Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Talking Shop

Okay, the main reason I created this blog is talk comics and what it can mean for education. Some people know I'm going to grad school to teach English in high school and maybe middle school. Now, a big part of that is knowing that I'll be able to teach comics in class if they are relevent to the content standards each and every school has to abide by. Thank you No Child Left Behind. Anyway, I started thinking about different things teachers have told me over the years and what one teacher told a student in a class I recently observed.
She said that reading was important, and it did not matter what students read so long as they read. One student lifted a graphic novel he was reading, and she said "Except comic books, we won't be reading them in class.
I wrote down a question and it went like this, why can't comics be taught? They are literature and art combined. We show movies and play music for children, what is the difference. A list of graphic novels started to burst from my mind. Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, taught in History, as a means of showing people's actions or inability to become independent from a higher authority. The Authority by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch. This could be included while teaching ethics to students. The story asks the question Why can't good be done for the world? And why do those in power wish to stop great things from happening to the world?
Joseph Michael Linsner's Lucifer's Halo would be great for contemporary English fiction. It involves Celtic, Hindu and Judeo-Christian motifs that are appealing to everyone and shows what an Everyman should be. I'd also figure out a way to have students read WE3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. It really is a good yarn about what home is and how to get there despite the world being a scary place. These were just some of the subject that are touched upon.
The one that really got me thinking though was the Amazing Spiderman graphic novel, Revelations, which deals with the events of September 11th, 2001. It is a pretty poignant story but that tries to teach a message that anyone can be a hero, just look at the men and women that helped save lives that day.


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