Review: The Phoenix, A Weekly Comic For Children

(AD - Gifted) I’ve never really been into comics. My grandparents used to save me copies of The Funday Times to bulk read when I stayed with them during the holidays, but that’s as far as it went. I guess I’ve had a pretty naive view of them as something teen boys might read in their bedroom, but a brief browse of a few recently revealed the contents of comics often isn’t really suitable for children. They are can be dark and full of angst with a heavy dose of semi-naked women generously endowed or baddies with faces that would give young children nightmares.

A number of issues of The Phoenix comic including open copies to show examples of the stories
The Phoenix, weekly comic for children

Finding A Comic Suitable For Children

When Little, my superhero fan daughter, asked for some comics for her birthday it was hard to find something suitable. I bought her a few of a more child friendly Batman series, but some of the characters like the Scarecrow, even in that version, scared her. The other comic I found when searching online was The Phoenix so I bought a trial subscription to receive in the post.

A girl sitting on a bed reading the phoenix comic
My daughter who loves superheroes and comics

About The Phoenix comic

The Phoenix is a weekly comic aimed at children aged 7 to 14. A trial of 4 issues costs only £1 so I thought we might as well see what it was like. Each 32 page magazine is packed full of stories by different artists in a huge range of styles. I haven’t seen a scantily glad woman yet, but there was an elephant taking selfies and a peacock lawyer. My daughter loved it, although at 5 she wasn’t able to read it independently so we stopped our subscription until she’s slightly older and will get more out of it.

The Phoenix is currently celebrating publishing it’s 500th edition and to celebrate they have made the milestone edition available for free to everyone online so if you aren’t familiar with the comic it’s a great way to check it out.  

pictures of my daughters drawing a comic with an open laptop in front of them with a zoom session open  showing a newly drawn comic by Neill Cameron
Taking part in a comic drawing masterclass

3 pieces of white paper with 3 different cartoon pirate wolves drawn on them
Our pirate wolves from a draw along by a 5, 9 and 39 year old.

Inspiring Children Through Comics

The Phoenix doesn’t just contain stories, the comic is working to inspire and teach the next generation of artists with regular features: showing how to draw better (you can find more from The Skills Hub online), book recommendations, a games page and Fanfare where they publish art and letters sent in by Phoenixers (readers).

As part of The Phoenix’s 500th Edition celebrations we were invited to a masterclass with one of the artists: Neill Cameron. I mentioned the invitation to my eldest daughter and her face lit up. As well as producing comics for The Phoenix, Neill has published a number of books including his first novel Freddy Vs School which was published this year.

Both my daughters loved joining in the masterclass: hearing how to make simple comics step by step from the Principle of the Multiplication of Awesomeness to helping to create a brand new comic. Neill is a very talented artist and I was impressed how he could come up with a pirate wolf character on the spot. I was also really impressed with my children's attempts as they followed his step by step instructions. It's definitely worth checking out his book How To Make Awesome Comics which contains advice similar to what he shared in the masterclass.

Thanks for inviting us The Phoenix.

An open copy of The Phoenix showing Neill Cameron's comic and his books
Books and comics by Neill Cameron

(Disclosure: we were invited to the masterclass, received some issues of the Phoenix as well as copies of Neill Cameron's books: Mega Robo Bros Power Up (a comic book) , Freddy Vs School (his first novel) and How To Make Awesome Comics all published by David Fickling Books.)

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