Search Results for: comics in classroom

Creators Corner: Opening the Doors to Comics in the Classroom

As a life-long comics fan, I’ve always tried to remove the blinders from people’s eyes and make them see the value of comics, to open the doors that prevented them from entering into this new and wonderful world. In grade school, I strong-armed my friends into taking trips to the comics store with me. In middle school, I took a brief detour and closed the doors on comics–finding yourself and accepting yourself in middle school is hard enough without having to embrace the label of “Comic Geek,” especially since most people’s frame of reference for comic fans at the time was The Simpson’s Comic Book Guy.


Eventually, in high school, I grew tired of having this secret identity and would proudly proclaim my love of comics, shoving comics into the hands of friends based on interest. A friend liked the action, intrigue and conspiracies of the Bourne books–check out 100 Bullets. A friend already liked Neil Gaiman’s prose work–check out Sandman. A friend and I connected over our shared love of the 90s X-Men cartoon series–check out this other cool X-Men thing from the 90s called Age of Apocalypse. The doors were starting to open again, but I had more than a few friends who slammed it shut in my face.


Now that I’m a high school English teacher, I still want to open the doors so more people can enjoy the great world of comics, but I have some different methods. At first, it started off as offering Maus as an alternative to another concentration camp book, Night. Then, it branched into having students use online comic creator programs like Pixton to showcase knowledge of theme in a text we read. But these only opened a few doors for the few students in my class who wanted to explore new rooms. It was time to try something else.

Three years ago, I decided that it was time to propose a graphic novel class. I’d had a taste of the engagement that comics can build in students, and I wanted more, but I wanted to see this happen every day for every student in a class. I spent a frenetic weekend poring over my district’s new course proposal requirements, filling out the documents, asking for feedback from other teachers who had proposed a class before, and then revising those documents based on their feedback. I might have been dead to the outside world, but I was creating a new world for a new classroom. Unfortunately, for various reasons having to do with district politics, all of our English department proposals were rejected, graphic novel included. I’d glimpsed some light through a crack in the door, but just when I was about to cross the threshold, the door was slammed in my face. Again.


Two years ago, I made slight changes and then sent it to be approved. But our district had changed the course proposal requirements, allowing only one department to add new classes per year, and it was again rejected, because it wasn’t our department’s turn. The door remained closed.

Finally, a year ago, they opened the door (not just to my class, but to our department’s eight other new classes). I spent that year ironing out any kinks any the course, and so that I could speak more to the creative process of making a comic, I started self-publishing my thriller comic Rebirth of the Gangster (shameless plug–it’s on sale on Amazon, and it’s like Breaking Bad meets The Wire with a shot of Shakespearean drama and debt to Othello). The year passed, I’d adjusted some of the choice texts for the class, and I’d released the first three issues of my series, and I entered my classroom doors at the beginning of September, ready to unlock student’s passion for comics.


But that didn’t pan out quite like I hoped.

Sure, there were students who had read plenty of comics (especially manga, often from students who were in the anime club I advise). And those students entered my class with the same curiosity and commitment I would’ve entered a similar class if it had existed when I went to high school. They saw something worthwhile in every comic we read, even the more abstract Understanding Comics that tripped up many other students. They poured sweat into every Behind the Scenes activity we did, even if they only cared about the writing part of the comic creating process or if they only cared about the penciling, inking, coloring, or lettering we focused on in other BTS lessons. They would often offer insights in class discussion that I hadn’t thought of, prompting other students to become more engaged in the stories we read. And when the end of the semester came, and they had to create some aspect of a 6-page comic, they worked for their own growth, not for a grade. They created something that not only earned an A; it earned my gratitude and pride. These students saw an open door and jumped through it, never looking back.


But these students only counted for about ¼ of my class. The rest of my class didn’t care about comics, and even more worrisome, didn’t care to put in work when asked. They took my class because they thought it would be an easy A. “It’d be less work, and even if I have to read, reading comics is easier” is what they all told me. Comics might have become legitimate enough to have a class all their own, but people’s perceptions weren’t changed that quickly, and comics still weren’t seen as legitimate or as deep as other media. At least they were honest.

Sometimes this didn’t matter. My students who had opened the door and started exploring every nook and cranny of these new rooms would often carry discussion, pulling some of these students in. And even when they didn’t pull other students in, talking with those students about comics–learning from them as they were learning from me–often made my day. But on those days when they didn’t carry conversations, class would drag, and it would weigh on me more than any of my other classes. I began to dread this class.

And I think my students could tell, but they didn’t change. In fact, many students got even lazier. It got to the point that one of my students lost their job, because his parents wouldn’t let him work when he was failing my class. I’ve taught for seven years, and that was a first for me. This student even admitted he only failed because he didn’t care enough about the class to try, but his behavior didn’t change. He closed the door, and even when he was standing in a hallway on fire, he refused to open it.

I got so sick of this that I had an extensive heart-to-heart with my class. I talked about how I had more Fs in that class than the rest of my classes combined. I talked about how comics were my greatest passion, but that this class’s attitude was making me dislike my greatest passion. I talked about how something similar had happened when I taught a hip hop class, and that I needed to take a break from teaching that class because of the lack of passion from my students, not because I didn’t love hip hop. And I told them that unless things changed, the same thing was going to happen here: I’d teach this course for a year and then abandon it in the same way I felt that most of my students had abandoned my jewel, the class I had worked harder on than the AP classes I teach.


I don’t know if it was this talk, or if it was just that many of my students put in a last-ditch effort to avoid an F for the semester in this class. Whatever it was, over the last two months of this class, I began to see more effort and curiosity from my students. Part of this could have to do with reading a choice graphic novel in the last part of the semester: as much as I love Kuper’s Metamorphosis, Spiegelman’s Maus, and Satrapi’s Persepolis, I definitely know that other comics would draw them into this world of panels and gutters more effectively (choice texts like Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Wandering Son, Nausicaa, March, and more). Once they got their hands on a graphic novel they chose, they creaked open the door and took a few steps into this new room: not everybody, but more than I had seen up to that point.

Ultimately, by the end of the semester, I no longer dreaded teaching this class. But I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would when I’d spent the previous years and summer hammering away at a keyboard, chiseling out curriculum. It had become like any other class I taught: full of some fun heights and some frustrating lows and a whole lot of boring middle ground.

