It has been such a wonderful week here at Comic Con.  We've gotten to spend some time at some wonderful panels and have enjoyed the crazy chaotic ambiance in general... but its Saturday night and that means... you guess it.  Tomorrow is the last day.  I am sad to see it end.  We are nearly exhausted from all the endless running around we have been doing between panel sessions and the exhibit hall.

Some highlights for today...

Got to meet James Bucky Carter, who as either written, edited, or consulted on so many professional books on using comics in the classrooms...

Met and had a great talk with Andy of Owly!!!  He is perhaps the NICEST author I have ever met at one of these events... genuinely humble and kind... just like his books!  We made plans to talk later this year to arrange an author's visit to one of the schools I work with -- I can't wait.  Its going to be FAB u lous!!!

Got introduced to another series that I hadn't heard of before... the Boilerplate books by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett... their panel was really intellectually stimulating.  If you haven't heard about the Boilerplate books, you need to check it out.  Its sort of fiction meets history meets authentic spoof hoax.  The companion website makes things even more interesting!

We also (by mistake) sat in on the Assassins Creed session... we were trying to get into a session on "What is creativity" with one of the artists from Disney.  But, we didn't realized that session had been canceled -- ended up in a room of AC Fangirls (and boys..) that was interesting!  The art in the new game, however, is simply AMAZAZING!!!!!!

Our panel session went really well and was over before we knew it.  Afterwards one of the audience members approached me to tell me all about the American Physics Societies comics that teach physics... she invited me to visit her booth and check ou
Well, its Wednesday night and we didn't get out of here as quick as we would have liked... so what this means for check in at SDCC, I'm not quite sure!

In any case, I've decided to start using this blog to offer teaching ideas and reviews of GNs that I think will work really well in the classroom.  A book we were introduced to at last years Comic Con is Vietnamerica by GB Tran.  We actually got to meet GB last year at the con and talk with him about his book.  He was so kind and eager to share his journey of discovery back into his family's roots in Viet Nam.

I'm going to try and post a link to the book trailer on Amazon.  Its really great.  This book would be a great book to explore if you are studying memoir, or the immigrant experience.  Enjoy!

Click Here for the Amazon video

Really excited!  We just got the word this week that our invitation to be on a panel at Comic Con has been confirmed!  Thank you FIRST SECOND BOOKS!!  Not only do they publish one of my favorite graphic novels (American Born Chinese, by Gene Yang), they are a dream to work with.  I am so happy to be back on a panel sponsored by this awesome publisher! :)

So, as this blog post state, the title of the panel is "Comics in the Classroom" with a focus on comics in the k-12 classroom.  I need to think about what my focus will be -- so many choices to pick from!!  Some of my favorite things to share ....

*Use of wordless GNs with pre-literate and literacy emergent students (K/1/2, etc.).  Owly is a GREAT book for this.  I even wrote a post about the importance of this on my FB page...  Though, in thinking about this, I wonder how many kinder or 1st grade teachers will be attending SDCC, probably not that many.  So maybe this is just something to mention but not to focus on.  If I focused on Wordless GNs, regardless of grade level, I could take the ELL approach --and the idea of vocabulary development.  Shaun Tan's Arrival is a great book to use with older students... something to ponder there.

*I also really like the idea of Identity for adolescents...  who am I?  what do I stand for?  how do I integrate the many parts of me... my many "selves"?  Good opportunity here to promote ABC (a First Second Publication...)  I am such a Gene Yang fan.  I admit it.  He is truly one of my favorites... I also LOVED Prime Baby by GY.  You can read that one online, even though it is also out in print now too.  I think the reason I like Gene Yang so much is just for the simple fact that his work is so relate-able for tweens and teens.  Who hasn't thought their younger sibling was secretly an alien?  I mean come on now!  ABC is just a master work...  on so many levels.

I'm sure there is so much more that I am not thinking about at the moment, but it is almost 11pm and my mind is fading fast :). 

More to come as I think about and develop my ideas for the panel...


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 :)


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