Kingman loves comic books. I never paid much attention until I noticed how much easier it was to get him to complete his reading assignments if they were from comic books. When I asked Kingman why he said, "it's easier to follow who's saying what and the page isn't full of words." Huh? Well, I decided to do a little digging on my own and found out that there is actually an Association of Comic Art Educators. It seems there's a movement afoot that I didn't know anything about. Slowly, I began to relax my furrowed brow. Colleges and Universities around the country are offering courses in comics, or sequential art, as the academics call it. Closer to home, the University of Maryland at Eastern Shore offers a concentration in Sequential Art (Comics). In fact, http://www.teachingcomics.org/ has a list of colleges and universities for students interested in this course of study. Now I am getting excited about comics too! My enthusiasm is fueling a family trip to Philadelphia to attend the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention in May. I hope to find some real comic book gems. In the meantime, I'll share some comic classics according to Kingman.
One of my favorites and one that Kingman enjoyed reading is Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans.
Kingman also enjoyed Pride of Baghdad, a story about starving lions that escaped the Baghdad zoo during the American bombing of Iraq.
Another great history book in comic strip format is Explore Black History with Wee Pals. Morrie Turner, the writer/illustrator, created Wee Pals in 1964 for Ebony and Jet Magazines. Turner also has the distinction of being the first nationally-syndicated African-American cartoonist.
Who knew there was so much rich history and learning involved in comics. This is an important lesson for me in paying attention to what interests my children. It just might make teaching a little easier for us and learning a lot more fun for them!