Yes, I found a way to open the door to a new generation of comics readers, but I didn’t figure out a way to have them walk through that door. But then again, isn’t that the case with any subject in school? And if many of my graphic novel students are treating my class like they do other classes, that surely should be a sign that comics are gaining that legitimacy I always wanted. As it is with any other subject, the doors are open, and it’s all on the individual if they decide to explore that room or not, if they decide to make this pit stop or continue on their path. Finally, no one will slam these doors in their face like I had them slammed in mine. And that’s a step in the right direction even if the finish line still isn’t in sight.

NYCC 2018: Image Brings Panels, Exclusives, and Signings!

Image Comics will return to New York City this year for NYCC on Thursday, October 4th through Sunday, October 7th for New York Comic Con.

Please note: updates to the schedule may appear online during the show. Please refer to the post for the most up-to-date information.

* Quantities will be limited by customer and per day on a first come, first served basis. Please ask at the Image booth about availability.

  • Blackbird #1- $10 + tax
  • Dead Rabbit #1 – $10 + tax
  • JesusFreak Ashcan – $1 + tax
  • Deadly Class #1 – FREE with any purchase at the Image booth
  • Exorsisters #1 Ashcan – available at Artist Alley table #D16
  • Infinite Dark #1 – available at Top Cow booth #AA-G20
  • God Country HC – Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw – $35 + tax
  • A.D. After Death HC – Jeff Lemire, Scott Snyder – $35 + tax
  • Monstress Volume 2 HC – Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda – $35 + tax
  • Monstress Volume 3 HC – Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda – $35 + tax
  • Kill or Be Killed HC – Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips – $35 + tax
  • Seven to Eternity HC – Rick Remender, Jerome Opeña – $35 + tax
  • Ice Cream Man HC – W Maxwell Prince, Martín Morazzo – $35 + tax
  • VS HC – Iván Brandon and Esád Ribic – $35 + tax
* Limited quantity available for sale at the Image booth. 
  • BLACK SCIENCE statue, $150 (+tax)*
  • “I Believe in Comics” T-shirt, sm-xxxl, $24.99 (+tax)
  • “I Believe in Comics” tote bag, $12.00 (+tax)
  • DEADLY CLASS lapel pins, $10 (+tax)


Thursday, October 4 @ 6:30 – 7:30 PM, Room 1A18
Image Comics: We Believe in Horror

Image Comics has ushered in a new era of horror with cerebral writers and visceral artists elevating sequential-art dread to claustrophobic heights. From W. Maxwell Prince’s suburban doom in ICE CREAM MAN to Pornsak Pichetshote’s reflective haunted house boiler, INFIDEL, comics are evolving terror to new personal, socially minded levels. Join a roster of the most sinister storytellers including David F. Walker (BITTER ROOT), Matthew Rosenberg (WHAT’S THE FURTHEST PLACE FROM HERE?), Dennis Culver (BURNOUTS), and Will Dennis (editor on MOONSHINE, WYTCHES, GIDEON FALLS) to discover how they’re altering an entire genre.

Friday, October 5 @ 2:45 – 3:45 PM, Room 1A24
Image Comics: We Believe in Vision

Since its creation, Image has remained a bastion for creators to foster their biggest, boldest ideas. Join a vanguard of storytellers as they walk through their most daring projects and how they arrived there—including a surprise announcement. Join panelists Jason Aaron (SOUTHERN BASTARDS, THE GODDAMNED), Kieron Gillen (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, DIE), Stephanie Hans (DIE), Gerry Duggan(ANALOG, DEAD RABBIT), Jen Bartel (BLACKBIRD), Joe Casey (MCMLXXV, JESUSFREAK), Daniel Warren Johnson (MURDER FALCON, EXTREMITY) and special guests for an introspective dive into the comics defining the future of the medium.

Saturday, October 6 @ 3:00 – 4:00 PM, Room 1A21
Image Comics Presents Deadly Class 101

In 2014, writer Rick Remender and artist Wes Craig unleashed a relentless tale of brutal vengeance and discipline in DEADLY CLASS, where the homework is homicide and the lectures are lethal. The neon-drenched world of Marcus Lopez Arguello and King’s Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts will soon debut as an original television series on SYFY, as the comic series continues to crank the pressure on a group of teens training to be career assassins. Join the creators of this groundbreaking comic as Remender, Craig, editor Sebastian Girner, and colorist Jordan Boyd recount the origins, development, and future of their transformational epic.

Sunday, October 7 @ 3:45 – 4:45 PM, Room 1A21
Image Comics Live Draw: Art Jam with Todd McFarlane, Wes Craig, and Mirka Andolfo

Join us for a special live draw session, where a trio of Image’s most imaginative trailblazers each collaborate on one exquisite corpse-style illustration. Image co-founder Todd McFarlane (SPAWN), Wes Craig (DEADLY CLASS, THE GRAVEDIGGERS UNION), and Mirka Andolfo (UNNATURAL) will each contribute a segment to a kinetic digital canvas, while also discussing their work process and expansive histories. An experience designed to show off the sheer skill of Image’s line-and-shape maestros, stop by for an unforgettable experience.

*TICKETED denotes signings require wristbands. Wristbands will be given out at the booth as soon as the convention floor opens on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will be available for attendee badge holders only. There will be a limit of 3 items per person for ticketed signings unless otherwise noted. No CGC, CBCS, or other witnessing/grading.

11:00 – 11:45 AM

12:00 – 12:45 PM
Paul Azaceta (OUTCAST)

1:00 – 1:45 PM

2:00 – 2:45 PM
Kickliy (PERDY)
Dennis Culver (BURNOUTS)

3:30 – 5:00 PM
Todd McFarlane (SPAWN) [*TICKETED. Limit ONE item per person; no CGC, CBCS, or other witnessing/grading; 13+ age limit; no sketches; attendee badge holders only; no photos***]

5:00 – 5:45 PM

5:30 – 6:15 PM
Sean Lewis, Caitlin Yarsky, Hayden Sherman (COYOTES, THE FEW)

11:00 – 11:45 AM
W Maxwell Prince, Martin Morazzo, Chris O’Halloran (ICE CREAM MAN)

12:00 – 12:45 PM
Carla Speed McNeil, Alex De Campi, Vita Ayala (TWISTED ROMANCE)
Bret Blevins (STELLAR)

1:00 – 1:45 PM
Ryan Cady, Andrea Mutti (INFINITE DARK)
Daniel Warren Johnson (MURDER FALCON, EXTREMITY)

2:00 – 2:45 PM
Zack Kaplan, Andrea Mutti (PORT OF EARTH)
Sean Mackiewicz (GASOLINA)

3:30 – 5:00 PM
Todd McFarlane (SPAWN) [*TICKETED. Limit ONE item per person; no CGC, CBCS, or other witnessing/grading; 13+ age limit; no sketches; attendee badge holders only; no photos.]

