Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Graphic Novel Reporter: More Teachers Talkin' Graphic Novels
"Teacher Leigh Brodsky [Warren, NJ] takes you through her graphic novel course, explaining how she teaches the books that are the foundational pieces in the format."
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
EPIC II A Success!
Maybe for EPIC III we'll finally get more middle and high school students involved and the student newspaper might even give us some attention. The El Paso Times gave us a quick little blurb, but not the full-page story from last year, and we got a very nice write-up from another local print outlet, for which I am grateful. The rest of EP needs to wake up, though, 'cause they missed an important and engaging event!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
* also thanks to Phi 3 for informing me that "El Paso in the Comics" equates to "E.P.I.C." I totally missed that, but it will be an acronym of use in the future, to be sure! :)
Monday, February 22, 2010
Countdown to Awesome: 1 Day Until El Paso in the Comics II!
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Countdown to Awesome: 2 Days!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Countdown To Awesome: 6 Days!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Jorge Baeza's "El Paso in the Comics II" Poster
Friday, February 05, 2010
Upcoming Event: El Paso in the Comics II, February 23, 2010!
"While last year’s event featured local comics creators and a keynote address by Blue Beetle writer Jai Nitz focusing specifically on how El Paso and the Border Region influence their works," says event organizer James Bucky Carter of the UTEP English Department, "this year’s event will expand its theme to 'The Southwest in the Comics,' but will still feature much local flavor."
The UTEP Union Templeton Suite will be the site of a creator’s roundtable from 4:00-6:00. During this time, the public can interact directly with comics creators from El Paso and Juarez. Scheduled to appear are Julian Lawler of Broken Tree Comics, award-winning graphic novelist Jaime Portillo, Adversary Comix studio, and Juarez’s 656 Comics studio.
"The event will be highly interactive. We want anyone and everyone from the community to feel welcome on campus for the event," says Carter. "Last year's crowd was very diverse, with parents bringing their children, high schoolers, college students, and folks from both sides of the border in attendance."
Lawler’s comics explore El Paso via the super-hero lens, whereas Portillo’s graphic novels, such as Gabriel, for which Portillo won a prestigious Xeric Foundation Grant, examine violence in the borderland through the horror genre and play with local folklore. Adversary and 656 recently pooled their talents to create the Infestacion series, which culminated into the massive allegorical graphic novel Infestacion: The Mythology, which chronicles an invasion into the United States from undead zombies from Juarez, Mexico.
Ben Perez and Matt Rothblatt of Phi 3 Comics will be joining the list of creators at the "El Paso in the Comics II" roundtable. They are the creators behind the comic series Spiralmind, which combines metaphysical mysticism with mathematical logic and super-hero ethos. "Spiralmind is one of the most unique super-hero comics out there right now," says Carter, "and its creators are UTEP alumn. Indeed, many of the creators at the roundtable have connections to the university."
Later in the evening (7:00-9:00), the event will shift to the Union Cinema, also in the University Union, where independent comics writer/artist Jaime Hernandez will deliver a keynote address.
"Hernandez is one of the most treasured comics artists of our time and has created a host of beloved Latino/a and Chicano/a characters – such as Maggie 'the Mechanic' Chascarrillo, Beatriz 'Penny Century' Garcia, Esperanza 'Hopey' Glass, and Ray Dominguez – in the critically-acclaimed series Love and Rockets," says Carter, who has used Hernandez's The Education of Hopey Glass in his "Teaching the Graphic Novel" graduate course at UTEP. Hernandez will discuss how the Southwest, from California to Texas, and Chicano/a issues influence his work.
The event is open to the public and admission is free. Mature themes and images may be discussed, so parents may wish to accompany young children.
The event is co-sponsored by the English Department, the Dean’s Office in the College of Liberal Arts, the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies, the Sam Donaldson Center in the Department of Communication, and the Art Department.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
MakeBeliefsComix.com Unveils New Features to Help ESL, Literacy Students Write, Read and Tell Stories Online
Some good news to share with you! MakeBeliefsComix.com has launched a new version of its educational comics web site with added features to enrich the experience of students as they write, read and tell comic strip stories online.
