A Public Service Announcement! ;)

A Public Service Announcement! ;)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

SANE links!

Below are links to websites with connections to sequential art in education. Some are directly pedagogical; some are "scholarly pedagogical."

First, shameless self-promotion:

Textus/praxis: This is where I detail my philosophy of reading and define what I think literacy entails. Rooted in theory, it is a "way of seeing" that I feel has revolutionary potential for educators. Graphic novels and comics are a large part of textus/praxis.

ReadWriteThink: This site has many comics-related lesson plans. This link is to the ones I've published with the site, which is co-sponsored by NCTE and IRA. The Comic Book Show and Tell is a writing workshop lesson that also includes a primer on comic book production. So, even if you or your students lack expertise in the comics form, this lesson is for you. The fairy tale revision lesson is a multigenre approach to examining fairy tale motifs. More to come, and also check out the main page and search for more comics-related lessons!

ImageTexT: an excellent on-line journal out of comics-scholarship stronghold University of Florida, I've published in this journal and think it is an excellent resource for scholarly articles and reviews of sequential art narratives. A children's literature themed edition of the journal should be on-line soon.

Outcast Studios: This is an independent comics site for which I used to write articles and reviews and even some scripts. The good folks there have recently gone to a Wiki format and are trying to become a one-stop comics creator's resource page. Some of my earliest columns for this site can be found here.

Other great SANE links:

ALA: "Comic books and graphic novels: Digital resources for an evolving form of art and literature": This article gives links to other web-based comics resources, including review sites and libraries.

Americana: the Journal of American Popular Culture, 1900-Present. A comics-friendly academic journal.

Comic Books for Young Adults: Librarian Michael R. Lavin's excellent exposition on comics, kids, and libraries. Excellent practical information from an informed expert.

Comics-related theses and dissertations. Exactly what it says. Yep, people do such work more often than you might think!

Comics Research: The main page for the link listed above. This is an excellent resource for those who need to know how to get their comics scholarship published, or for those who need evidence that such scholarship exists!

Emaki Productions: The website for Berkeley, California-based independent schoalr Neil Cohn, Emaki offers tons of free essays and illustrates Cohn's theories on sequential art. Basically the Todorov of comics scholarship, Cohn sees comics as a language in and of itself, with its own grammars and structures. Highly recommended! I teach his theories alongside my Textus/praxis theory and Scott McCloud's ideas in Understanding Comics when I teach my "Comics as Literature" class.

ENGL243B: Comic Book Literature: Arnold T. Blumberg's syllabus and materials for his comic book class.

The Grand comic Book Database: Search thousands of titles and see the original date of publication and cover image for each one. An amazing resource that secondary teachers can use for any number of exciting projects. For example: Compare cover images from the 1940s to images from the 1960s. What social issues and concerns are evident from this examination? Oh, the potential!

Image and Narrative: Another comics-friendly on-line academic journal. It has ties to ImageTexT.

National Association of Comics Art Educators: NACAE, or "naysay" has often focused on those who teach comic art to aspiring comic artists but has recently branched out into sharing a focus with k-12 education. An excellent organization with vast potential.

New York Comic Book Museum: Tons of practical ideas and projects for k-12 teachers. The site is very persuasive in showing sequential art's pedagogical potential. Very impressive and highly recommended.

Graphic Novels for Multiple Literacies: Gretchen E. Schwarz's seminal article on graphic novels. A must-read for k-12 educators.

Charles Hatfield: This children's literature and comics scholar teaches comics classes and has some pretty interesting opinions on kids, comics, and reading. I don't agree with all of his ideas (it is worth noting that he is a professor, but not an education professor), but I absolutely respect his work and feel he's worthy of serious attention.

Build It and They Will Come: Kerry Ireland's article on how to craft a solid graphic novel collection in the library.

The Comic Book Project: Dr. Michael Bitz has been doing some astounding work with comics and inner-city kids in his many after school sites. This project educates middle and high schoolers on the aspects of comics production and then asks them to create their own sequential art narratives. The results have been poignant and amazing. An absolute must-know resource for k-12 educators.

Ohio State's Yellow Kid Collection: Considered the first American comic strip character, the Yellow Kid series is often also considered the birth of American comic books. No comics scholar's education is complete without background on this poverty-stricken scamp from Hogan's Ally dating from 1895 newspapers.

WRAC 130.11: American Radical Thought. Another comics/graphic novel-heavy syllabus.

Martin Luther King Jr Comic from the 50s: I'll be teaching Ho Che Anderson's King (2005) later this semester in my Eng 311: Contemporary trends and Issues in Graphic Novels class (Spring 2007, USM), and this link should make for some great comparison. Thanks to Trina Robbins for posting this to the comics scholars listserve!

Three Sequential Art Anthologies Available!:

The New Smithsonian Book of Comic Book Stories: From Crumb to Clowes. Edited by B. Callahan (2004).

An Anthology of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, and True Stories
Edited by Ivan Brunetti (2006).

The Best American Comics 2006
Edited by Harvey Pekar (2006).

Each of these anthologies feature an array of talent ranging from known figures such as Art Spiegelman and R. Crumb and Linda Barry, to relative newcomers Chris Burns and Seth. The Smithsonian collection has more mainstream and superhero representation than the other two, and certainly a teacher would want to pick and choose which contributions to use for classroom teaching, but all three are highly recommended. I've read'em all and think that, for the price and the sampling they represent, they are excellent reads and excellent buys.

No Flying No Tights Blog: A blog devoted to reviewing graphic novels for teens! A student in my Ya Lit class at UVA recommended it, and so did "Morgan" over on the NCTE blog. as the title suggests, it shows that sequential art narratives are more than superheroes (but superheroes are still cool!).


Bucky C. said...

Also see the home site for one of comics' greatest advocates and scholars, Scott McCloud: http://www.scottmccloud.com/

Bucky C. said...

YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) releases list of great graphic novels for teens:


YALSA has been a strong advocate of graphic novels for years now:


Bucky C. said...

Here is a great resource list on Maus out of UC-Berkelely library:

Maus remains a popular graphic novel, and many consider it THE graphic novel. So, this list of articles, etc., might come in handy to someone eager to teach it in their classroom.