5:00 – 6:00 PM
Dean Haspiel (THE RED HOOK)

5:30 – 6:30 PM

11:00 – 11:45 AM
Gerry Duggan, David O’Sullivan (ANALOG)

12:00 – 12:45 PM
Anthony Del Col (SON OF HITLER)

1:00 – 2:00 PM
Todd McFarlane (SPAWN) [*TICKETED. Limit ONE item per person; no CGC, CBCS, or other witnessing/grading; 13+ age limit; no sketches; attendee badge holders only; no photos.]
Brenden Fletcher (ISOLA, MOTOR CRUSH)

2:00 – 2:45 PM

3:00 – 3:45 PM
Pornsak Pichetshote, Aaron Campbell, José Villarrubia (INFIDEL)
Andrei Bressan (BIRTHRIGHT)

4:00 – 4:45 PM
Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (THE WICKED + THE DIVINE) [*TICKETED]
Simon Stalenhag

5:00 – 5:45 PM
Joe Casey, Benjamin Marra (JESUSFREAK)
Nikos Koutsis (ERRAND BOYS)

10:00 – 10:45 AM
Benedict Wong [*TICKETED]

11:00 – 11:45 AM
Gerry Duggan, John McCrea (DEAD RABBIT)
Simon Stalenhag

12:00 – 12:45 PM
Jason Aaron, Jason Latour (SOUTHERN BASTARDS) [*TICKETED]
Steve Orlando (CRUDE)

1:00 – 1:45 PM
Lee Garbett (SKYWARD)
Cliff Rathburn (THE WALKING DEAD)

2:00 – 2:45 PM
Iván Brandon, Esad Ribić (VS) [*TICKETED]

3:00 – 3:45 PM
Paul Azaceta (OUTCAST)

3:00 – 4:45 PM
Benedict Wong [*TICKETED]


Aaron Campbell & Pornsak Pichetshote L-18
Alex De Campi H13
Alison Sampson F35
Amy Reeder H11
Babs Tarr D2
Bengal J22
Brandon Montclare H12
Bret Blevins H16
Brett Weldele I30
Cat Staggs I2
Charles Soule K31
Dan Panosian J32
Daniel Warren Johnson A16
Declan Shalvey K1A
Donny Cates K22
Ed Brisson A22
Emi Lenox L19
Erik Larsen K10
Fábio Moon L2
Gabriel Bá L1
Geoff Shaw A15
Gerry Duggan A27
Gisèle Lagacé D16
Greg Capullo L36
Greg Tocchini H30
Jen Bartel E7
Jeremy Haun G36
Jerome Opeña L10
Jim Mahfood I17
Jim Zub A21
Jock L34
Jody LeHeup I26
Joe Casey K6
Joe Eisma E6
Joe Harris I27
John McCrea A28
Joshua Williamson L32
Klaus Janson J21
Kyle Higgins K28
Leandro Fernandez J20
Matt Hawkins K9
Matteo Scalera J30
Matthew Rosenberg & Tyler Boss K27
Meredith Finch L33
Michael Garland A25
Mirka Andolfo L27
Nathan Fox & Sebastian Girner I25
Ronald Wimberly G11
Ryan Browne K32
Ryan Cady G20
Ryan O’Sullivan H32
Sanford Greene I29
Scott Snyder L35
Sean Gordon Murphy J1
Stephanie Hans H4
Steve Orlando L24
Steven Seagle K8
Tee Franklin D8
Tim Seeley B25
Tradd Moore E1
Tula Lotay D1
Vanesa Del Rey D39
Wes Craig I28
Zack Kaplan I24


Midtown Comics Signing
Date: Thursday, October 4, 2018
Time: 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM EDT
Location: Midtown Comics Downtown • 64 Fulton Street, New York, New York 10038

The greatest creators from Image Comics join us from Midtown Comics Downtown on Thursday, October 4th to celebrate the release of tons of sensational new series! Meet Joe Casey, Gerry Duggan, Mirka Andolfo, David O’Sullivan, John McCrea, and Tee Franklin during our biggest signing event of the year! This is an open signing and we recommend showing up early, just to be safe. Purchase of at least one Image Comics title required. Limit 6 items signed per attendee, max 2 items per creator. See you there!

NYCC@NYPL Keynote Address – Marjorie Liu
Date: Thursday, October 4th
Time: 9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Location: New York Public Library – 476 5th Avenue – Bartos Forum
Speakers: Marjorie Liu 

Marjorie Liu, the superstar creator of MONSTRESS and first woman ever to win the title of “Best Writer” from the Eisner Awards, gives the keynote speech for the NYCC@NYPL Library Day events.

NYCC@NYPL Panel – Deconstructing Graphic Novels to Design Classroom Curriculum with Marjorie Liu’s Monstress
Date: Thursday, October 4th
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 p.m.
Location: NYPL – 476 5th Avenue – Bartos Forum
Speakers:  Dr. Katie Monnin, Chloe Ramos-Peterson, Adam Kullberg

Presented by Pop Culture Classroom, in partnership with Image Comics, this post-keynote workshop will highlight how educators and librarians can start to deconstruct Marjorie Liu’s MONSTRESS in order to build their own teaching guides and curricular resources to support teaching the title to diverse student populations.

NYCC@NYPL Panel – Currents of Inspiration: From America to Europe and Back
Date: Thursday, October 4th
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 p.m.
Location: NYPL – 476 5th Avenue – Celeste Auditorium
Speakers:  Kickliy, Mikael, Andrew C. Robinson, JD Morvan, Sean Gordon Murphy
Moderator: Heidi McDonald

European and American comics are often described as two distinct branches of sequential art, which have, however, been influencing each other for decades. As more and more European creators get a star status in the US, we present a rich panel of US and EU creators who have been strongly influenced by their overseas counterparts.

NYCC@NYPL Panel – Horror Comics – The Other Narrative
Date: Thursday, October 4th
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Location: NYPL – 476 5th Avenue – Bartos Forum
Speakers: Aaron Campbell, Sanford Greene, Pornsak Pichetshote, José Villarubia, David Walker
Moderator: Chloe Ramos-Peterson

Comics creators working in the genre of horror, thrillers, and suspense discuss how their books tackle real-world issues like racism, xenophobia, and otherism. Subjects include how creators telegraph topics, how satire can revitalize tropes, why these genres are so perfect for examining sensitive issues, why the time is right to tackle these problems through graphic literature, and how you can use these books to have productive conversations in your branch through bookclubs, lectures, and more.

