Comic books and graphic novels let children dive into a world of surreal adventure and fantasy. They get to read stories about their favorite characters and their heroic deeds. Comic books can also be humorous and comedic. The best comic books for kids can keep them engrossed and entertained for hours. However, comic books are also sources of learning. Children can learn new facts and ideas, improve their reading skills, boost their creativity, and be encouraged to be imaginative. Elisabeth Daly, a book blogger and English teacher, says, “Comic books and graphic novels are popular among younger readers who enjoy seeing a story come to life. They are also excellent choices for children who struggle with reading, as the visual images can help give context to words that might be difficult for them.”
In this post, we bring amazing comic books that you can bring home to your children. Be assured that they would read and reread these books in joy.
Superhero Comic Books
They were born out of comics from the pages of DC and Marvel books. And we love them so much that we want to see them on the big screen, small screen, or just any screen! They are the superheroes we idolize and want to be. Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Iron Man, and Wolverine comics are a must read.
But first, let the kid read these.
1. Teen Titans
Published by DC Comics, Teen Titans features young superheroes who are somewhat similar to the younger versions of our favorite heroes and have been sidekicks to our heroes such as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Batman. The series was created by Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani and is available in the paperback and Ebook formats.
Storyline: Teen Titans is a story about a group of young heroes – Robin (Dick Grayson), Wonder Girl (Donna Troy), Kid Flash (Bart Allen), Speedy (Roy Harper), and Aqualad (Garth), who act as vigilantes to fight crime on their own. The team, while working along with their mentors, create their own headquarters called the Titan Lair, with Robin as the leader and Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, and Aqualad being the other core members.
Reading difficulty: This comic book series for young adults and children needs some idea about the major league superheroes created by DC. But other than that, the comic series is as gripping and exciting as any other superhero graphic novel out there.
Recommended for ages: 14+
Next, we move to DC’s finest competitor, Marvel and their own superheroes, popularly known as The Avengers. Created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, these Marvel’s superheroes have since been fighting crime and the evil lords in the fantasy world. There are a total of five Avengers volumes with each volume adding new superheroes to replace the old ones.
Storyline: The story begins with five main characters – Thor, Ant-man, The Wasp, Hulk, and Iron Man to fight Loki, Thor’s revenge-seeking brother. The team is named the Avengers and is later joined by Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Scarlett Witch among others. The stories in this comic are not as dark as they are in the movie and television series.
Reading difficulty: Superhero comics, filled with courage, are fun and addictive, especially for comic book junkies. Marvel’s Avengers have some level of violence, considering that the heroes have to fight the bad guys. Other than that, the comic books are gripping enough to get a reluctant reader hooked to them.
Recommended for ages: 8-12 years
Created by author and illustrator Ben Hatke, Zita The Spacegirl is a tale of friendship, conviction, and adventure with a dash of humor now and then. The book is a refreshing change from the zany superhero comics in the market and is a must read for young children who enjoy graphic novels. Zita is not a superhero, but she is bold, resolute, and curious, a trait that lands her and her friend Joseph in trouble!
Storyline: When the Aliens kidnap her best friend, little Zita doesn’t let the shock of it disable her. She unwittingly becomes an intergalactic hero in pursuit of the aliens and travels to strange lands with neurotic robots and humanoid chickens, an intelligent but helpful alien, a strong mouse, and a heart of gold gone rogue. The plot revolves around Zita’s search for her friend and the adventures she has in space.
Reading difficulty: Zita the Spacegirl is a full-length graphic novel, which is great for summertime or vacation reading. The simple language, but unique names and characters, make it suitable for young kids and preteens.
Recommended for ages: 8-12 years
“Scooby Dooby Doo!”
Oh, how we loved saying that aloud as kids!
Now imagine how cool it would be when our beloved, cowardly-dog-hero joins forces with DC comics’ heroes! Created by Sholly Fisch, the series features some DC guests who team up with Scooby Doo and the Mystery Inc gang to solve crimes and mysteries in New York City. A total of 35 issues featuring popular DC issues have been released so far.
Storyline: Batman and Robin join Scooby, Shaggy, and the team to solve mysteries in the Big Apple every day. Once in a while, the team is joined by the others including Superman, the Teen Titans, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman to investigate crimes and put the bad guys behind bars! From scarecrows and monsters to ghosts and ghouls, you will find them all in this book, scaring the wits out of our dear friends Scooby and Shaggy.
