Although I'm usually the one hawking the idea that young boys need to read more, this article in today's WSJ disturbs me. Why? Because I don't think you should sacrifice quality material in order to get boys to read: I don't believe you have to. If the choice is between my 8 year old reading Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger and not reading recreationally at all, I think I'd go for the latter. At least I'd have the chance later on to introduce something good and fun, rather than have my son get addicted to the literary equivalent of daytime television.
Think of it this way: do you remember when you were starting to feed your baby solid food? Everyone warned you: veggies before fruit, right? And maybe you compromised and did the orange veggies before the green ones, but it made sense. You got him to like foods that taste good and that he needed to eat before you gave him the sweet treats. You didn't say - oh, I want my baby to like solid food, so I'm going to start with the yummiest, sweetest foods I can find, just to make sure he likes eating. No, not when you knew he was also going to have to go through life eating broccoli, you didn't.
The same thing should be true with books. It's not just about getting you child to like to read. It's about teaching him to recognize and value well-written, interesting books. That's a much harder job, but it's a more rewarding one in the end.