NYCC@NYPL Creator Appearance – The Librarian is in Booth
Date: Thursday, October 4th
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: NYPL – 476 5th Avenue – The Librarian Is In Booth
Speakers: Gerry Duggan

Modeled after the Peanuts ‘Doctor is in’ stand, the ‘Librarian is in’ is NYPL’s Reading Recommendations service–with its own podcast and super cool events booth! Librarians will be offering reading recommendations and suggestions to event attendees all day, and from noon to one, special guest Gerry Duggan will be offering his own hot takes on what to read next!

NYCC@NYPL Panel – A Hero with a Thousand Faces: From Ms. Marvel to Spider-Gwen
Date: Thursday, October 4th
Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Location – NYPL – 476 5th Avenue – Bartos Forum
Speakers: Joe Schmidt, Amie Wright, Jason Latour

As different iterations of classic superheroes emerge (Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel, Spider-Gwen), what remains consistent is the archetypal journeys of so many heroes in comics. Using Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces this panel will discuss the universal appeal of comics and how so much of that appeal is based on readers seeing themselves in the work and following along on the hero’s journey. Using this framework, educators and librarians can incorporate the hero’s journey in teaching and discussions of classic works—like the Odyssey—into present day. CTLE credit available for eligible attendees.

NYCC@NYPL Panel – Hip-Hop, Comics, and Culture
Date: Thursday, October 4th
Time: 2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Location: NYPL – 476 5th Avenue – Berger Forum

Speakers: Andre LeRoy Davis, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Ron Wimberly, Stacey Robinson, Eric Orr, Deirdre Hollman
Hip-hop culture emerged through a lexicon of urban folklore, graffiti art, and comics. This panel features comic creators whose work helped define the mythos and the aesthetics of hip-hop comics. Presented by The Black Comics Collective.

GNCRT Pop-Up Library Signing/Live Draw – Kickliy
Date: Saturday, October 6th
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Javits Center – Booth #1A100
Speakers: Kickliy

Come meet the creator of PERDY! Kickliy will be signing and doing a live-draw session at the Pop-Up Library.

Support the CBLDF and Reading With Pictures this #GivingTuesday

giving-tuesdayThe holiday season us upon us and the end of the year is coming soon, and that means it’s the second year of #GivingTuesday, highlighting charities and the need to support them through donations (which often are tax-deductible). December is usually the most important fundraising month for charities. Graphic Policy is asking you to support two worthy causes, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) and Reading With Pictures.

The CBLDF receives more than a quarter of their annual budget in the year-end gifts from supporters like you. If you are still finalizing your charitable giving plans, we ask you to please consider their worthy efforts. Donations to CBLDF are fully tax-deductible in the year they are given.  Please help CBLDF continue their important work by making a donation today, either by giving a holiday gift of a signed graphic novel, becoming a member, or making a tax-deductible cash contribution.

All year round, the CBLDF works hard to protect the right to read. Their efforts combat the rising tide of censorship facing students, educators, and libraries, and we continue to provide a valuable safety net for creators and retailers.

If you give today, they’ll thank you with their #GivingTuesday edition of Defend Comics, a 54-page all-star anthology featuring stories by Neil Gaiman and Jim Lee, Jason Aaron and Moritat, Andy Diggle and Ben Templesmith, Terry Moore, Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier, Evan Dorkin, Amy Chu and Shannon Wheeler, and many more! This anthology is only available on #GivingTuesday, December 2, until 12:00 a.m. PT.

You can find out more about what the CBLDF has done this past year and make a contribution today.

Reading With Pictures has become a major player in the field of visual literacy. Since their inception, they have:

  • Provided hundreds of professional development seminars in schools and at comic conferences around the country. These delivered practical advice and material assistance to educators and curriculum developers in their efforts to bring comics into the classroom.
  • Developed programming tracks for dozens of academic, educational and library conferences, comic conventions and literary festivals including the American Library Association, C2E2 and NYCC.
  • Gave numerous lectures in schools, universities and important professional conferences such as the International Reading Association.
  • Garnered major media attention from the Chicago Tribune company, G4 TV, Time Out Chicago, School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly and
  • Built a 2000+ person network of educators, academics, cartoonists and librarians that we interact with on a regular basis through our website, mailing list, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Published Reading With Pictures: An Educational Comics Anthology, a proof-­‐of-­‐ concept book designed to demonstrate how comics can bridge the gap between entertainment and education. Nominated for two Harvey Awards for Best Anthology and Best Children’s Book, The Anthology was produced entirely through volunteer efforts and financed via donations secured through the crowdfunding website

You can contribute to Reading With Pictures here.

Please donate so these two worthy organizations can continue their good works.

Comic Book Classroom Literacy Program in Denver

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Using comic books for educational purposes seems to be gaining acceptance around the nation.  The latest program has been launched in Denver, Colorado.  Charlie LaGreca remembers learning to read through comic books and has put together a program to promote literacy and vocabulary among underserved students using comic books and graphic novels.

The Denver Post reports:

LaGreca and his team go into participating schools once a week for eight weeks teaching the basics of the craft — starting with the comic-book language like, “What is a thought balloon?” They teach story, structure, character and the natural rise and fall of plotlines — essential storytelling elements that can help students in other classes. By the end, all the kids invent their own original comic book.

LeGreca created Comic Book Classroom two years ago with Frank Romero, the former manager of retail operations for Mile High Comics; Christina Angel, who teaches a course at Metro State and Arapahoe Community College about comic books; and Illya Kowalchuk, who has a master’s degree in integrating creative arts into classrooms.

Smudge Comics Art Expo 2014, Virginia and DC’s Newest Comic Show!

Taking place on March 8, Smudge Comics Art Expo is the newest comic convention in the Washington, DC area. The show took place in Arlington, Virginia at the Artisphere an arts venue that Arlington hasn’t quite figured out what to do with. I’ve never been to the facility, though I live in walking distance, but I felt that it was a good opportunity to check it out, as well as the show.

First, the venue is fantastic. Located close to the metro, it’s convenient for anyone to get to. The staff was beyond enthusiastic, showing an appreciation for the event taking place. There’s numerous art galleries allowing folks attending the show the ability to check out some fine art too. The space has theaters and classrooms, allowing a show like Smudge to not only have vendors, but also put on various classes, something the show did. I’d love to see more comic related events at the space, it seems like it’s something they’d not only enjoy, but they’d be excited for as well.

The show itself was small, something I expected the first time. With about 44 creators showing off their comics and more, the layout was a bit odd with a main entrance space and a dozen tables, then a larger space and another 20 something spaces. There was then a balcony and about 8 folks there. I’m not quite sure what I’d do different, and not knowing the full layout of the facility, it’s hard to fault the show creators for how they used the space.

