Welcome back! We’ve got a lot of activities and links for you this week, including British cartoons, cool superheroes, a duck, and a cute baby!



Ruff ‘n’ Ready Dep’t: Dav Pilkey is the creator of Dog Man, Captain Underpants, and other wild and wildly popular characters. Scholastic Books, Pilkey’s publisher, sponsors the website Dav Pilkey at Home, which updates every Friday with excerpts from his books, online games, and how-to drawing videos. Here is a direct link to the At Home videos page, where Pilkey draws Barky McTreeFace, the villain from the Dog Man book Fetch-22 (and silly names and puns like these should give you a sense of Pilkey’s humor).







Afternoon Tea Dep’t: The whimsical, mildly surreal, and charmingly British Sarah & Duck is the perfect cartoon for parents and younger children who find Nickelodeon shows too loud and frenetic. Sarah and Duck sometimes go on gentle adventures with their friends–they set up a yarn shop with Scarf Lady, for instance–and sometimes they stay home and bake desserts in the kitchen. The official YouTube Sarah & Duck channel includes clips and (if you scroll down a bit) full episodes and compilations that run about an hour each; the Sarah & Duck webpage also includes clips, along with recipes, games, templates for finger puppets, and more.



Marvelous Dep’t: Comixology is the main source for digital comics in the U.S., and you can sign onto Comixology using an Amazon password. On Comixology in May, Marvel Comics is giving away free downloads of dozens of comics—not all of which are for younger readers, but I can recommend two: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Marvel Masterworks: The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 1, which collects the first eleven Spider-Man stories, and G. Willow Wilson’s and Adrian Alphona’s Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal, about a teenager named Kamala Khan who suddenly becomes the female Avenger she hero-worships.



All Hail the King Dep’t: Jack Kirby (1917-1994) is the most important American superhero cartoonist. Along with Stan Lee, Kirby created the Fantastic Four, Thor the Thunder God, the Black Panther, the X-Men, the Avengers, and the foundations of the Marvel Universe; much of what you see in the Marvel movies comes straight from Kirby’s mind. To experience Kirby’s imagination, you and your kids can browse the images in the Flickr account of Kirby’s published double-page spreads–moments where the artist combined the left and right pages of a comic book to draw a single giant picture.





Coochie-Coochie-Coo Dep’t: New York publisher First Second has a series of YouTube videos titled Sketch School, where cartoonists like Ngozi Ukazu, Graham Annable, and LeUyen Pham do little drawing demos while talking about their work. This week: Lucy Knisley draws her adorable baby!

This weekly blog post is written and compiled by Craig Fischer. To send along recommendations, ideas, and comments, contact Craig at craig_fschr@yahoo.com [.]

Playhouse Comics Club, Issue #1 (May 1, 2020)Playhouse Comics Club, Issue #3 (May 15, 2020)
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