Tag Archives: education

Cartoon Network, The Powerpuff Girls and Scratch Give Plurals The Tools To Become The Next Generation of Creators

As part of their ongoing commitment to inspire the next generation of young creators, Cartoon Network is deepening its collaboration with Scratch and debuting the first of two coding-themed episodes from the global hit series, The Powerpuff Girls, along with the introduction of “Make It Fly,” a tutorial that shows young people how to create interactive animations and games using the Scratch global coding platform. The series, premiering Thursday, June 9, at 6:30 p.m. (ET/PT), joins We Bare Bears as the second Cartoon Network intellectual property uploaded to the Scratch website to encourage children to create and share.

In “Viral Spiral,” the first of two computer science-themed episodes of The Powerpuff Girls, Bubbles uses her coding skills to help save the internet. Kids can develop their problem solving and creative skills by visiting the free Scratch coding platform and using the new tutorial to make animations, stories and games starring Bubbles, Blossom and Buttercup.

Earlier this year, Cartoon Network announced its collaboration with the White House on the Computer Science for All initiative, a movement focused on making coding and other hands-on science, technology, engineering and math learning an integral part of every student’s education.

Scratch, a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, is a free, easy-to-use programming language and online community that encourages kids to create and share their own interactive stories, games and animation projects. The MIT Scratch Team designed the website as a space where kids can express themselves creatively through technology and collaborate with one another. Through the Scratch online community, kids can try out each other’s projects, give feedback and suggestions, and even remix and build on one another’s projects.The Powerpuff Girls free coding tutorial is available online.

Around the Tubes

superman aliIt’s a new week! Some of us were at Awesome Con this past weekend, so expect coverage of that show over the next few days.

While you await that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

iO9 – The Story Behind That Superman and Muhammad Ali Team Up – Some fantastic comic history.

CNBC – Comic books buck trend as print and digital sales flourish – Great to see this mainstream coverage.

iO9 – Marvel’s Civil War Comics Live Up to Their Name in the Worst Way – There were some definite issues. What did you all think?

LA Review of Books – The Dawn of “Just Me”: Zack Snyder’s Neoliberal Superheroes – An interesting read.

Uproxx – Meet Mr. Xtreme — One Of America’s ‘Real Life Superheroes’  – Fascinated by all of this.

PC Mag – Tackling Slavery in the Classroom With a Graphic Novel and an App – Great to see this in schools.

The Beat – Gruesome Hollywood murder was foreshadowed in a graphic novel – Utterly disgusted by this.

The Beat – Fans v Pros: You’re Doing it Wrong – Well worth a read.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Green Arrow: Rebirth #1

Around the Tubes

It’s the last day of 2015! It was new comic book day yesterday. What’d everyone get? We’re gearing up for our new year festivities which run throughout the day tomorrow.

Until then, here’s some comic book news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Morning Call – Comic books in the classroom: Phillipsburg High gets wise to the genre – Very cool.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – All-New Wolverine #3

Comic Vine – Batman & Robin Eternal #13

Comics Alliance – Beauties #1

The Rainbow Hub – Beauties #1

The Rainbow Hub – Black Canary #6

The Rainbow Hub – Black Magick #3

The Rainbow Hub – Jem and the Holograms #10

Comic Vine – Justice League #47

The Rainbow Hub – New Avengers #4

Comic Vine – Squadron Supreme #2

ICv2 – Yowamushi Pedal Vol. 1

Tintin scholar appointed as UK’s first Professor of Graphic Fiction

Benoit Peeters (left) with Professor Simon Guy

Benoit Peeters (left) with Professor Simon Guy

Lancaster University has appointed renowned French graphic novelist and critic Benoit Peeters as its Visiting Professor in Graphic Fiction and Comic Art, the first such appointment in the UK. The news was announced by Professor Simon Guy on Wednesday 25th November.

The new post represents a significant investment in the academic significance of comic art by the University and has been created in close working partnership with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival (LICAF).

Additional support has been provided by Wallonia Brussels International (WBI).

The three-year appointment will see Mr Peeters deliver a series of lectures, run creative writing workshops, and supervise post-graduate students.