The creators were very independent, and some I recognized from past shows I attended. Much of the material sold seemed to be more mature, which was the downside, because a lot of those in attendance were kids. And there were a lot of classroom events that were geared towards kids as well. So, in the future a better balance of material for them would be nice. There was things for them, but there was a lot of material there that’d be a bit hard to explain as a parent.

Throughout the show there was music playing and classes about how to make comics, or webcomics, or about editorial cartooning. There was also a nice area for kids to be creative and create comics from existing materials. Overall, there were a lot of kids, which is fantastic to see.

The two big pickups for me was a female empowerment comic called Penny & Angie by T Campbell and Gisele Lagace and an 8 page preview of BOOM!’s upcoming BOOM! Box comic Lumberjanes (a series I’m looking forward to).


For a first year, FREE show, it was quite worth checking out. I can’t wait to see how the show grows next year (crossing my fingers there is one). It’d be great to see more mini shows at this location showing off the local comic scene. Overall, this was a great start.

Check out some photos of the show I took below:

Creator Uses DMCA Takedowns and Threats of Lawsuits to Squash Criticism of Comics (Updated)

In 2011 I stood against the the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its sister legislation the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) partially because the legislation was poorly thought out, partially because the current Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) system is flawed and broken, and partially because the legislation would be used to stifle criticism. The site Escher Girls is currently a prime example of how DMCA/copyright claims, can be used in a negative way.

The DMCA was signed into legislation in 1998 by then President Clinton, the legislation was flawed then, and remains so. One of the most glaring is the lack of real penalties for making false claims (though there is threat of perjury). Part of the legislation lays out the process by which take down notices take place. Websites/web services/web platforms are given protection from prosecution if they remove material that is claimed to be offending and violating copyright. This is why Google doesn’t get in trouble, but takes down material when asked. In this situation, the web platform involved is Tumblr. Google also releases handy information on how many, and by whom and for what, requests are made.

Randy Queen is the artist of Darkchylde, one of the many characters and series to spring from Image Comics in the 1990s. The character generally was depicted in the unrealistic/distorted poses, a style some like, and others not so much. Enter Escher Girls, a blog dedicated to showing this off and critiquing the art. That critiquing part is important. According to a post on the Escher Girls website, they received a DMCA take down notice to remove their posts critical of Queen’s work. Escher Girls has also been contacted by other sites that had the same thing done. They later updated their post that Queen had also allegedly requested a DMCA take down of the article about Queen’s use of DMCA take downs. Tumblr didn’t give in to that request. Other websites that are more positive about Queen have images still up.

Here’s a screen cap of the notification from Tumblr.

2014-08-05_1057Queen then went so far as to send an email to the site threatening legal action if they “didn’t put a stop to all of this,” and claiming the site was defaming him by saying “he was using the DMCA to stamp out criticism of his artwork.”

Here’s the text of that email:

Dear Eschergirls and Kim,

I would encourage you to put a stop to all of this. I have no problem getting legal involved for defamation, and for your various allegations on your takedown notice thread, and am happy to send a formal cease and desist letter from my lawyer.

Instead of simply removing the content you do not have the right to electronically distribute, you wish to push further, and publicly challenges my right to protect the perception of my IP as it exists today.

At this point, I will ask you to please move along, as no good will come of this.

Additionally, instead of taking shots at art someone did 18 years ago while they were still learning – which are no longer representative of their current art style or direction for their character – I encourage you to spend your time and energy on creating your own characters and comics which you can make your own personal sacrifices to bring to the world.


A search for #darkchylde on Tumblr shows two things. The first is, there’s still numerous positive posts about his art still up on the web platform. The second is, that the action has backfired on him, quickly catching first leading to massive criticism about his action.

Here’s where Queen’s actions really fail. Escher Girls was criticizing his work under Fair Use. Fair Use is “is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship”

This is the actual language from the Copyright Act of 1976:

17 U.S.C. § 107

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Escher Girls used a snippet of the work, and was used as criticism. Pretty clearly falling into Fair Use. As TechDirt points out Queen needs to familiarize himself more with copyirght law. In his email he states:

…publicly challenges my right to protect the perception of my IP.

Unfortunately there is no right to protect perception of your IP. Perception is how an individual views your IP. Even if the initial take down didn’t fall under Fair Use, the then discussion of the art, or the follow up emails have nothing to do with DMCA. That’d fall into thought police, and we as individuals are afforded the right to free speech (though that is limited in some extreme cases).

We’ve had some DMCA issues in the past as a site. Scribd currently employs a flawed system that catches previews sent to us by publishers. We had the lawyers of a major company send a DMCA take down for a video their publicist sent us to post, and had it taken down on YouTube. We’ve seen another blog make a claim for a video they didn’t own also sent out by a publicist. The current system is broken, and this is just another example that reform needs to happen.

The last time there was a mention of Queen on this website was 2011, and that was for a solicit for Darkchylde trade. All Randy Queen has done with all of this is up his profile… in a negative way.

Update: Queen has since issued a statement apologizing for his actions. You can read it below.

Just wanted to clear up a few things that happened this past week. I have been having a very hard time in my personal life with the loss of my mother and my marriage having fallen apart and found myself in a very vulnerable and fragile state of mind. There were posts on the web criticizing my artwork that were brought to my attention and added to my stress. I reacted without thinking it through, but have now stopped, realizing my response was the wrong one to take. I am doing my best, each day, to get myself back on my feet and getting my life in a better place and realize now that I have just try to move on and get back to my art, the thing I find the most joy in these days. I want to thank those professionals, friends and family who have been giving me their support, understanding and love.

We wish Queen the best and that things get better for him.

(via The Outhousers)

Baltimore Comic-Con 2012 Panel Schedule Announced

The 2012 Baltimore Comic-Con panel schedule has been released!  This year is even more chock-full of comic book goodness than in the past, with sessions ranging from creator spotlights to industry tutorials and more — there’s something for everyone!

Saturday, September 8

Room 301

11:00-12:00 – Kickstarter project management

So, you got funding for your comic…now what? Join Mervyn and Jon of Paperlab Studios as they discuss the thrills, perils, and pitfalls of a successfully-funded Kickstarter from their personal experiences with Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew.

12:00-1:00 – Mark Waid and Thrillbent

Award-winning writer and now publisher Mark Waid talks about, his new digital-comics website. He’ll have advice for creators looking to break into digital, sneak peeks at upcoming Thrillbent projects, and other surprises!

