Capstone Has Fun with DC Superheroes
Capstone, which publishes books primarily aimed at the library and graphic novel market, has been producing a lot of books featuring DC superheroes—Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Justice League—over the past few years. One part of their publishing program is producing oversized, hardcover edition of kid-friendly DC comics, including Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar’s Tiny Titans, the Batman Adventures comics based on the animated series, and Landry Q. Walker’s Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade.
In addition to the comics, Capstone also publishes chapter books and other books based on the characters. Caleb reviewed their board books a while ago, and today I’m going to take a look at examples of three other lines of books featuring DC characters.
The Amazing Adventures of Superman: Supergirl’s Pet Problem
By Benjamin Bird, illustrated by Tim Levins
Picture Window Chapter Books
Picture Window Chapter Books are 32 pages long and are aimed at readers in grades K-2. The stories are simple, and typically there are two or three sentences and a picture on each page. In this story, Supergirl finds a stray animal on the street and wants to take care of it—then gets called away on an emergency, leaving Superman holding the creature, which turns out to be a remote-controlled robot created by the Toyman. Everyone knows Superman; not everyone knows Toyman, but it’s pretty obvious who he is from the story. There was no explicit violence in this book—the animal got big and scary looking but didn’t attack Superman, and Superman dispatched Toyman by freezing him with his breath, so there were no fisticuffs. The sound effects in the story are rendered in comics style, which is a nice touch, and the extras include a coded message to decipher and a one-page glossary. There are eight books in this series, all featuring Superman as the main character.
Batman: Scarecrow’s Panic Plot
By Scott Beatty, illustrated by Luciano Vecchio
Comic Chapter Books
The Comic Chapter Books are aimed at older readers, and the stories are longer and more complex. There’s also more violence. The Scarecrow is a classic Batman villain, a mad scientist whose goal is to create fear in his victims. In this story, he ambushes Batman in a park and locks on a mask that releases toxins that stimulate different phobias—of trees, water, heights, animals—everything but koalas, which apparently no one is afraid of. As Batman struggles to escape, Robin and Nightwing realize what is going on and head across Gotham City to rescue him. The book includes 12 pages of comics, which are interspersed throughout the story. This is a little confusing at first, as the reader could see them as just illustrations when in fact they are an integral part of the storytelling. There are some questions in the back to help readers focus on what’s going on in the comics, as well as a glossary of comics terms and one of unusual words. Capstone has a pretty big line of these books featuring both Batman and Superman.
This book includes step-by-step instructions for making origami versions of everything from Wonder Woman’s tiara to her invisible jet, and even Wonder Woman herself. The projects are engaging, but they are also fairly complicated—even the easiest one, the tiara, has 15 steps and includes some complicated folds. My other caveat about this book is that some of the projects include drawings on the paper to make them look good. For instance, the origami Wonder Woman on the cover looks like Wonder Woman because of the artwork; the actual folded shape looks more like a gorilla. Still, this book should provide plenty of entertainment and some fun projects for students who already have a bit of origami experience—or are quick learners. In addition to Wonder Woman, Capstone has origami books featuring Superman, Batman, and the Justice League.
Filed under: All Ages
About Brigid Alverson
Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good E-Reader.com. Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.
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