Author: Lillian Baker

NYCC Kids Report: Archie Comics Panel

NYCC Kids Report: Archie Comics Panel

[Editor’s Note: There was a big emphasis on kids at this year’s New York Comic Con, with a sizeable chunk of Sunday’s programming geared toward the youngest of the comics-reader age bracket. While we consider ourselves a pretty young-at-heart crew, we thought it best to go to an actual member of the event’s target audience for this report on Sunday’s kid-savvy "Growing Up With Archie" panel. The author of this report (with a little help from our own Martha Thomases) is Lillian Baker, daughter of popular writer/artist Kyle Baker, and an aspiring artist in her own right. -RM]

We attended Sunday’s presentation by Archie Comics.  The room was nearly full, with lots of girls sitting next to their mothers.  The panel included Archie Comics editor-in-chief Victor Gorelick, publisher Michael Silberkleit, managing editor Mike Pellerito, artist Dan Parent, creators Barbara Slate, Fernando Ruiz, Misako Rox and ComicMix’s own Andrew Pepoy.

After a slide show that presented Archie and his friends through the ages (including a character named Wilbur we had never seen before), Mr. Silberkleit said that parents can trust Archie Comics to always tell good stories.  He let everyone introduce him or herself (Mr. Gorelick has worked at the same company for nearly 50 years!) and talked about some new projects, including a new look for Jughead and a series called Archie’s Freshman Year.  He said there would be stories about the characters applying for college, too.

Since Archie has been around more than 60 years, we asked, "Shouldn’t they be old geezers asking for pills instead of going to college?”  Mr. Silberkleit asked if anyone wanted to read those stories, and only a few people said, “Yes.”

We also asked, “Why do Betty and Veronica like Archie so much?  He’s the nerdiest guy in the school. He drives a crappy car.  He doesn’t have any money.  He doesn’t look great and he has freckles and crosses on his head.”  Dan Parent said all of this gave hope to him when he was a kid.

They talked about a bunch of new series, including Riverdale Jones and the Temple of Food.  The company is also publishing a “Who’s Who” of the MLJ superheroes, such as The Shield, The Fly and The Web.  Andrew Pepoy is doing a new Katy Keene graphic novel that will be out in August. There’s also going to be Archie’s Vault, which will reprint all the old stories, like the DC Archives.

The stories look like they’ll be fun, and you can find them at newsstands everywhere.  You can also find them at places like Wal-Mart.

Our thanks go out to Lillian for providing this special report from the show!

Girls Talk: The Golden Compass

Girls Talk: The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass is the new film from New Line, directed by Chris Weitz, and starring Dakota Blue Richards, Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott and the voices of Ian McKellan and Ian McShane, among others.  It’s about a young girl, Lyra, who lives in a world where everyone’s soul is outside her body, represented by an animal who can not only talk, but also argue.  The soul, called a daemon, is able to change shape until its human reaches maturity, when it “settles” into one form.

There has been a great deal of controversy about this film, based on the book by Philip Pullman, because some people think the bad guys (members of an organization called The Magisterium) is The Church. The Magisterium is conducting experiments, trying to remove daemons from children “for their own good,” and so “they will obey the rules.”  There’s also a lot of talk about a substance called Dust, but that doesn’t play an important part in the story until the later two chapters of the trilogy.

Martha Thomases:  What did you think of the movie?  What would you tell people who don’t know anything about it?

Lillian Baker:  I think it’s pretty good as long as you’re someone who likes surprises.  There were a lot of sudden movements.

MT:  Would you call it a scary movie?


Lillian Baker and Martha Thomases On The Nation’s #1 Movie

Lillian Baker and Martha Thomases On The Nation’s #1 Movie

For the last two weeks, Disney’s Enchanted has been the top-grossing movie in the country.  A musical pastiche of animation and live-action, it’s the story of Giselle (Amy Adams), a young beauty rescued by the handsome Prince Edward (James Marsden).  Instead of getting married and living happily ever after as they planned, the couple is separated by his sorcerous step-mother, Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon).  Amy is banished to a terrifying realm – contemporary Manhattan – where she meets Robert Philip (Patrick Dempsey) an uptight lawyer, and his shy daughter, Morgan (Rachel Covey).

Lillian Baker:  I thought it was pretty good.  Very funny.  It wasn’t very good if you’re one of those people who don’t like romance and/or fantasy.

Martha Thomases:  I liked the way it went from animated, in the Prince’s land of Andalusia, and then live-action in our world.

LB:  I liked the cartoons better.  It looked better.

MT:  They set things up very well.  In the fairy-tale world, we aren’t surprised that Giselle can talk to animals and get their help to clean her house.  When she comes to New York and needs help, she calls the local animals to help, and to her rescue come rats, pigeons and cockroaches.


BOOK REVIEW: Drawing Comics Is Easy (Except…)

BOOK REVIEW: Drawing Comics Is Easy (Except…)

Reviewed by Lillian Baker, age 8

I started making comics when I was three. When I was six, I made copies and started to sell them at soccer. Last year, when I was seven, I sold them at my dad’s table at the New York ComicCon. Alexa Kitchen wrote and drew her new book when she was seven, too. She’s nine now.

She is a talented girl. I can tell because I read a lot of her books. She makes up really really really good stories. I see that she gets inspired by Calvin and Hobbes a lot. She talks to her doll dog. His name is Kora 2. Other characters are Lucy, who is the girl on the cover, and Denis the cat.

It’s a book about drawing, not just funny cartoons. It’s very funny, though.

Alexa is a very nice girl.

Drawing Comics is Easy (Except When It’s Hard), by Alexa Kitchen, age 7
Published by DKP