Just got home from a wonderful day spent with the Jewish Children's Literature conference.  It was a fascinating morning spent with some amazing authors and graphic novelists.  I was priveleged to meet one of my own heroes, Sid Jacobson, the man behind the 9-11 Report (graphic adaptation) and the new graphic novel on Anne Frank.  He discussed the development of the Anne Frank GN in depth, and it was so interesting to hear about his work with the museum in Amsterdam as well as his visit to the premier in Berlin.

I also got to meet Barry Deutsch and Bill Rubin, who were both on the panel.  Barry's book "Hereville: How Mirka got her Sword" is such a great book.  I think its going to be a big hit with middle school girls everywhere, not just those who are orthodox Jewish ;).  I personally know a lot of teenagers that can relate to the family relationships in the book.  And, I have to say, I am a big fan of Barry's art.

Bill Rubin is the architect behind the new historical offering called, "Homeland," about the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel -- from ancient times until the present.  The artwork is impressive -- done by the same artist who did Testament.  It does have a different look than a more traditional comic or GN.  It tends to feature full page, or two page panel spreads with the text positioned in and around the visual narrative.  At times it has the feel of an illustrated book and is heavy on the text.  But the art and historical content is amazing.

I presented this afternoon, giving the overview presentation that is posted on this website under the presentations tab.  As usual, my presentation has too much info to convey in such a short time! However, I like having it all there and the luxury of being able to linger on some topics and skip around to others.  Since the entire presentation is posted here, attendees can visit the website and determine for themselves which portions are most useful to them. 

I had GREAT feedback from the participants -- a lot of great discussion.  We had some civil debate on the value of graphic interpretations of classic literature vs. the literature itself -- that is one debate that I think we will not find resolution on.  Some people feel very strongly that classic texts should not be supplanted by a graphic version -- in today's presentation, the discussion centered on Kafka's "Metamorphosis."  Many great points were made.  What do you think?  I don't think anyone is suggesting that GN adaptations REPLACE the original... however, I think teachers working with struggling readers and ELLs, and even simply visually heavy learners are leaning towards utilizing the GN adaptations as a tool for supporting comprehension -- and also as a means for discussion interpretation.  How is this artist's interpretation different from your own?  What creative decisions did this artist make in order to translate this work from the traditional medium to the visual format?  What is lost in translation?  What is enhanced?  So many many rich discussions to be had! :)

Well, for any/all of you that were there -- I just want to say thank you for such a warm reception, for your participation, and for your kind words of appreciation at the end.  It was a wonderful day, and I feel happy to have spent time with such wonderful people!

Pictures will follow at some point :)

Best,

Anastasia
 


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