Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Alas, after almost all arrangements were made, including flights and hotel room bookings, we received word that the event was cancelled. (Thank goodness I was able to cancel my room reservations without penalty and my university was able to eat the cost of the plane ticket. Others might not have been so lucky).The reason given was low numbers of folks registering.
Only a sign of the economy, something more, or a combination of factors? Who is to say?
I'm sure there will be folks at IRA talking about graphic novels. I hope they enjoy being the representative experts, as I'm sure they will have great things to say and will give wonderful presentations, but nothing on the program regarding the topic could have equalled the combined knowledge and interests of the group Katie assembled. It's a missed opportunity not just for the presenters, but for IRA and its audience at the conference.
Of course, IRA is a selective group (I say everything herein as a current member) , and there seem to be channels to make sure things happen within its influence (this selectivity as it pertains to comics and literacy, might be observed by looking at the works cited lists of the articles on graphic novels that have appeared in JAAL over the last eight months or so. Got some time? Look at the names that are cited over and over, and also apply your knowledge of the arguments being made regarding comics and literacy and who all are making them, and compare who is being noted and who isn't). Perhaps those of us involved just didn't know how to best utilize those channels.
BUT, I can tell you the institute is not dead yet. Not its mission , members, and desires, anyway. Simply reformed. Some members will be at the convention in other capacities. And other plans to keep the collection of talent together to make their points and share their expertise are afoot. More as more develops!
(Picture: According to this paperwork from IRA, which arrived in my mailbox the day after I received the news that the pre-conference session was cancelled, I'm all good to go for my trip to Chicago, where I would have joined perhaps the best single group of comics and literacy scholars ever assembled in one place)
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
NEW YORK, March 29, 2010 – TOON Books is pleased to announce the release of the second of its comics for beginning readers iPhone application. Parents and children can enjoy award-winning books anywhere with the convenience of an iPhone or iPod touch.
Available for $2.99 at the iPhone App Store, the first iphone TOON Book immediately broke into the top 100. Parents can entertain and educate children with easy-to-read comics. Kids can immerse themselves with words and images while waiting at the grocery store, restaurant or airport.
Titles currently available are Jack and the Box by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman and Little Mouse Gets Ready, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor book, by Jeff Smith, author of Bone. “Comics for the Jet Age! It’s exciting to see little mouse available on a new digital platform,” said Smith. Other TOON books will be offered soon.
Unique features of the TOON Books iPhone app include:
• Authors read their work. Children can hear the authors’ voices and see their drawings.
• Designed specifically for young readers to easily use, the pages can be turned automatically or manually.
• Onscreen text and highlighted speech balloons help readers make associations between the words they hear and see. It is the closest experience to being read a book that any app can deliver. As with all TOON Books, repeated use builds reading fluency.
• Narration is available in five languages - English, Spanish, French, Russian and Mandarin Chinese.
“The app takes full advantage of its electronic medium by introducing young readers to other languages,” says Art Spiegelman.
This is a collaboration between TOON Books and iStoryTime, a publisher of children’s storybooks for the iPhone. iStoryTime has the largest library of illustrated and narrated children’s books for the phone. iStoryTime books are available in the iPhone App Store in 80 countries.
Editorial Director Francoise Mouly (also Art Editor of The New Yorker) received overwhelming praise for the TOON Books collection, launched in Spring 2008. Vetted by educators and librarians, the books are now used in many K-4 classrooms and are the cornerstone of TOON in… A Comics in the Schools Initiative presented in partnership with the NYC School Library System.
For more information and to see our FREE, LITERARY, ONLINE TOOLS FOR KIDS, please visit: http://www.toon-books.com
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Resistance is the story of how pre-adolescents Paul and Marie Tessier come to join their Vichey, France-based family and friends in subverting the efforts of the occupying German army. Paul uses his artistic talent to send messages to others in Paris; Marie uses her ability to memorize (toe-the-line literacy supporters rejoice. But, then again, such folks are probably least likely to accept a graphic novel as good reading material anyway, right?) to interpret crytpics. Their older sister uses her feminine wiles to distract soldiers and hide papers. The kids are able to join their Jewish friend Henri with his parents in Paris, but their success seem small in sight of growing threats.
