The Killer of Reading and the Maker of Readers: Shifting Perspectives on Comics in the Classroom

Sensational Spider-Man #28, cover by Clayton Crain

Sensational Spider-Man #28, cover by Clayton Crain

With the end of summer comes the return of school. While my own high school English experience could best be described as ‘Shakespeare, Miller, and Steinbeck,’ comic books are becoming increasingly popular in the classroom. By turns embraced by readers and condemned by the non-converted, comics are a controversial medium. But how has the perspective on comic books and graphic novels in the classroom has changed over the years? In exploring this question, first I’ll elaborate upon the ideas found in the historical literature. Then I’ll highlight current trends and thinking on the subject, and finally wrap up with a discussion of my own thoughts on comics as a modern medium.

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San Diego Comic Con 2015: My Plans!

Three days until Comic Con is upon us! All of us save for Lina will be in San Diego this year, and we thought we’d share some of our plans with you guys. First up is one where you’ll get a chance to meet us and tons of other awesome bloggers from around the web!

GameOfBloggers02Game of Bloggers

Put together by Tony Kim, Game of Bloggers promises to be a fun meet up for like-minded bloggers to meet fans, network, and have a damn good time.  We’re incredibly excited to meet so many other bloggers, YouTubers, podcasters and fans!

Game of Bloggers takes place Wednesday night, and more details are at Tony’s post.

If you’re going to be there, please let us know so we can at least say hi!

Panels

As always, the SDCC panel schedule is one that will bring joy to some and bring almost everyone to the edge of tears. After a few cons, however, I Chantaal-SDCCThursdaydecided I don’t need to do the big panels anymore – no Hall H, no Ballroom 20. I’m getting too old and crotchety to wait in line from 6am to roomsit all day for one panel.

This does mean I miss out, but I know I always feel better when I’m not stressing about being stuck in a room all day, eating nothing but packed snacks and soda to stay alert.

Sigh, no Marvel TV. No The 100. No Hannibal. I’ll live.

Some of the other panels I have my eye on are smaller or happen in rooms that don’t tend to fill up and lead to tons of anxiety and tears: Wrath of Con Bloggers, Nick Carter Goes West (BACKSTREET BOYS?!), Archie Forever, Kung Fury, Keep YA Weird, Person of Interest, Women of Marvel, and Chip Zdarksy, among many, many others.

Exclusives & Shopping

4-Packs-mtv-1435615269This is where some of the fun for me is happening this year. First thing Thursday morning I’m heading to the Marvel and Funko booths for some exclusives that I hope to get my hands on.

Along with a few of Marvel’s Skottie Young pin sets, I really want to get some Funkos. The dream collection: Age of Ultron Captain America Unmasked, John Diggle Arrow, and Bryan Fuller.

I also hope to pick up a pack of Dragon Age Inquisition playing cards. I don’t ask for much, Comic Con gods. Just a few things.

Also interesting are the tiny Ant-Man figure, this Archer pillow, a Gronk plush, and the Archie vs Predator #1 SDCC variant.

Buttons and Lanyards and More Buttons

Chantaal-lanyardsI somehow always seem to fill up my lanyard with buttons over the four days I wander around Comic Con. It doesn’t feel like a real con without them, and I’ve built up a pretty huge collection over the years.

Art

Last but certainly not least is all the art that will be on display! I have a fantastic collection of art and buttons from various comic cons over the years, and it’s always fun to wander Artists Alley. You may get to find your favorite comic book creators, or you may find some niche artists who create some stunning work.

That is just a taste of my loose plans for comic con this year, not including all the shenanigans my friends and I plan to get up to. Having many plans in case something falls through is the best way to approach SDCC, and no matter what, I know I’m going to have an excellent time.

 

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Art Love: Harley Quinn

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Movie Version Suicide Harley by noflutter

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Harley Quinn by Skottie Young

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Our pick of the week:

666582_9a09c2a7f5367d35d53c34c5b98499f4c82486d6A-Force #1
Story: G. Willow Wilson
Art: Jorge Molina
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Marvel’s Mightiest Women finally get their own explosive series! In a secluded corner of the Battleworld, an island nation is fiercely protected by a team of Avengers the likes of which has only ever been glimpsed before? Fighting to protect the small sliver of their world that’s left, the Amazing A-FORCE stands shoulder-to-shoulder, ready to take on the horde!

Keep reading for our picks!

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Art Love: Daredevil

Daredevil in less than six hours! WE ARE READY.

Chris Samnee Daredevil

Chris Samnee

Alex Maleev Daredevil

Alex Maleev

8born-2

Daredevil #233
Frank Miller (W), David Mazzuchelli (A), Max Scheele (C), and Joe Rosen (L)

Daredevil by Coran Kizer Stone

Matt…Daredevil by Coran Stone

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Our pick of the week:

STK669357Saga #27
Story: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics

 

Poor Marko. 

Keep reading for our picks!

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Art Love: Rogue & Gambit

Rogue & Gambit by Amelia Vidal

Rogue & Gambit by Amelia Vidal

(It’s my birthday, I ship what I want!)

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Get to Know Your Daredevil

Netflix Daredevil

Daredevil is perhaps best known from the 2003 movie of the same name, starring a pre-Batfleck Ben Affleck. While I think that flick has its charms—particularly the Director’s Cut, which underplays the romance (but not the Evanescence) in favour of a legal subplot featuring Coolio—it’s definitely not the best representation of the character. With the Daredevil Netflix series right around the corner, now is a great time to check out the groundbreaking comic book roots of this iconic, albeit somewhat under appreciated by the mainstream, character. Continue reading

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Out pick of the week, this Gwensday:

664952_24748dad1e826a6d6c55aa624680299ea6f026d8

Spider-Gwen #3

Story: Jason Latour
Art: Robbi Rodriguez
Colors: Rico Renzi
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Police Lieutenant Frank Castle is not a man to be trifled with. His new assignment? GET SPIDER-GWEN. ‘Nuff said.

 

Keep reading for our picks!

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Art Love: Hulk…Smash?

Hulk by Cassie Tyler

Hulk…Smash? by Cassie Tyler

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