1:00-2:00 – Spotlight on Paul Levitz

Readers may know Paul Levitz best for his work on DC Comics’ Legion of Super-Heroes, Justice Society, Worlds’ Finest, and as the co-creator of the Earth-2 Huntress. But he also worked on early fanzines, was President & Publisher of DC Comics from 2002-2009, is a member of the CBLDF board, and is the author of 75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Join Levitz and moderator Robert Greenberger as they look back on Levitz’s life in comics.

2:00-3:00 – BOOM! Studios/KaBOOM!/BOOM! Town

BOOM! Studios returns to Charm City with a jam-packed panel! Learn what is next from BOOM! as Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon and VP of Publishing and Marketing Filip Sablik run down the most exciting new projects and reveal upcoming titles from BOOM! Studios, KaBOOM!, and BOOM! Town with creators including Roger Langridge (SNARKED), Michael Alan Nelson (VALEN THE OUTCAST), and Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb (ADVENTURE TIME)! This is a panel you won’t want to miss!

3:00-4:00 – Artist Alley Comics

Come discover the new home for creator-driven digital comics, Artist Alley Comics! We’ll reveal why the company is important to the future of digital comics for both fans and creators alike.

Co-founders Craig Rousseau, Rich Woodall, and Kelly Yates will be joined on the panel by Richard Case, Randy Green, and Chris Kemple. Moderated by Stephen Mayer, co-host of the Acme Wave Projector podcast.

Free copies of the Artist Alley Comics preview book for 50 people.

4:00-5:00 – Creating Your Comic/Manga from Concept to Publication

The three time Harvey-nominated husband and wife creators of The Uniques, The Uniques Tales, and Rainbow in the Dark, Comfort Love and Adam Withers, teach you how to create your own comic. The entire process – concepting, scripting, thumbnails, pencils, color, PDF’s and CBZ’s, printing, distribution, the web, and even maximizing your convention experience will be covered in this seminar. You will walk away with an understanding of the tools you will need to create and sell your own book.

Room 302-303

11:00-12:00 – Team Cul de Sac

When Richard Thompson, the creator of the comic strip Cul de Sac, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, his friend Chris Sparks began a fundraising effort to honor his friend. With Richard’s support, he asked others to donate artwork featuring the Cul de Sac characters for a Team Cul de Sac book with proceeds going to The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research. Now, join Chris Sparks and other members of Team Cul de Sac including Steve Conley, Matt Dembicki, SL Gallant, Roger Landgridge, and others as they discuss the book, Richard Thompson’s work, and their continuing efforts to raise funds in Richard’s name.

12:00-1:00 – The British Invasion

In the 1980s, a number of British writers and artists started producing work for American comics and brought a fresh take that appealed to fans and critics alike. That creativity is kept alive today by creators including Brian Bolland (Dial H), Mark Buckingham (Fables), and Barry Kitson (Captain America). Join them and moderator Robert Greenberger for a lively and fun look at their work and the British Invasion of American comics.

1:00-2:00 – Creating Comics the comiXology Way

ComiXology has not only transformed the industry in making digital comics available everywhere, but they have also created the foundation for comic storytelling to be expressed in new ways. Originally created to artfully display comics on small screens, comiXology’s revolutionary Guided View reading technology has evolved to dramatically change how comic stories are being told. From early experiments like Box 13, Valentine, and Power Play to more recent efforts like Marvel’s Infinite Comics, comiXology’s Guided View has ushered in a new era of comic book creation. Join comiXology co-founder John D. Roberts alongside PowerPlay and Infinite Comics artist Reilly Brown and Valentine creator Alex De Campi as they talk about the ins and outs of creating comics using the Guided View tools. Roberts will also discuss comiXology’s plans for these tools.

2:00-3:00 – The Future of VALIANT

Valiant is back and, just a few months in, the buzz couldn’t be bigger for the most successful relaunch in comics! Now, find out what the future holds for the Valiant Universe with an exclusive round of announcements and in-depth discussion featuring Robert Venditti & Cary Nord (X-O Manowar), Fred Van Lente (Archer & Armstrong), Justin Jordan (Shadowman), Executive Editor Warren Simons and a few surprise special guests! What fateful events lay beyond the horizon for the Valiant Universe? Who will stand to challenge X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Archer & Armstrong, and the rest of Valiant’s greatest heroes this fall? And with Shadowman just around the corner, who will be the next iconic character to enter the fray? Find out right here as Valiant begins drafting its grand plans for 2013, only at Baltimore Comic-Con!

PLUS, no fan will want to miss the special door prizes Valiant will have on hand for every panel attendee.

3:00-4:00 – Dynamite Entertainment presents Garth Ennis

Join writer Garth Ennis and Dynamite Editor Joe Rybandt for a lively hour of discussion on all things Boys, Battlefields, Dynamite, and more!

4:00-5:00 – The History of Censorship in Comics

Since the very beginning of the art form, comics have been the victim of near-constant scrutiny and censorship. Learn about the history of this persecution, from book-burnings in the 1940’s, to Senate Hearings in the 1950’s, through to today, when fans routinely have their digital media searched by moral watchdogs. Instances of censorship in every decade will be discussed, as well as why they occur, and how they are fought, and can be prevented. Presented by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s Deputy Director Alex Cox, and Comic Author and Historian Fred Van Lente.

Room 307-310

1:00-2:00 – Spotlight on Phil LaMarr

You may know Phil LaMarr from his five-year run on Fox’s MADtv. Or you may know him from his voice work on such animated shows as Justice League Unlimited, Static Shock, Futurama, and Family Guy. Here’s your chance to spend an hour with Phil and learn even more about this talented actor, comedian, and life-long comic fan.


2:00-3:00 – Meet the Co-Publisher

DCE Panelist: Dan DiDio

Moderator: Bob Wayne

As the Co-Publisher of DC Entertainment, Dan DiDio is one of the driving forces behind DC Comics – The New 52, DC’s digital initiative, Before Watchmen, and much more. Here’s your chance to discover more behind-the-scenes information from one of the industry’s most dynamic leaders!


3:00-4:00 – MARVEL: Marvel NOW!

A major shake-up is coming for the Marvel Universe, and you can be the first to know the details! In this panel, Tom Brevoort (SVP – Executive Editor) and some special guests will reveal secrets about the launch of a new line of #1 issues including Uncanny Avengers, Iron Man, Indestructible Hulk, Thor: God of Thunder, and Captain America, and answer your questions about what’s coming up in this new iteration of the House of Ideas!


4:00 – Stan Lee VIP ticket-holders may queue up for the Stan Lee Spotlight.


