The kids are all right

Cool writing and illustrating from the 8-14 set.

Published June 23, 2006 10:30PM (EDT)

Maybe I've just seen too many episodes of "My Super Sweet 16" lately, but I was inordinately excited to learn today about a couple of the cool things the younger generation is up to.

First, Broadsheet got an e-mail about New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams, a self-described smart feminist girl's magazine that's written and edited by girls 8-14, which recently won the Association of Educational Publishers' Golden Lamp award. The mag, which is ad-free, beat out 34 competitors for the honor, including category favorite National Geographic Kids. Plenty of young-adult publications do good work, but it's pretty great to see a publication driven by young women nabbing a national award.

And then there's Alexa Kitchen, the prolific 8-year-old cartoonist we learned about from Metafilter. According to her dad, Kitchen first drew a recognizable ladybug at the age of 2, and her parents have helped her post a ton of material to her Web site, contribute to various illustration anthologies and self-publish a 176-page book of original material, which becomes available in July. The site is a little cute, but Kitchen's comics are observant and occasionally dark -- check out this rant against renting movies that feature kissing, scroll down here for a great guide to drawing human emotions, or try this car-trip strip for an unexpectedly evocative rendering of a Cracker Barrel billboard. Kitchen's work has drawn praise from R. Crumb and the late Will Eisner. Whether or not she keeps drawing, it's heartening to contrast Kitchen's present-day opportunities with those of trailblazing female animator Lillian Friedman, whose 1939 gender-based rejection letter from Disney Feministing featured today.

So, hurray for girls. I'm headed into the weekend feeling a little perkier about the future.

By Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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