All-Ages Comic Anthology Featuring Jill Thompson and Fred Van Lente Raises Money to Bring Comics into the Classroom

Official Press Release
Reading With PicturesChicago, IL February, 2010—Beginning February 22 and running through May 22, the educational non-profit Reading With Pictures will be taking orders for its all-ages comic anthology on ( The full-color, 192-page anthology features a cover by Jill Thompson (The Sandman) and all-new stories by more than 50 cartoonists including Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man), Jeffrey Brown (Sulk), Jim Gownley (Amelia Rules), Raina Telgemeier (The Baby-Sitter’s Club), Chris Giarrusso (Mini-Marvels), Eric Wight (Frankie Pickle), the Fillbach Brothers (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and RWP Executive Director Josh Elder (Mail Order Ninja).

In addition to selling signed softcover and limited-edition hardcover editions of the anthology, Reading With Pictures is offering several unique opportunities for high-level donors to live the dream and become comic book characters by being drawn into the anthology by their favorite artists. Other incentive packages include digital downloads and bulk-rate discounts for teachers and librarians.

“I believe in bringing comics into the classroom because comics were my ‘secret weapons’ in school,” says Executive Director Josh Elder. “All the creators involved in this anthology volunteered their time and considerable talents because they believe it too. Comics made us all better students, better citizens and better people, and we know they can do the same for everyone.”

The anthology centers around the theme of education, and each story contains engaging and entertaining educational content. Trevor Mueller and Gabriel Bautista tell the story of alien exchange student and his human classmates traveling back in time to learn about dinosaurs firsthand. In Kevin Pyle’s “The Order of the Secret Pencil,” a boy learns to read and write through the use of comics. The sciences are also represented along with the humanities when Chris Eliopoulos, an animation director for Yo Gabba Gabba! on Nick Jr., explains the unique biology of the electric eel.

Money raised from sales of the anthology will pay for the printing of the anthology itself and provide the majority of funding for Reading With Pictures during its critical startup period. That funding will allow Reading With Pictures to forge ahead with its ambitious slate of groundbreaking projects to revolutionize the use of comics in the classroom. These include a partnering with Northwestern University to conduct the most comprehensive research study in U.S. history on comics as educational tools, creating a searchable, interactive database of comic-centric curriculum and providing recommended reading lists for all ages, interests and subjects.

Reading With Pictures’ Executive Director Josh Elder and all anthology creators are available for interview. High-resolution images from the anthology will also be made available upon request. For more information, please contact Media Director Michael Moreci or visit our Kickstarter site ( for all the latest news, previews, and updates.


Reading With Pictures was founded in 2009 by award-winning graphic novelist and nationally syndicated cartoonist Josh Elder in order to revolutionize the role of comics in education. The organization has since grown to comprise eight board members drawn from publishing and academia, including John Shableski, Sales Manager for Diamond Book Distributors, and David Rapp, an Associate Professor of Learning Sciences and Cognitive Psychology at Northwestern University. We also engage the talents of more than 60 active volunteers from all over the world in various capacities.

At Reading With Pictures, we believe that comics have the potential to be more engaging, more efficient and more effective educational tools than traditional classroom materials. We believe it because we’ve experienced it in our own lives. Comics made us better students, better citizens and better people. Now we hope to share those experiences with pupils in every city, in every school and in every classroom.


  • Partnering with Northwestern University and other academic institutions to oversee the largest and most comprehensive research study in U.S. history on the role of comics in education
  • Building an interactive database of research papers, lesson plans and comic-centric curriculum
  • Providing educational consultation services to schools and publishers
  • Working with cartoonists to produce top-quality educational comics
  • Helping universities design courses in the burgeoning field of Comics Studies
  • Creating a Speakers Bureau to get cartoonists into schools and libraries
  • Aggregating graphic novel reviews from various accredited sources and generating recommended reading lists for every age group and subject matter


Reading With Pictures is a nonprofit organization that advocates the use of comics in the classroom to promote literacy and improve educational outcomes for all students. We work with academics to cultivate groundbreaking research into the proper role of comics in education. We collaborate with cartoonists to produce exceptional graphic novel content for scholastic use. Most importantly, we partner with educators to develop a system of best practices for integrating comics into their curriculum. At Reading With Pictures, we get comics into schools and get schools into comics.