Reading difficulty: Scooby-Doo Team-Up is a simple comic book based on the Hannah Barbara show for kids. The writer chooses such simple language and plots that the kids will eat up the books like sweet treats!
Recommended for ages: 7-10years
Superhero comics are a good start to get your kids’ to read comics, but the genre doesn’t stop there. Comics should have a bit of humor and a lot of fun too, to keep kids hooked! And that is what the next section brings.
Funny Comic Books For Kids
What fun are comic books if they do not make your kids laugh? Next up is a list of funny, or silly, comic books that will tickle your kids, leaving them asking for more such books!
This one is a rib-tickling story of three ‘Bone’ cousins who leave their village and head out into the big, bad world for adventure and fun. Well, in truth, they are just trying to survive. The graphic novel has three main characters with several other reappearing characters and a funny storyline.
The author, Jeff Smith, released over 55 issues of the comic book over a span of 13 years! But even today, Bone comics are interestingly funny, and do not fail to make you smile, laugh, gasp, and sit at the edge of your seat!
Storyline: After being shunned by Boneville, Fone Bone and his two cousins Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone venture out into the big bad world for adventure. They are separated in a desert and then find their way back into a lush green valley, each on his own, and come face to face with the locusts that people in the region fear. The trio is drawn into the day-to-day happenings of the valley and end up spending a year (the funniest year they’ve had) there.
Reading difficulty: Bone was written by Tom Sneigoski, for a relatively young target audience. Romance, comedy, action, and adventure are all a part of the story, written in simple language for kids to understand.
Recommended for ages: 8-12 years
Owly is a graphic novel series about a cute, little owl on the lookout for new friends and new adventures. Created by Andy Runton, Owly was first published in 2004 and has five volumes and a few single editions so far. The comic series is a Pantomime comic, which means there are no standard dialogues or text that you find in the usual comics. That also makes it the perfect comic book series for younger children aged five or even less. That said, older kids will enjoy reading Owly just as much.
Storyline: Owly is the story of a lonely, little owl in search of friends. Very soon, the bird makes a few friends and learns what it means to have friends and be a friend to someone. He also learns that goodbyes are not always permanent. In short, Owly learns what it means to be human.
Reading difficulty: The comic book series is all pictures with no words, which makes it a pretty simple read for kids of all ages. You could even get this book for your three or four-year-old kindergartener and see how they interpret the visuals.
Recommended for ages: 7-10 years
You know that cute and popular high school boy that girls fight over? Well, that is Archie! The teenage heartthrob’s stories represent the life of a typical American teenager, a factor that made the comics as popular as they are today. The first Archie comic was published in 1942 and continues to be published even today. Such is the popularity of Archie.
Storyline: Archie and his friends Betty, Veronica, and Jughead are high school students in Riverdale. Veronica is a rich spoiled brat and Betty is just the sweet girl-next-door! Both Betty and Veronica like Archie, creating a love triangle between them. Jughead is Archie’s lazy, clumsy friend, who hangs out with the trio. Archie comics are about the everyday adventures that the teenagers have at school and how they manage to come out unscathed from it all.
Reading difficulty: Not all kids may enjoy Archie, considering it is a teen drama. There is no violence, but there is a little bit of romance given the love triangle between Archie, Veronica, and Betty, something younger kids may not be able to make sense of.
Recommended for ages: 8-16 years
8. Lunch Lady
Lunch Lady sounds like a mean person who grudgingly serves second-rate food at the school cafeteria.
But this lunch lady created by Jarrett J. Krosoczka serves sloppy Joes in the afternoon and fights crime at night, lunch lady style! The story lines are pretty simple, and the language is easy to understand too, with a lot of sound effects such as “pow”, “grub”, and “briiiiing”!
There are ten volumes of the Lunch Lady graphic novels, and more could be published in the future. While the comics may not be as addictive as the superhero comics, they are certainly entertaining and make excellent summer reads.