4:15 – General Public may queue up for the Stan Lee Spotlight.


4:30-5:30 – Stan Lee Spotlight

Face Front, True Believers! Stan’s back! This is a panel no comics fan will want to miss as Jimmy Palmiotti sits down with the one and only Stan “The Man” Lee! He is a Founding Father of the Marvel Universe and the face of Marvel Comics to legions of fans. Join the writer, editor, actor, and legend as he discusses his illustrious career. Excelsior!


Art Auction (2505-2507)

Immediately following the Stan Lee panel – Auction of 2012 Baltimore Comic-Con Yearbook art

The art created for the 2012 Baltimore Comic-Con Yearbook celebrating 15 years of Frank Cho’s Liberty Meadows will be auctioned at this special event! Don’t miss this opportunity to own original art featuring Frank’s characters as depicted by artists including Frank Quitely, Brandon Peterson, Gene Ha, David Petersen, Bernard Chang, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Tom Raney, Billy Tucci, Steve Conley, Thom Zahler, Craig Rousseau, Frank Cho, and many others!


Sunday, September 9

Room 301

11:00-12:00 – Future Approaches to Teaching Comics in the High School Classroom

The use of comics as an educational tool to engage students has seen a growing acceptance in many classrooms across the country. While many of the earliest adapters have employed comics to engage challenged and reluctant readers, there is a growing chorus of teachers who are using comics to cover a broad range of subjects at the secondary level. In this session, John Shableski talks with Dr. John Weaver about his experience with introducing Watchmen to his high school students and his more recent endeavors of teaching Ulysses Seen (iPad app). Joining the panel will be Rob Berry, creator of Ulysses Seen, the comic adaptation of James Joyce’s classic work.


12:00-1:00 – Ron Marz and Jamal Igle Spotlight

Back in 1994, Jamal penciled eight pages in Green Lantern #52 from a script by series writer Ron Marz. It was Jamal’s first published work, and while the two remained friends ever since, they haven’t worked together in the ensuing years. That’s all about to change, as the two creators meet for a spotlight panel discussing the past, present, and future. Specials guests and the announcement of an exciting new project make this a panel you won’t want to miss.


1:00-2:00 – Christianity and Comics With Billy Tucci

In an industry dominated by secular heroes, join award-winning writer/artist Billy Tucci for a enlightening discussion on his Christmas graphic novella, “A Child Is Born” and the portrayal of Christianity in comics.


2:00-3:00 – IDW Publishing

2012 has been a huge year for IDW.  Join Vice President of Marketing Dirk Wood, and a guest or two, for inside information on what else is in the works! Announcements, excitement, gossip, prizes, and Q&A!


3:00-4:00 – Avatar Press: News and Q&A

Join the Avatar staff and special guest, writer/artist Mike Wolfer (Stitched, Lady Death, Night of the Living Dead), and get all the fresh news from Avatar Press, the industry’s most ground-breaking, risk-taking publisher! Want insight into the hottest titles from such industry luminaries as David Lapham, Garth Ennis, and Alan Moore? Can’t get enough Ferals, Fashion Beast, or Crossed? Find out what new terrors and triumphs this rogue publisher will unleash in the months ahead, and get your questions answered!


Room 302-302

11:00-12:00 – Tribute to Joe Kubert

The world of comics lost one of its legendary creators recently with the death of Joe Kubert. Whether through his work on the page, the work done through The Kubert School, or his sons Adam and Andy, his legacy will live on in comics for years to come. Join Paul Levitz, Robert Greenberger, and former students Tom Raney, Timothy Truman, and Thom Zahler as they remember Joe Kubert.


12:00-2:00 – MARVEL: Marvel Boot Camp Seminar

To benefit the Hero Initiative, this special ticketed seminar takes you behind the scenes into the inner philosophy of Marvel Publishing, as SVP – Executive Editor Tom Brevoort shares with the public for the first time the training indoctrination lecture he gives to the Marvel editorial staff. Revealing how Marvel editors think about the business of storytelling as well as inside secrets and tricks-of-the-trade, this lecture will be followed up as time permits with an open Q & A in which attendees can probe Tom’s mind on any and all questions relating to finding a career in the industry. And the proceeds all go to an excellent cause! Tickets will be available throughout the show at the Hero Initiative Booth (1705-1706) for $10.


2:00-3:00 – Spotlight on Frank Quitely

Frank Quitely is a fan-favorite artist whose work includes All-Star Superman and New X-Men. Now’s your chance to learn more about Frank as he discusses his work with artist and teacher, José Villarrubia.


3:00-4:00 – Breaking into Comics Right Now!

If you’re an aspiring comic book creator, this is a panel you don’t want to miss! Join BOOM! Studios Founder and CEO Ross Richie and VP of Publishing and Marketing Filip Sablik as they give you up-to-date and practical advice on how to break into the comic book industry. Learn what you need to do to make your comic book dreams come true in a world where the Internet and social media have changed everything. This won’t be your grandfather’s “breaking into comics” panel.


Room 307-310

1:00-4:00 – 4th Annual Costume Contest sponsored by

The fun begins at 1:00 pm! With $1,000 up for grabs for the best overall costume and prizes for each of the 10 categories, this is one event all of you cosplayers don’t want to miss! Adult Categories have a $5 entry fee per person and, as always, kids up to age 17 can enter the costume contest for free! For more information and a complete list of categories, visit our website’s Costume Contest page.


Kids Love Comics Pavilion (2403)

Kids Love Comics Pavilion is brought to you by The Comic Book Diner ( Comics Podcast, all about the business and fun of creating comics and graphic novels; and the Baltimore Comic-Con.



All Day – Coloring and Drawing Area for Kids of All Ages

Artists and volunteers will be on hand to help kids draw, create their own comics, and have 4 Color Fun! KLC balloons and temp tattoos while supplies last!


Kids Comic Contest!

Kids can draw and enter their own comic and win a piece of original art from the KLC Creators! (Please hand in entries by 4:30 pm Saturday to John Gallagher’s booth in the KLC Pavilion!)

(Please note: Kids 12and under should be accompanied by an adult at all times.)


11am – 12 noon – Create-A-Cape

Kids can make their own capes and decorate them, with the help of KLC Artists & Volunteers! Please note: these capes do NOT let you fly!


12 Noon – Bloop!

Steve Conley draws his little green space monkey, showing how simple shapes allow you to create just about anything!


12:45 pm – Betty vs. Veronica with Archie’s Dan Parent

Dan Parent is the writer and artist of many of Archie Comics’ top sellers– now he gives a tutorial on drawing characters in the style of Betty, Veronica, and Jughead!


