Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Congrats to El Paso's own Cinco Puntos and to Pitch Black authors Youme Landowne and Anthony Horton!!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
ABC 36, which broke the story in the media, also has published some community feedback, which is varied.
"The Jessamine County Library director says it's against their policy to speak about employee terminations but he did give me a copy of their policy and it clearly states the responsibilities of the child's reading must lye with the parents and not with the library," says the article's unnamed writer.
The librarians refer to the comics as "porn."
While the books do have sexual situations, they're far from porn. Furthermore, they're laden with more allusions to other "traditional" literature characters and motifs than they are with sex scenes (OK, maybe at least as much as).
This reminds me of a time when I visited my local public library in Mocksville, North Carolina. I saw this book on 1950s culture that fascinated me, and I also saw this reprint of a nude Marylin Monroe spread that confounded me: I couldn't tell if it was a painting or a photograph. So, I decided to check out the book and ask my mother what she thought. I explained this to the librarian, who knew of the nudity in the book, and she simply asked if she could call my mother to see it it was OK for me to check out the book. She said "yes," and I learned about photo-editing techniques using soft lighting and soft focus from the mid 20th century to help certain images/people look more sexy and mysterious. And, yeah, I enjoyed looking at Marylin too -- and I'm sure my mother accepted this -- but the busty bombshell was just one part of the book that interested me.
It seems to me that if the librarians had followed a similar protocol -- one in keeping with their employer's policy -- they'd still be working and the decision regarding access would have been a nice blend of bringing together all stakeholders in the matter.
Why I Stopped Believing in the "Power" of Traditional Literatures, or The Truth as Presented by Beto
Friday, October 23, 2009
Death of an Elder
Professor who pioneered study of pop culture dies
JOHN SEEWER,Associated Press Writer
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Ray Browne, an Ohio university professor who was credited with coining the phrase "popular culture" and pioneering the study of things such as bumper stickers and cartoons, has died. He was 87.
Browne died at his home Thursday, according to his family and officials at Bowling Green State university.
He developed the first academic department devoted to studying what he called the "people's culture" at Bowling Green in 1973.
Browne wrote and edited more than 70 books on popular culture — including "The Guide to United States Popular Culture," published in 2001.
"Culture is everything from the food we've always eaten to the clothes we've always worn," he said in a 2003 interview with The Associated Press.
While many in the field credit Browne with coming up the name "popular culture," no one could say for sure whether he originated it. He said he made a mistake in 1967 when he first used the phrase.
"If I had called it everyday culture or Democratic culture, it would not have been so sharply criticized," he said.
Browne worked for decades to convince academics that much could be learned from studying seemingly insignificant elements of our lives.
"He was really going against the grain," said Robert Thompson, director of the Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. "He seemed to be interested in anything. You could drop a gum wrapper in front of him and he would see a text to be studied."
Professors at universities nationwide thought Browne, an English professor, was trying to demean or trivialize what they were teaching when he founded the popular culture department.
That wasn't the case, he said. His interest was rooted in finding out how society affects culture and how culture affects society.
Dozens of schools now offer classes rooted in popular culture.
His interests ranged from Western cowboy movies to wallpaper.
"The covering of walls has been one of the most important items in housing since the beginning," he said. "But nobody ever wrote a book on it."
Browne taught at the University of Maryland and Purdue University before moving to Bowling Green with the idea of starting a popular culture department.
He often was quoted in the media and always had a ready thought on virtually any subject. He stopped teaching in 1990 but continued to research and write — often working on several books at once.
Browne is survived by his wife, Pat, two sons and a daughter.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
Labels: popular culture
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Here is a rough translation (via Google's translator tool) of an answer Baudouin gave about upcoming pet projects in a recent interview:
"If France will allow me, I have one. I asked a scholarship to go to the Mexican border in Ciudad Juárez. I would write a book about the city of bandits and drug traffickers, the drawing and ask the dreams of its inhabitants. I do not want to talk about death in the city where most people die in the world. "
The "dreams" angle would probably be a new one, as most of what I've read is horror-themed. I do hope Baudouin would make an effort to talk with current comics artists in the region if he were to gain his grant.
Students learn more effectively through trial and error in answering questions about challenging material, according to researchers who found that getting answers wrong actually helps learning. Their research revealed that students perform better if they try to answer questions about a textbook passage before reading it. For example, students should try to answer questions before reading a textbook chapter, then read the chapter and answer them again during and after reading.
Literacy experts among us will think of pre-reading, post-reading, and during-reading strategies and research on grammar and writing when they read this. I find support for how I do my classes, which often have "do it and let's see how you do; then we'll offer commentary and let you go from there" sort of tasks and assessments.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Kill Bill: Willy D. Shakes to Get Graphic Novel Treatment with a Twist!