Storyline: Three kids named Hector, Dee, and Terrence wonder what their boring lunch lady does when she is not serving lunch. To their utter surprise, they find that the lunch lady and her assistant are into super sleuthing and fighting crime in their spare time. Through the rest of the series, the Lunch Lady continues to be the bad-ass crime fighter who serves sloppy Joes to pimply school kids in her spare time, with a little help from the trio of curious kids,
Reading difficulty: The stories are pretty simple, and the language is funny and easily understandable by primary school kids too. Also, the comics are short, and the books need no more than an hour at max, even if you read them slowly!
Recommended for ages: 8-12 years
The name may be spooky, but the story is sweet and even inspiring. Written by Raina Telgemeier, Ghosts is a tale of two sisters and their encounter with ghosts. The story is simple, with no horrific or scary details about ghosts. There is no violence, sexual content, or substance abuse mentions in the book. With a gripping plot and colorful illustrations, the author manages to get the reader’s complete attention easily.
Storyline: When Maya falls sick, her parents move to the coastal area. Catrina is not happy about the move but obliges for her little sister’s health. While exploring the house, the sisters find out from the neighbor that there are ghosts in the village. While Maya is intrigued by the idea and wants to meet them, Cat is terribly scared.
But she decides to fight her fears and go along with it for Maya’s sake. The rest of the story is about the sisters’ encounter with the ghosts and how they bravely stand together as family and friends.
Reading difficulty: The story of Ghosts is somewhat based on the question ‘what happens to people after they die?’ So if you have discussed this delicate subject with your kids already, give them this graphic novel, and we guarantee they will love it. Otherwise, they may just end up being confused.
Recommended for ages: 9-14 years
Created by writer and cartoonist Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid chronicles the happenings in a teenage boys’ life, through illustrations and funny explanations. The books are filled with handwritten notes and simple drawings that tell you about the adventures of the protagonist, Greg. The ease of reading and the funny illustrations make it a good read for children.
Storyline: Greg Heffley hates middle school and sees it as a landmine-filled war zone that he has to survive each day. In his attempts to become popular and liked by other kids at school, he devises many plans that fail miserably. The book is about Greg’s misadventures in school and how he deals with them in the end.
Reading difficulty: Diary of a Wimpy Kid has a simple plot that most school-going kids can relate to. The pictures are self-explanatory, and the vocabulary is pretty simple too.
Recommended for ages: 7-11 years
Not all comics are funny. Some are intriguing and take us to worlds beyond ours – the world of fantasy. Want to know more? Keep reading.
Fantasy and Adventure Comics For Kids
Perfectly ordinary looking children with massive strength, a quest to magical realms, being stranded on strange islands and meeting unknown tribes, only to escape from them to save your life. These are the things you will experience when you read the adventure and fantasy comics we have lined up for you next.
An investigative journalist with a lucky streak and a nosy attitude, Tintin takes you on a journey around the world for an adventure. Joined by his loyal companion and pet dog Snowy, his best mate Captain Haddock, and adviser Professor Calculus, Tintin takes investigative journalism to a new level in the comic series. Originally written and published in French by Belgian author Herge (Georges Remi), the series became highly popular and was translated into 70 languages. Also, there are movies and television shows based on the comic.
Storyline: Tintin is a reporter who lives in Brussels and looks younger than his age. He has a quiff hairstyle and is always dressed in brown pants, blue t-shirt, and a long coat. The job and his inquisitive nature draw Tintin to any suspicious activity, leading him straight to dangerous criminals and dark places. Regardless of the challenges his mission throws at him, Tintin always finds a way to save himself and also get the bad guys!
Reading difficulty: The plots are well researched and intelligent and expressed through clean and simple drawings of Herge. The language is simple, but the themes and topics may be beyond a little child’s perception, which makes this suited for preteens and teens.
Recommended for ages: 8 years and above
Created by British author Luke Pearson, Hilda is the story of a young girl who loves an adventure. Set in a fantasy world where crows speak, mountains move, and the trolls walk, Hilda, and her folk tales have managed to enchant a lot of young readers who want more of it. So far, there are four volumes of Hildafolk, with the fifth one to be released soon.
Storyline: Hilda is a little girl with blue hair who likes to explore the area around her and befriend anything or anyone that she can be friends with. The curious and risk-taking Hilda makes friends, while also enjoys the thrill of danger every once in a while. The story usually ends with Hilda coming back home for dinner, after an eventful day of adventure and fun.
Reading difficulty: With a little girl as its protagonist, this comic series is ideal for the younger kids. The language is simple, and the illustrations are colorful, making it appealing enough to the little ones.
