Nadja Spiegelman's new Zig and Wikki book takes a look at some natural energy cycles, from cows to dung beetles. It turns out the energy cycle is not only a perfect circle, but it's also a funny way to reach kids.
This is the story of how a few informal conversations turned into a full-blown comic book convention in the unassuming town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It took the hard work and imagination of dozens of teachers, librarians, college administrators, business people, and professionals in the comic book industry, as well as hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of meetings.
High school senior Elizabeth Heyman explains her love for comics and shows what an educational resource they have been for her.
Graphic journalism is a vast repository for some amazing nonfiction work. Some of the leaders in the field offer their insights into the hard-to-define genre.
Writer Jim Zubkavich explains the fine line he walks in creating Skullkickers, a series aimed at young adults. How do you craft a story that's just the right mix of "young" and "adult" to keep readers satisfied and parents happy? Here, he explains how he does it.
High Tech High is a charter school in Chula Vista, California, specializing in math, science, and engineering course work for its students. It’s also the home to multimedia instructor Patrick Yurick, who three years ago founded the Graphic Novel Project. It was an afterschool venture with 15 students and a dream that, as Patrick describes it, “based on the quality of their dedication and work, we would create a comic that would be of the quality to exhibit at Comic-Con International.” This past summer, Patrick and his students’ dream was realized when they exhibited at the con and even hosted a panel there. Here, Patrick describes what made the Graphic Novel Project (GNP) so successful.
Mary Klucznik is a library media specialist at Chittenango High School in New York State. Over the past year, circulation for graphic novels there has increased three-fold, and a lot of it is due to the fact that she has enlisted students (now called The Gurus) to help with collection development. She shares her success story with us here.
"I think graphic novels and manga have made a huge difference in the lives of many of our readers and in my life as well," says Decatur, Texas, librarian Denice Herrara. For the past three years, she's been in charge of her library's graphic novel and manga section, and here she shares her story of how she made it a success.
Comics ratings: So useful in theory, so complicated in real life. It certainly is handy that the publishers put that age rating on the back, but what does it mean? Who decides what a 13-year-old can see that a 12-year-old can't? And which 13-year-olds are they talking about, anyway?
Bronx librarian Ryan Donovan set out to create a young-adult discussion group for graphic novels and manga. What transpired between the months of October 2009 and July 2010 was more than that: It became a social outlet for a dozen teen to discuss comics in a variety of aspects.
Whether we call them graphic novels, comic books, sequential art, or something else, comics are often disrespected as an art form. Why is this? Creator Conor McCreery explores why and makes his case for teaching great comics works in schools.
Teacher Maureen Bakis shares what she learned from a busy two days at New York Comic Con.
Teacher Leigh Brodsky shares what she saw and what she learned at this year's New York Comic Con.
Graphic novels can tell great stories. But educator Katie Monnin has found one that works on another level too: business education.
High-school teacher John C. Weaver made his first trip to Baltimore Comic-Con recently. He not only survived the experience; he had a great time that he recounts for us here.
John Shableski of Diamond Book Distributors offers his take on how comics and the publishing industry are serving (and not serving) the needs of young readers.
College remedial reading professor Doré Ripley used a graphic adaptation of Poe's Nevermore to reach her students in a bold and new way. How did it turn out? She explains the outcome here.
Kent Allin began teaching a comics course in his high school, to great success. Here’s how the course turned out, both from Kent’s point of view and from that of two of his students.
The author of the Lunch Lady series explains how comics are the perfect fit in the classroom.
To earn my master’s degree in English, I was required to read comics! At first, I thought this seminar course about graphic novels elementary, but the experience eventually transformed the way I teach literacy to high-school seniors.
New York City libraries are facing significant budget cuts. But there’s a postcard campaign underway to help draw attention to their plight. Find out all about it here!
No one can doubt the influence of comic books and graphic novels in early 21st-century America. We teach them in our schools, bookstores sell them by the score, and, most profitably, movie studios use them for inspiration. Here’s how one teacher took the next step of using comics to enrich a high-school play.
Librarian Michele Gorman shares her 10-year history of incorporating graphic novels into her library and shows how she made it a success with teens by actually learning about what teens want to read.
