Every Day is Kids Day! by Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases

Martha Thomases brought more comics to the attention of more people than anyone else in the industry. Her work promoting The Death of Superman made an entire nation share in the tragedy of one of our most iconic American heroes. As a freelance journalist, she has been published in the Village Voice, High Times, Spy, the National Lampoon, Metropolitan Home, and more. For Marvel comics she created the series Dakota North. Martha worked as a researcher and assistant for the author Norman Mailer on several of his books, including the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Executioner's Song, On Women and Their Elegance, Ancient Evenings, and Harlot's Ghost.

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6 Responses

  1. Rick Taylor says:

    Martha,In watching all the news about coverage about the passing of Tim Russert the one thing all his contemporaries kept mentioning that one of the driving forces behind his success was his ability to channel his 'inner child'.I guess I can stop feeling guilty about buying all those cartoons on DVD and haunting the Target clearance endcaps in the toy department, huh?Kissnoise.

  2. John Tebbel says:

    Paradoxically, the Wertham era forced the comics industry to swear that they were both an exclusively children's medium and a medium suitable for children. It's no surprise the nation played along with the gag. Also no surprise that for a while the medium wasn't fit for child or grownup. It took subversives like Harvey Kurtzman (the Annie Fanny years), Stan Lee and R. Crumb to redeem things for adults. We have yet to find the comics creators who can capture the imaginations of this generation of younger people like Harry Potter or even Goosebumps.Fred Rogers might remind us that it will be people inside of comics who make the changes happen not outside demographic specialists, condescending to one and all.

    • Russ Rogers says:

      "We have yet to find the comics creators who can capture the imaginations of this generation of younger people like Harry Potter or even Goosebumps."I think "Bone," by Jeff Smith, has a good shot at being the comics equivalent of "Harry Potter," a work of high quality that bridges generational gaps and draws a lot of new readers. The fact that it is being reprinted (beautifully and in color) by Scholastic Books says something.Now, with "Bone" optioned by Warner Bros. for a movie, the probability of the comic becoming a huge cultural phenomenon is even greater.

      • John Tebbel says:

        Hi, Russ. Though I'm immune to Bone's charms so far (my loss) it would be a good candidate for this role. You're right, a hit movie could cross it over in a big way.

  3. Russ Rogers says:

    I was recently introduced to an interesting resource through my daughters' school. Every year the girls take reading exams and from those they are given "Lexile" ratings. This is a score that shows roughly their proficiency at reading and comprehending text. The idea is that books can be Lexile graded as well, so you can encourage your kids to read books that are at or slightly above their reading level.. The ratings are not based on content, what individual words or subjects are "appropriate" for certain ages; they are based on the difficulty of words and the complexity of structure.Here's a site that describes Lexile rating better than I do and can help find books based on lexile rating.http://www.lexile.com/findabook/default.aspxFor comparison, Neil Gaman's "Stardust" has a 970L score. "Coraline" is 740L. And "Wolves in the Walls" is 500L. Gaiman has made a conscious effort to write books across a WIDE range of reading levels.There are arguments against Lexile scores and Lexile based reading programs, especially when the scores are used to limit what a child can read. The thinking is, let a child discover what they want to read. Let them breeze through tons of books that are very easy or struggle with a book that challenging.I tried to find a site that would give lexile ratings to comic books. I couldn't find one. But, I found a nice site called ComicsInTheClassRoom.net. The site provides reviews of comics, trying to give relative grade levels of reading and suggestions as to how they might be used in the class. It also provides resources to teachers who might want to use comics in their class.Here is an article they published where grade 1 and 2 students got interview Eisner Award Noninee, Alexa Kitchen.http://comicsintheclassroom.net/oo2007_july11_dra…Another great resource: http://graphicclassroom.blogspot.com/

  4. Bob Weber Jr. says:

    Martha,I wish I could have been to the MoCCA Arts Festival this year! I do a syndicated kids strip titled Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids. Even though less and less kids (and adults) are reading newspapers, I have managed to build a client list of over 400 newspapers. The strip has a loyal and vocal following, and has been around long enough for me to hear stories from adults of how Slylock Fox and Comics for Kids got them started as newspaper readers. Many people told me in the beginning (21 years ago) there would not be a large enough readership for a strip targeted to kids. I'm glad I didn't listen. Cartoonist Jay Stephens and I are developing a strip featuring kids that will launch in newspapers early next year. So I'm still not listening! <a href="http://www.kidcartoonists.com” target=”_blank”>www.kidcartoonists.com