As the boys get older, Santa’s job gets increasingly complicated. This year, it’s been especially challenging. There doesn’t seem to be any big “it” gift this season. My guys have just about all the major electronics we’re willing/able to provide them. And there are more Legos in this house than in all of Denmark.
I realize that this is a wonderful problem to have. But it’s had me scrambling to figure out what gifts there are for boys beyond gaming and building.
Then a friend at Marvel contacted me and asked if I might be interested in reviewing a selection of their comic books. I’m not usually in the business of product reviews, but this was a no-brainer. My husband is a lifelong Marvel fan (apparently there is some kind of DC vs Marvel dichotomy that’s analogous to PC vs Mac–you don’t want to get him started) and has cartons of comic books going back to his childhood. Behold:
Me, I grew up loving Tintin and Asterix comics. Which is analogous to the telegraph or something. Anyway, I never really got the superhero thing. Then we somehow became friends with Mitch and Bettie Breitweiser, a married couple who are based in Little Rock and work for Marvel. Mitch draws Captain America, and Bettie is a colorist. They are two of the hardest working artists I know, and I’ve acquired respect for the genre simply through our association.
I’m also intrigued from a literary perspective. Among the titles offered for review were several adaptations of classic novels. You can’t imagine the fun I had telling Patrick that Marvel comics had given me the pick of its catalog and that all I had chosen were a couple of Jane Austen titles. Which wasn’t really the whole truth, but his expression was well worth the lie of omission.
In fact we were sent mostly superhero books for review: softcover collected editions of some of the classic Marvel sagas like Thor and the Avengers. Also a couple of retrospective, coffee-table style books. And one Jane Austen, “Emma.”
I am in no way qualified to review any of them from a comic lover’s point of view. So I’ll give you the mom’s point of view:
And the best part? Marvel comics are completely silent, and there are no hard bits to step on in your bare feet.
I do this so rarely, I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to disclose, except that Marvel sent us several review copies, I received no other compensation for this post, and these books are a genuine hit with all my boys. You can check out the Marvel catalog at Marvel.com (Patrick is also a big fan of the digital comic subscription service, if you’re looking for gift ideas for a boy-at-heart). MarvelKids is also pretty neat (though not as quiet).