Recommended for ages: 10+
Magic potions are usually a part of fairytales. But this is no fairytale!
Asterix, the titular character, his friend Obelix and the village druid Getafix, who makes the magic potion, live in a Gaulish village in northwest Armorica (Medieval France). The series of books is about the Gauls’ constant fight with the Romans, who are restless and angry about not being able to conquer this tiny little hamlet.
René Goscinny created the comic strip in 1959. Later, the books were authored by Albert Uderzo, who was also the illustrator for the book. Currently, Jean-Yves Ferri writes for the strip while Didier Conrad is the illustrator.
Storyline: Asterix is the smart Gaul who uses the magic potion to fight the Roman army, while Obelix is the mighty strong one, who accidentally drank a cauldron-full of magic potion as a baby. The duo, joined by Getafix and the others in the village, go on adventures every day while keeping their town safe from the Romans. In their spare time, Obelix and Asterix go boar hunting and enjoy feasts in the village. They also enjoy beating up the Roman soldiers to a pulp.
Reading difficulty: Since the plot of the comic book series was set during the Roman era, those with some knowledge of it would be able to understand the context. Nevertheless, the language is simple, and the stories are funny, with silly humor that is sure to make your kids laugh.
Recommended for ages: 10+
In addition to these, you could also try other graphic novels such as The Amulet, El Deafo, Little Robot, Bink and Gollie, Babymouse, Garfield, and Calvin and Hobbes. Unlike what many parents think, comic books are no less than other books at inspiring a child. Whether it is a superhero comic, a historical story, or a teen drama, comics treat your child to a one-of-a-kind experience!
How To Choose The Right Comic Books For Kids?
Here are a few things to consider before buying the right comic book for your kid.
- Content: Ensure the book has vivid colors, detailed illustrations, and engaging stories and content to hold your child’s attention. You can explore various themes and genres to find one your child may like and easily understand.
- Age: Check the recommended age to pick a comic book suitable for your child. While older children may prefer text-heavy comics, younger children enjoy bright illustrations. Also, ensure the language and content is appropriate for your child’s age.
- Characters: If your child has a favorite superhero or cartoon character, choosing related comic books may be a good option. You can explore Marvel and DC comic books or Archie, Tintin, and Asterix, which are renowned classics.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. At what age do kids start reading comics?
Most comics books meant for kids are suitable for children between the ages of 7 and 12 years. There could be some that are recommended for kids only above 13 years of age, depending on the language, level of readability, and the nature of jokes.
2. Are comics suitable for children?
Age-appropriate comics that deal with superheroes, adventures, and stimulate the child’s imagination in a constructive way are suitable for children.
3. Why do kids like comic books?
At a mundane level, the visual content of comic books attracts most kids. However, at a psychological level, these books give children a notion of adventure that is denied in reality, thus offering them mental catharsis in the form of releasing emotions of inadequacy and insecurity (1).
4. Do comics make you smarter?
In general, age-appropriate, well-written comics can help children in improving their language skills and develop skills associated with Social Emotional Learning (SEL), especially in kids with autism (2).
Investing in the best comic books can help your kids develop the habit of reading. Comic books are illustrated with vibrant visuals and come with exciting yet funny storylines to grab their attention and help them fall in love with reading. Our list of such comic books is spread across different genres and themes, such as superheroes, fantasy, and much more. From the superhero range, we recommend the adventure-driven and heartwarming Zita The Spacegirl. In the funny category, the 11-time Harvey Awards winner Bone stands out. And from the fantasy section, Hildafolk is a captivating choice, filled with enchanting folktales. When you consider your child’s interests and level of language understanding, you can’t go wrong with the book you pick.
Infographic: Importance Of Comic Books For Children
The visuals in comic books might help children engage with the content with ease and process the stories better. They can also help those who have trouble reading plain text or text in different languages. To know more about how reading comic books can help your child, go through the following infographic.
- Why Children Read The Comics:
- Comics Make Learning Easier For Children On The Autism Spectrum And Everyone:
- The Power of Comics.
- Best Books For 9 And 10-Year-Olds
- Magical Books Like Harry Potter For Kids
- Best Books For 5 And 6 Year Old Children
- Best Funny Books For Kids