Korwin Briggs (artist), Mark Mazzenga (writer)
Simon & Schuster
September 24, 2019
An important part of a child’s development, after the usual things, is knowing your X-Men from your Justice League. Baby Geek is here to help with that.
I jokingly asked two comic book loving friends when they announced they were having a baby, “Are you raising the child Marvel or DC?” (They were coy in their answer, but their SDCC photo op with Jason Momoa to make the reveal tipped their hand.) Along with another friend’s comment about how his little ones are mini-versions of himself, you can’t deny the influence our interests have on a child’s life. And heaven knows we try hard, sometimes too hard, to share our interests with our kids. If your spouse/significant other disapproves of reading House of X to your newborn over late night feedings, Baby Geek may be the right answer.
Baby Geek steps the alphabet of geek with a moment or two for each letter. From the X-Men to Harry Potter to Star Wars, there’s representation from a variety of fandoms. No doubt every parent will find one favorite, or perhaps a new one to share. Language is direct and age-appropriate, with jokes thrown in here and there to keep adults entertained. Author Mark Mazzenga does well with grouping characters together in themes, such as on the J and K pages, featuring the Justice League, Kal-El, and Krypton, or O and P’s focus on video games from Pac-Man to Pokemon.
There’s no clear favorite among the fandoms, but a slight preference for Star Trek may show where Mazzenga’s loyalties lie. Younger parents may find a few selections unfamiliar, like Flash Gordon or Mork from Ork. But that’s where grandparents and great-grandparents can come in, making this book one that can cross generations.
The artwork from Korwin Briggs is a flat, cartoon style, with emphasis on the cute and bright colors. I never thought anyone could make the King of the Monsters adorable, but Briggs does just that with Godzilla. Characters are recognizable enough for parents but simple enough for baby’s eyes to engage. (And they’re also simple enough not to leave creative team and publisher open to takedown notices from creators!) Art and text balance very well on each page — neither overtakes the other. Solid backgrounds help artistic elements in foreground stand out beautifully. If there is any flaw, I could have done with a larger typeface for text. Tiny type is tough for tired eyes to read.
Baby Geek proves to be a wonderfully age appropriate and adorable gift for any new parent or little one in your life, perhaps with a Godzilla plushie or a Brienne of Tarth doll. It’s a fun way to keep baby entertained in between fittings for the family Labyrinth cosplay.