How do the lessons of comics apply to everyday living? Teacher Lisa Coxson explores the deeper issue, showing how comics can be used to delve into matters of personal freedom, civil liberties, and government responsibility, all based on the Marvel Comics: Civil War series and the 2008 film The Dark Knight.
Teacher Leigh Brodsky takes you through her graphic novel course, explaining how she teaches the books that are the foundational pieces in the format.
A program aimed at boys in Alaska and helping them develop a love of reading features graphic novels and manga. The library director who implemented the program explains how he did it and how successful it has been.
In the second installment of her ongoing documentation of teaching kids with the classics, Doré Ripley shows how her students took to the graphic adaptation of Metamorphosis.
English teacher Allen Porter built a new graphic-novel curriculum at his school. Here's the story of how he did it and how he developed a program to engage kids in learning about comics.
Teens love to get graphic at the library, and librarian Jordan Boaz has the details on how to make it work.
Teacher Eric Federspiel earned a grant that allowed him to bring 15 iPod Touches into the classroom. Here’s how he loaded them with comics-related learning opportunities.
Young-adult librarian Lisa Elliot has tried to bring more Spanish-language graphic novels to her library. But it’s not so simple. With a lack of resources, ordering help, and distribution, she’s been thwarted several times in her attempts to serve her patrons better. Here’s her first-hand account of her experiences.
Doré Ripley, a lecturer at Cal State East Bay, has been using graphic novels in her college classrooms for a while now, using them to teach remedial reading and writing to her students. But now she's about to embark on a new graphic-novel endeavour. She explains how it will work and what she's expecting.
When a writer and an artist both contribute to the creation of a character in comics, who owns the rights? Is the character's powers more defining and more important than the creation of the world he inhabits? That's the question, and the cause of many feuds in the comics industry.
Where should graphic novels be shelved in bookstores? With similar genres, with other graphic novels, or elsewhere? Here’s one view on the issue.
Bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz (The Crime Writer, Last Shot) explains how he came to write his childhood antihero, the Punisher. And he gives you a chance to enter a contest related to his new thriller, Trust No One!
Teacher Leigh Brodsky tells how she started incorporating graphic novels into the classroom—and what kind of reaction she got when she told her supervisor that she wanted to teach them.
John C. Weaver, an English teacher at Williamsport Area High School in Pennsylvania, first documented his experiences teaching Watchmen in his classroom. Now he's back to tell us what he learned, what he'll do differently next time, and what worked well with his students.
Phil Yeh is a writer and the creator of the educational Dinosaurs Across graphic novel series from NBM Publishing. He also started a literacy tour nearly a quarter of a century ago, a tour that has taken all over the globe. Here, he writes of his experiences in the industry and how graphic novels could properly be used to help teach both children and adults.
If we're in the middle of a graphic novel bubble, what happens when that bubble explodes? Actually, we've been in bubbles like this before, and as writer and artist Jeffrey Brown explains, the format we love so much will not only survive the bubble, but will also thrive.
Public librarians have been making huge strides in the recognition and acceptance of graphic literature. But what about academic libraries? They face special challenges and needs that public libraries don’t. In this essay from Columbia librarian Karen Green, you’ll find out what it took to build a graphic collection at one of the most prestigious universities in the country…and you’ll gain insights into how her methods can be applied elsewhere.
John C. Weaver is an English teacher at Williamsport Area High School in Pennsylvania. As a teacher looking for active ways to engage his students, he’s found one book that captures his students’ attention like no other: Watchmen. Here, he shares how he teaches the book, the lessons it provides for students, and how the kids react to the book.
This is the second year of the Stanford Graphic Novel Project, an endeavor to teach narrative through graphic storytelling. Stanford professor Adam Johnson explains what it takes to make comics an effective teaching tool in the college classroom and shows why it's been so successful.
We're in the middle of the greatest communications revolution in history, and comics, graphic novels, and manga are definitely a part of it. So why do some people still have trouble classifying them as books?
First-time graphic novelist Alissa Torres reveals the artists and writers who made an impact on her work and how her life began to resemble a comic book after the tragedy of 9/11 unfolded.