Six great kid-lit books and comics that helped inspire Alien Invasion In My Backyard


Oh, man, I’d almost forgotten about the Great Brain books.

The two incidents I recall were kind of dark.

In one, the protagonist tries to help a kid who had lost hid leg commit suicide.

No, I’m not kidding. The kid feels depressed that he can’t play baseball anymore, so the Brain sets things up so he can hang himself. The older brother intervenes, and helps the amputee learn how to run on his prosthetic leg.

In the other incident, some kids set up a un-liked teacher to appear to be a drinker . . .a big no-no in Mormon Utah.

That said, maybe because of those dark things, I really liked those books.

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I was (and still am) a huge fan of the Great Brain books. As part of a school project in 1992, I managed to track down the phone number of the author - pre-internet even! - and I called just to tell him how much I enjoyed the books. Sadly, his wife answered and told me he had passed away a few years earlier. But I had a great conversation with her.

I’ve wanted to repurchase the whole series, but they are usually really expensive on eBay.

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Aw yea, good old Al Wiseman! He and Warren Tufts really shaped my childhood and taught me what good comic art should look like.
And just like with Tufts, he hardly ever got any credit for it. Although there was that one time when he put himself in the story:

Thanks a lot for sharing, all this things remind me my childhood. I can easily remember some great comic books like Donald Duck, Dennis the Menace, Bone, Pushing 40 and many more. And even, at leisure I always find “free” myself with these books.

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