The well-established novelist Jablonksi and the respected comics artist Purvis, rightly considered co-authors of the text, appear to work well together to integrate plot and symbolic elements. The use of Paul's art as multilayered metatexts (actual images within panels; Paul's drawings of those images -- as drawings -- overlapping the actual images, and the reader seeing the signs as multiple as they read) reveals the complex reader response relationships inherent in graphica that the best comics artists easily manipulate. As well, the severity of the situations of the characters makes caring for them quick and easy, allowing for a fast-paced, deep, but still economic story development.
Further, it is nice to see more sequential art narratives on the Holocaust examining "other" sides of the equation, not just "War-Mongering Germans vs. Hapless Jews." I recently read an article about movies like Inglorious Bastards and books that are revealing a new version of Jewish identity, especially Jewish male identity. As well, graphic novels like the Barefoot Gen series and A Family Secret and The Arrival inform readers about how the war affected different nations and hemispheres as well as more various populations than we often consider in our study of this bleak period of human history.
Resistance fits well with the texts mentioned above, and in terms of quality, would be near the top (but not quite so near The Book Thief). Apparently there are more volumes to come, as this text was published as Book 1. I hope Jablonski and Purvis can keep up thier mojo in future continuations of the story, and perhaps one day we'll be looking at a tome-sized version of Resistance like we do the collected Maus.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Via PR, The Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 (The Twilight Saga) adaptation released last week sold over 66,000 copies, which publisher Yen Press claims is a record for single week GN sales in the US. The sales success comes in the face of generally bad reviews from the comics press, especially for the bizarro lettering. Yet despite these flaws, the target audience....
Click this post's title to link to the full story, with comments!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Alas, she and I seem to be in the boat of good works on comics and education that continually go uncited, but perhaps this write-up will get her more of the attention she deserves.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
When we saw a picture of the new children’s graphic novel collection at the Alameda Free Library in Alameda, California in a tweet from Supervising Children’s Librarian (and ICv2 reviewier) Eva Volin, it looked to us like the kind of place where new comic readers were being created on a regular basis. We were intrigued and asked for more information. Here are Volin’s answers, giving some great info on the kids’ graphic novel collection and how it’s developed....
Friday, March 12, 2010
1st Annual Comic Expo. “Comics On the Wall” April 1st- 3rd 2010
According to Robert N. O'Nale, Jr, this "is a Comic-Con type event to be held at the Artchurch Studio, Hot Springs National Park urban arts studio and gallery on April 1-3- and sponsored partially by Hot Springs High School and Henderson state University."
He continues, "This event is geared primarily for educators and students, but does have some open-to-the-public events such as gallery showings at the Downtown Gallery Walk the evening of Friday, April 2. I'll be delivering a history of comics lecture that day as well--no word on whether this lecture is open to the public or if registration is required."
Before he was a polarizing figure in the 2008 US presidential election. Professor William Ayers was also a respected educational figure with many books to his credit. Now he’s bringing his thoughts on the teaching life to comics with a graphic novel adaptation of TO TEACH: THE JOURNEY, IN COMICS, illustrated by Xeric Grant winner Ryan Alexander-Tanner.
Next on my wish-list of comic book adaptations of teacherly texts:
* Savage Inequalities
* Ghetto Schooling
* Basics of Qualitative Research
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Hint: This Trans-Phat can be good for you.
* A roundtable discussion on black issues and comics
* News that the Los Angeles Times has added a graphic novel category to their Book Prizes.
* Lisa Coxson teaches comics to ninth-graders in the Bronx.
Saturday, March 06, 2010
And the Congregation said "Amen!": The Spurge weighs in on Equating All Comics with Super-Hero Comics
Spurgeon calls for a a simple solution: If you're doing best-of lists or articles that focus solely on super hero-genred comics, say so.
Friday, March 05, 2010
Below is a trailer for the book. I'd be happy to review it if anyone wanted to send me a copy, cough cough.