1:30 pm – Kids! Make! Comics! with John & Katie Gallagher

Mr. Gallagher and his 10-year old daughter Katie have created “Zoey & Ketchup,” a graphic novel about a dog & his girl — now it’s YOUR turn! The creators discuss the history of comics, the steps and process of writing, pencilling, inking, & more — then we’ll help you start your own comic!


2:15 pm – Mash Up!! with Jamar Nicholas

In 15 minutes, you can create your own superhero or character by combining different ideas, elements, and occupations– Cartoonist Jamar Nicholas shows you how!


3 pm – Owly! with Andy Runton

Mr. Runton draws everybody’s favorite forest creatures, including Owly, Wormy, and more!


3:45 pm – Jamal Igle Draws Molly Danger!

See how Jamal Igle (Supergirl, Action Comics) draws his own super heroic Molly Danger!


4:30 pm – Creating Comics Workshop

Several Kids Comics Creators team up to discuss how they create comics, and take questions from aspiring creators.


6:30 pm – All Comic Contest Entries are Due at John Gallagher’s Booth; KLC Stage closes



All Day – Coloring and Drawing Area for Kids of All Ages

Artists and volunteers will be on hand to help kids draw, create their own comics, and have 4 Color Fun! Also, KLC balloons and temp tattoos while supplies last!

(Please note: Kids 12 and under should be accompanied by an adult at all times.)


11 am – 12 noon – Mask Mania!

Kids can make their own super-duper masks and decorate them, with the help of KLC Artists & Volunteers. Warning: No Super Villains Allowed.


12 Noon – Amelia Rules!

Jimmy Gownley shows you how to draw Amelia & her friends and shows how you can create comics from real life situations


12:45 pm – Manga Blitz! with Mary Cagle (

Miss Cagle will give kids guidance on drawing in the Manga style, and making your comics fun!


1:30 pm – Aw Yeah, Franco!

Tiny Titans and Aw Yeah Comics! creator Franco takes you on an artistic journey of cool cats, powerful pups, and Tiny… uh, you get the picture!


2:15 pm – Knight of the Drawing Board! with Frank Cammuso!

The creator of Max Hamm and Knights of the Lunch Table shows you how to create fun and interesting characters!


3 pm – Kids Comics Contest Winners Announced!


3:15 pm – Create-A-Hero!

KLC Artists team up with the audience to create original super heroes and silly sidekicks!



(All times subject to change)

Garth Ennis at the Dynamite Entertainment Booth (1501)

Saturday: 12:30-2:30, 4:30-5:30

Sunday: 1:00-3:00


Hero Initiative Booth (1705-1706)


10:00-11:00: Chris Ivy

11:00-1:00: John Romita Jr.

2:00-3:30: Herb Trimpe

3:00-5:00: John Romita Jr.

4:00-5:00: Jeff Lemire

5:00-6:00: Mike Choi



10:00-11:00: John Romita Jr.

11:00-12:00: Jeff Lemire

12:00-1:00: Chris Ivy

1:00-2:00: Herb Trimpe

2:00-4:00: Chris Ivy


Phil LaMarr (1810) – fee required

Saturday: 11:00-12:30, 2:30-5:00

Sunday: 11:00-1:00, 2:00-5:00

Portfolio Reviews

Artists: Bring your portfolio and have it reviewed by Greg Tumbarello, Assistant Editor at Legendary Comics. 2:00-4:00 Saturday at Table A312.

Artists: Amazon Studios is doing portfolio reviews throughout the weekend at booth 1602. Times to be announced.

“Comic Book Literacy” To Screen At The Phoenix Comicon Film Festival

Official Press Release

Documentary feature film showcases the utilization of comic books to promote literacy and education

PHOENIX, AZ – After a successful premiere at C2E2 – The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, the independent documentary feature film “Comic Book Literacy” will have its next screening Friday May 28th at 10:30 A.M. at the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival.

As a part of the 10th annual Phoenix Comicon, the film festival is a showcase for sci-fi, thriller, horror, animation and pop culture documentary films.  “Comic Book Literacy” joins the line up representing the various positive aspects of the comic book medium.

The film chronicles the origins of the negative stereotypes often associated with comics and segues into the modern uses of comics in classrooms and libraries.  The film features appearances by comic book writers and artists such as Paul Dini, Scott McCloud, Terry Moore, Joe Quesada, Jim Salicrup, Gail Simone and Art Spigeleman as well as historians and scholars who discuss the role comics play in education in both an historical and contemporary context.

“The Phoenix Comicon is known as ‘the signature pop-culture event of the southwest’ so I feel very fortunate to be able to screen the film there,” said the film’s director Todd Kent, “I think the convention’s audience will be very receptive to the messages in the film.”

In addition to C2E2 and the Phoenix Comicon, there are plans to screen the film throughout 2010 & 2011 at film festivals, comic book conventions and other events.  Kent said, “Our goal is to change the negative preconceptions that many people have of comic books and to have the medium incorporated in classrooms and libraries everywhere.”

For more information about the film, upcoming screenings, and updates go to:

Is Our Children Learning With Comics?

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DiplomaDelaware Online ran an article about the use of comic books and graphic novels in education.  The article emphasizes what was once a shunned form of media is now being stocked in libraries and taken seriously.

Mat Dilts, a ninth-grade English teacher at Christiana High School had this to say:

We’re going toward a much more visual culture, a much more visual world, and comic books go right along with that.  If this is a way to reach kids, this is the way we’ll go. And educationally, it’s very sound.

As noted, graphic novels are increasing interest in “classic” texts which are often hard to read and comprehend.  The goal is to get kids to read, and comic books are helping to achieve that.  To help with this trend resources like and have been created.  The New York City Comic Book Museum also offers a complete curriculum based around comic books.

The most profile case of comic books being used is an initiative started by the Maryland Department of Education five years ago.  The goal was to bring comic books to the classroom and improve reading skills.  Those involved say the initiative appears to be working.  It was started through a partnership with the Disney Education Productions and distributed toolkits to schools that included guides for the teacher and classic comics featuring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

A 2006 follow-up study on the initiative by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, determined that motivation for reading was increased by the comic books, but also revealed that some teachers actually thought the books were too hard for their third- and fourth-grade readers.

Some said leading into the initiative, it’d “dumb things down.”  That’s clearly not the case according to studies.

Joe Murray, owner of Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark sums it up nicely:

Comic books are the only form of entertainment that uses both sides of the brain simultaneously, the cognitive and creative, the left side and the right side of the brain.

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