This is my niece LuLu.
LuLu is four, so she can't quite read yet beyond occasionally spelling "MOM" or "OWL" and somehow knowing which letters form to make "Spongebob Squarepants" on the TV's digital guide. But she loves books and magazines and anything with pictures that's made out of paper. She'll cart her copy of "Olivia" around the house with here and take toy catalogues that come in the mail to bed and generally wants to be read to every 38 seconds or so.
I went home to Flint last week for a few days where I discovered my older brother – being the rad dad that he is – had pulled our old "Calvin & Hobbes" collections out of the basement and given them to LuLu. Particularly, she seemed to have Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat or Scientific Progress Goes "Boink" with her whenever I'd turn around.
Two things would happen whenever she was reading these books. 1) LuLu would surmise what was going on from the pictures alone and then run up to me to declare "Calvin ate something yucky!" or 2) LuLu would laugh hysterically at the pages for a few moments and then turn and go, "Uncle Kiel, WHAT ARE THEY DOING?" It was pretty great.
LuLu is also starting to actually draw things of late after that super long period where kids just rub crayons in chaotic fashion all over whichever piece of paper you give them. She's very fond of drawing spiders right now, though sometimes they have nine or eleven legs. At some point in the weekend, she came up and handed me the following drawing, and it kind of blew my mind a little:
What a strange, powerful, invisible, awesome art form we follow that a little girl who can't write out a word with two syllables can grok the core of what it takes to make a little comic. It's like the art contains a low level signal that's constantly convincing your brain that these people and bubbles really exist in their own reality made up of so much more than lines and paper and madness. I tell you, there are days I really need to be reminded of how wonderful this stuff is and why I keep doing the job I do. Thanks, LuLu.