AV Club praises D+Q's Enfant line

“A Wrinkle In Time, Scholastic, and why kids are the future of comics again” / The A.V. Club / Noel Murray / October 17, 2012

The prestigious comics publisher Drawn & Quarterly has in recent years been in the business of making the kinds of kid-friendly books that become family keepsakes. In sort of a reverse of what Fantagraphics did back in the ’90s when it started the pornographic Eros Comix to keep the bills paid, D&Q established the Enfant imprint for its archival collections of classic kids’ comics, like the recent color repackaging of selected Tove Jansson Moomin storylines and D&Q’s strange, wonderful collection of 1950s Pippi Longstocking comics, appearing in English for the first time. These are books that young kids read and re-read, then pass along to their kids someday—or at least leave on a shelf in the den for their children and grandchildren to stumble across, the way I remember doing with my grandmother’s collection of crumbling-but-still-gorgeous children’s books.

And this matters, because books like D&Q’s Nipper collections or Fantagraphics’ Mickey Mouse archives are a better gateway to comics than anything DC or Marvel is publishing now. That’s not a knock against those companies, or against the superhero genre, which I still love. But the major comics artists of today—like Dan Clowes, Chris Ware, Marjane Satrapi, and Lynda Barry—tap into that feeling of being 8 years old and poring over the Sunday funnies or a Golden Book. They connect that feeling to adult concerns and emotions, but still, they rely on an inherent affection and nostalgia for the medium. Five years ago, I worried that those cartoonists were a dying breed, writing and drawing for a dwindling audience. Now I look at the stack of comics next to my daughter’s bed, and I see hope.

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