.We have increased the number of diverse fun comic characters to 20. Each character has four different emotions – happy, sad, angry, worried --that can be deployed in stories, for a total of 80 different faces and expressions. Users can select the ones they want and write words for blank talk and thought balloons to make characters talk and think.
.We have added a new function that displays 25 objects and environments that can go with the characters as stories are created. These objects include foods, hobbies, toys and sports equipment. In addition, there are trees, flowers, buildings, sun and moon. By adding these objects to the comic panels, students can create more complex, interesting stories and in so doing, practice new words. Seven languages, including English and Spanish, can be used on the site, and a teacher’s guide is provided -- http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/How-to-Play/Educators/.
.We have linked MakeBeliefsComix.com to our other web site, URL=http://www.billztreasurechest.com/, which features many free activities and idea prompts from my books to help reluctant writers express themselves. The activities range from providing subject prompts to encourage story and personal writing, to keeping a diary, to recording family oral histories, to creating paper memory quilts that depict students’ lives and achievements. Also featured are a writer’s prompt blog and many printables and templates for creating comic stories.
Since we launched MakeBeliefsComix.com three years ago, more than 1.6 million people from 180 countries have visited. We were selected by Google and UNESCO as among the world’s most innovative web sites that encourage reading and literacy and won Parents’ Choice Foundation Recommended Award.
Our site is used by educators to teach language, reading and writing skills, and also for students in English as a Second Language programs to facilitate self-expression and storytelling, as well as computer literacy. Some educational therapists use the online comics with deaf and autistic people to help them understand concepts and communicate. Parents and children can create stories together, print them to create comic books or email them to friends. Our site is free.
Please try the new features with your students and children and send us your feedback. We want to be the best educational web site we can be for you. We hope you will share what we are doing with your colleagues.
And you HAVE to check out this commentary on the site at work!:
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Media Literacy and the TeXes ELA Certification Exam
OK, OK. I admit it. I just needed a placeholder to keep my hyperlinks so they'd be in one spot, and the blog seemed like as good a place as any. However, as comics and graphic novels are media products, or artifacts, depending on how you look at it, they can and should be viewed through the lens of media literacy -- just not only through that lens, of course.
Monday, February 01, 2010
_SANE journal_ Earns ISSN, Issues First Call for Papers
CFP: First and Second issues of SANE journal: sequential art narrative in education
V1.1 (late 2010 release or per article as considered ready by review board): “Comics in the Contact Zone.”
Mary Louise Pratt defines the contact zone as “social spaces where cultures meet, clash and grapple with each other, often in the contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths as they are lived out in many parts of the world today” and where those involved in the educational experience may “reconsider the models of community that many of us rely on in teaching and theorizing and that are under challenge today.” Texts are social spaces, of course, and the comic book may be the best indicator of this fact. How do you see comics as meeting, clashing, and grappling with social issues in your classrooms when you teach them? How do comics illustrate contact zone precepts such as speech acts, transculturation, unsolicited oppositional discourse, autoethnography, and safe houses? How does the integration of comics themselves set up contact zones in the classroom? Which texts do you teach to get at notions associated with contact zone pedagogy? How does teaching a comics course set up a contact zone with professional colleagues, departments, university officials, etc? Articles should make explicit mention to contact zone theory and its component concepts. Deadline July 2010.
V1.2 (planned 2011 released or per article as considered ready by the review board): “Teaching the Works of Alan Moore.”
Alan Moore may be the most influential and controversial comics writer of the 20th and 21st centuries. How do you teach his complex, multilayered works in your high schools classrooms, your college courses, etc? What are the challenges associated with teaching his texts or specific texts and how do you and your students address them? Can they be addressed? How does his output “fit” with notions of literature, literary, canon, etc. as you teach them in your courses? Articles may cover several of Moore’s texts or focus specifically on one. Deadline October 2010.