Monday, April 2, 2012

Comic Book Learning

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, 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!

1 comment:

  1. Love this post!!! Silas is a comic book fanatic. I used to be worried about it (and still make sure I monitor) but now I am learning to embrace it. I started to see that no matter what subject we were working on, he could always relate something about it to a comic book. Some of the history lessons started making more sense when he compared it to a situation in a comic book, he even started pointing out different art concepts, he now starts to think about physics/chemistry laws to determine if something in the comic book could really happen. Now, I only wish I was more familiar with his favorites so I could really use them in the lessons. So, hats off to comic

    His 14 y.o. cousin, who is an actor, is starting a literacy campaign/movement (whatever you call it) to encourage kids to read more and his focus is comic books. I'll update you on this one, because once they get the website up, they want kids to write reviews about their favorite comic books. Silas has already done two.

    We have Tommy Traveler in The World of Black History by Tom Feelings, I'll have to look for the ones you mentioned.

    Thank you for sharing your research. I knew this thing was serious but I just didn't realize how serious. There is a new manager at our local library and he and Silas sat for an hour (the first time they met) and discussed their favorite comics. Now, the guy sets aside books for him.