actual superheroes in the entire world.
Sounds good, yes? But here’s why I really excited: Brian Michael Bendis is writing an all-ages book. That my friends, is huge. Both he and Oeming are superstar talents, but as far as writers go there is no one quite like Bendis. He’s not just a fine writer, but Bendis is one of those creators who influences the comic book industry. In his ten-plus years in the business, his naturalistic style of writing has changed the way most books are scripted. And I don’t think that’s an exaggeration, I think it’s an objective fact. He moved the medium.
There are of course fanboy debates on whether or not this was a good thing (I believe it was), but regardless of your point of view, his influence is undeniable. He’s big time.
So back to Takio, and all-ages books and Bendis. As I’ve said elsewhere , the one area where I think the comics industry is dropping the ball is the kids. There are fantastic all-ages books out there from both big name publishers, smart books that are truly aimed at kids and parents – the Pixar model, if you will. Plus great stuff from smaller presses as well. But they should be best-sellers. All ages should be a growth industry in comics as it is in prose fiction. If a three-hundred page book can get the kids to put down the gameboy for a bit, surely a 22-page comic can do the same.
So when a creator like Bendis gets on board and publishes a creator-owned all-ages book, I see that as a hopeful sign of things to come. Bendis isn’t going to save kids’ comics, but he’s at least putting his money where his mouth is, and both he and Oeming are making an effort to reach out to a new audience.
Now, will they find that audience? I dearly hope so. I know I’ll be buying a copy. Or two. And I encourage you to do the same.