Amph Comics in the classroom

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by rebelwookiee, Jul 31, 2007.

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  1. Jedi_Nausicaa Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2005
    star 1
    I'll recommend "Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind" which was I think the first graphic novel I ever read and I suppose you can see in my username that it had a lasting impression ... although it may be too long for what you're looking for, I suppose.
  2. StarscreamPrime Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2006
    star 4
    I have to disagree with RebelWookie about the "Sandman" comment. I've talked with many female friends, and even those that aren't necessarily "comic" fans love the series. It's really more about relationships, and mythologies, than it is about somewhat stereotypical superhero fare. I'd merely suggest it still be kept on the backburner for discussion. :)

    But I guess the hard thing for me is to suggest something that WOULDN'T be controversial. I mean, "Fun Home" would be good for some points, but I could imagine the whole "lesbian/gay" storyline might prove to be REALLY questionable grounds. The same kind of goes with Craig Thompson's "Blankets", even though it's a BRILLIANT story.

  3. moosemousse CR Emeritus: FF-UK South

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2004
    star 6
    How about the Star Trek manga?
  4. rebelwookiee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2004
    star 4
    I didn't mean anything specific about girls and Sandman--I was just thinking of the ones that I know will be in my classes and their individual tastes. Like I said before, it's a very small school so I know everyone pretty well.

    As for Star Trek, I know from experience that in these kid's minds Star Trek = Super nerd. I think it would be more of a struggle to get past that than it's worth. It's going to be hard enough to get them to accept graphic novels.

  5. Dingo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 5
    While I think that everyone should be given copies of Sandman and Lucifer and told they aren't to move until they have finished the series, the length of them would be a little prohibitive to their use since the big part of their appeal is the spanning and yet contained nature of their tale.

    For singular contained stories, recommendations are:

    a) Red Star. It has the kind of action and story that would appeal to the males in your class, but since most of the leads are female, it will also appeal to the girls, especially as they aren't the "wearing-nothing-and-silicone-enhanced-falling-out-of-bra" type leads. Plus the computer based graphics lead to more modern stylistic appeals.

    b) Life Eaters. Harder to come by, but good allegorical tale about war and humanity.

    c) Pride of Baghdad. Contemporary and insightful, a different kind of tale about war.
  6. LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 9
    I think I have heard of Pride of Baghdad but I haven't seen it. That's about a group of lions?
  7. Darth-Lando Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    Yes. It's written by Brian K. Vaughn and it's about a group of lions that escape from the Baghdad zoo during the invasion of Iraq. I haven't read it myself but it looks interesting. I'm waiting for a paperback release.
  8. whisperjedi Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2005
    star 2


    Damn right, it's edgy...we discussed fascism and the nudity (in a "mainstream" book back then.) Perhaps U could get a fieldtrip going, when the movie comes out.

  9. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Yes. As Lando said, it's fantastic. I'd read it ;)
  10. rebelwookiee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2004
    star 4
    Actually, I'd be more likely to get a new job and/or a lawsuit with possible jail time. It's ridiculous, but the teaching profession has a whole different set of rules...and they can be re-written at the drop of a hat. I'd love to use Watchmen, and maybe in some situations I could, but right now it just wouldn't work. Nudity is probably the biggest no-no in school...even such simple inoffensive nudity as in Watchmen. Teachers have been charged with exposing kids to pornography for simply taking them to art museums. Other teachers have been threatened with jail time over kids who "accidentally" stumbled onto porn sites while using the computer at school. I live in the state that produced John Ashcroft--who wanted the bare bosom of the statue of the "spirit of justice" to be covered because he thought it was offensive. And most of the people around here support that type of thinking. There's just a limit to what I can realistically do. But I definitely agree with the spirit of the statement, and trust me it weighs heavy on me that I have these kinds of limitations.

  11. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    there is a really good graphic novel by craig thompson called 'blankets' which i just realized has some nudity. really because it explores thompson's own story of growing up in the midwest and being ridiculously sheltered and emotionally repressed. i loved reading and it's definitely subject matter for your age group but not image-wise.

    so instead i'll recommend 'goodbye, chunky rice' which avoids all the human nudity pitfalls and plunges straight for the heartache of having your best friend move away from home and all told through a mouse and turtle, i think. and it's shorter than blankets as well. so yay.
  12. whisperjedi Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2005
    star 2
    Alright then, I will suggest Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise..."Starman". These r both titles that a friend gave 2 me and I totally got hooked. Personally 4 a high school level, I'd say Maus, Bone & Kingdom Come. I read "Blankets" mentioned by a comic book retailer (who was a guest speaker in class)& he was right, it was boring...even for a prize winner.
  13. rebelwookiee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2004
    star 4
    Just thought I'd give an update on this project. I started with a class of high school freshmen who for the most part had never even seen a comic book. We examined an excerpt from Spider-Man where he and Captain America have a discussion about the events of Civil War. The was a lot of good character analysis and a fairly positive reaction by the students.

    Next I let them pick an online comic at marvel.com to read and analyze. I chose this because it is free. We're an extremely small school with very little money, and I had already invested in some graphic novels. Again they had some good character analysis and a pretty positive reaction.

    Then we moved on to reading The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci, published by DC's MINX press. I chose this because I knew that the mostly female class was interested in adolescent literature and "teen issues," and it was a school appropriate title with some interesting issues for discussion. They reacted VERY positively. They had no exposure to comics, so seeing something besides male superheroes really blew them away. We did several writing projects including writing a sequel from one of the Janes' point of view.

    After that we tried writing original comics. This didn't work out so well, but it was a learning experience.

    The best part of all this is that I got a good review from my administrator who observed a lesson, and she recommended that we use more graphic novels in class! Too bad she didn't offer any money to buy them... but anyway, the project is going well so far. Of course I haven't actually created any new comic readers, because it's nearly impossible for kids to find comics around here. But at least the attitude has become friendlier.
  14. NJOfan215 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 5
    That sounds like it went well. Good job.
  15. StarscreamPrime Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 2006
    star 4
    DC's MINX imprint has been surprisingly good, even for a male reader like myself. (Call me open-minded about my reading material, in that I don't mind stories from a feminine perspective every once in a while.) My personal favorite was "Clubbed", so unless this was a temporary project, that might be a good continuation.

  16. NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
  17. rebelwookiee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2004
    star 4
    Several of the girls commented positively on the preview of Clubbing in the back of Plain Janes. As for continuing, I hope I can do more. Money is the biggest obstacle.
  18. Darth-Lando Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 6
    Sounds like it was a very positive experience for your students. Hopefully it can do away with some of the "comics are only for kids" mentality.
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