Kill Shakespeare is coming! Here's a note from the authors:
“Kill Shakespeare” is going to start as a 12-issue comic-book series. IDW (the third largest comics publisher right now) is publishing the first issue in April. Then we plan to collect the series in two six-issue trades and one “Absolute” collection.
So what is “Kill Shakespeare”? Well think of a “Lord of the Rings” style action-adventure but with The Bard’s characters. In our story Shakespeare’s greatest heroes are pit against his most menacing villains in a race to save, or kill, Shakespeare himself. The short comics pitch is “The Justice League of Shakespeare”, but I prefer “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” meets “Fables” with a dash of “Northlanders” tossed in.
In our story Hamlet is banished from Denmark and the Pirates attack his ship just as they do in the play, but in our world instead of ending up in Elsinore he ends up in another place – one where everyone he meets is a Shakespearean character. There he meets Richard III who makes him a bargain: if the Dane will seek out a reclusive Wizard and take the source of his power, Richard will return Hamlet’s Father from the dead.
The name of this reclusive Wizard? William Shakespeare.
On his journey Hamlet meets Falstaff, Juliet (who has survived her ordeal with Romeo) and Othello (also alive, but Desdemona is dead). They tell him Shakespeare isn’t a Wizard, but the Creator and that Hamlet is fated to meet and save Shakespeare – not kill him (in effect triggering a literary “Second coming”). They tell him that Richard is an oppressive “King” and that Hamlet is their land’s best hope to depose the King and his evil associates – Lady Macbeth and Iago.
Kill a Wizard and save his Father? Or save a God and rescue a land….? (and dare we mention Juliet and Hamlet’s growing love and what happens when Romeo shows up????)
Sounds fun, eh? Publisher's Weekly thinks so too. Of course, the yummy irony is that a project with a murderous title might actually help bring the Bard to life for students.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
They include the unstoppable John Shableski of Diamond, James Sturm of the Institute for Cartoon Studies, Alex Simmons, and UNF professor Katie Monnin, who has a book on teaching comics in the ELA classroom debuting this December. It should be some great programming at a great conference!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
(*reference to Corville's humorous claim that Pennsylvania is nothing but Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in between)
Friday, October 09, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
SASSY Mentioned in October 6, 2009 NCTE Inbox
Reading the Gallery for Teen Read Week
On October 20, 2009, right in the middle of Teen Read Week, the National Gallery of Writing will open and teens will be able to join readers of all ages to enjoy the selections each of the gallery writers (3,822 as of today) has chosen to submit. The gallery will remain open until June, so if you haven't submitted yet, or if you know others who would like to participate, there is still time to submit your favorite compositions for display.
Next week, why not encourage your students to submit some writing about the books they're reading during Teen Read Week? Several of the 1,392 galleries live at this writing invite just such submissions: SASSY: Sequential Art Stories Submitted by Youths!, A Lifetime of Reading, International Reading Association, and Memories about Libraries and Bookjoy.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Get "SASSY" With Your Bad Self!
I herein formally announce the creation of the "SASSY: Sequential Art Stories Submitted by Youths!" virtual gallery.
SASSY is one of the online galleries associated with NCTE's National Gallery of Writing, but SASSY is unique in that it features graphic narratives (comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels) exclusively!
Here's the formal description:Gallery Description: Sequential art narratives -- comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels -- involve advanced writing and composing skills too! This gallery features works of comics art submitted by young people and by those young at heart.
Anyone can submit a work of sequential art to the gallery, but, as curator, I am especially interested in works from students and from classes or programs where comics composing is being taught.Please spread the word about this gallery.
Tell local teachers; share it with your students; encourage talented comics creators in your classrooms to submit. They might just see their work published for the world to admire!
Monday, October 05, 2009
Dundee University has also added a comics course to their English degree, according to the story.
So, comics studies programs are building steam overseas. Maybe information like this can help those of us who want to see CSP's here in the states as well. I just had a student e-mail asking about comics-related coursework at UTEP and had to tell him that we were working on it but that it may or may not ever happen. I recently read a book on academic life that quoted a Cornell professor as saying the academy's mantra is "never be the first to do anything." That's probably going hold true for folks like myself in the states who would like to see CSP's, but I'm happy to let our European brothers and sisters take the lead, because another line of old school thinking is "If Europe is doing it, we should too." So, we may see some "trickle down" effect from this. :)
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Thank You, ICTE!
Thursday, October 01, 2009
The website, available through clicking this post's title, offers more information about who is involved in the project, who is interviewed, etc. Here's some info from the FAQ section: "Comic Book Literacy is an independent documentary film that showcases the utilization of comic books to promote literacy and education. Throughout the film educators, researchers, writers and artists give commentary in both an historic and contemporary context on a variety of subjects related to the topic."
Also according to the FAQs, the film is in post production and will be screened at film festivals in 2010.