Benoit Peeters is a world-renowned authority on Hergé and Tintin, having written Tintin and the World of Hergé and Hergé’s biography, Hergé, Son Of Tintin.

He is also author of  biographies about 19th century comics pioneer Rodolphe Töpffer, and  the French philosopher Derrida, and co-creator, alongside François Schuiten, of Les Cités Obscures, one of Belgium’s most famous francophone comic strips created in the past 30 years.

The appointment strengthens the links between the University and the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal and is the first of its kind in the UK.  In the three years of its existence, LICAF has quickly established itself as a major annual event in October bringing together creators, publishers and audiences alike from across the world.

By making this significant appointment, the University is not only acknowledging the Festival’s success but also its full academic commitment to placing comic book art not just in its creative writing and literature department, but also across its wider disciplines including philosophy.

The additional support of Wallonia Brussels International is part of a wider initiative to increase the visibility of Belgium Francophone culture in UK.

Benoit Peeters takes up his post in Summer 2016 and will be present at next year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival, which runs 14th – 16th October 2016.

Crafton Hills College Isn’t Banning Graphic Novels

fun home coverWe brought you the story of the student at Crafton Hills College who was protesting the use of four graphic novels in an English 250 course.

The issue was raised when a 20 year old student raised a stink over the use of Fun Home, Y: The Last Man, Persepolis, and The Sandman in the course feeling they were pornographic and violent.

The school president Cheryl A. Marshall has issued a statement saying that the college will not ban any books or alter the content of the course.

I support the college’s policy on academic freedom which requires an open learning environment at the college.  Students have the opportunity to study controversial issues and arrive at their own conclusions and faculty are to support the student’s right to freedom of inquiry.  We want students to learn and grow from their college experiences; sometimes this involves reaffirming one’s values while other times beliefs and perspectives change.  In this specific case, the syllabus distributed on the first day of class contained the list of required reading materials allowing students the opportunity to research the books and make a choice about the class.  The class is one of numerous electives available for completion of the English degree.  We are attempting to avoid this situation in the future and Professor Bartlett has agreed to include a disclaimer on the syllabus in the future so students have a better understanding of the course content.  I know he appreciated the differing views presented by Ms. Shultz in his class.

Seems like a reasonable solution.

Crafton Hills College Student and Parents Protest Graphic Novels (Updated)

PersepolisMaybe Seinfeld and Chris Rock are on to something about PC culture and college campus. A Crafton Hills College student, along with her parents, have lodged a complaint about graphic novels taught in an English course describing them as “pornographic and violent.” The works in question “depict nudity, sex, violence and torture. They also contain obscenities.”

20 year old Tara Shultz was joined by her parents and friends on Thursday on a protest over the material. The four books Shultz and her parents found offensive were Fun Home by Alison Bechdel; Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1 by Brian Vaughan; The Sandman, Vol. 2: The Doll’s House by Neil Gaiman; and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Many of these books are about tolerance and the free flow of ideas.

Instead of the above which are generally accepted as pretty important literary works, Shultz was expecting Batman and Robin. It should be noted Persepolis was one of the most banned books of 2014. Fun Home is also coming off of numerous Tony Award wins including “Best Musical” for its musical adaptation currently on Broadway. It too has been at the center of numerous banning attempts, but it was also chosen as a required reading choice for Duke University’s incoming class.

Going off her Facebook profile Shultz mostly enjoys the Bible, Star Wars, Star Trek, Disney films, and the Twilight series (interesting due to its questionable views when it comes to gender). Most of the entertainment listed is barely PG let alone PG-13. Most is G rated.

The English 250 course was described as:

Study of fiction as a literary genre through readings, in-class discussion, and analytical assignments. Emphasis will be on a particular type of fiction.

There is a link to the school store and a list of books for the course. It’s unknown if the course book list was available before the course began. The course was taught the previous semester and third time the course has been taught. There has not been a previous complaint and the course having previously been held provided opportunity to find out more. There are a total of ten books for the course.

Associate English Professor Ryan Bartlett said in an interview:

I chose several highly acclaimed, award-winning graphic novels in my English 250 course not because they are purportedly racy but because each speaks to the struggles of the human condition. As Faulkner states, ‘The only thing worth writing about is the human heart in conflict with itself.’ The same may be said about reading literature. The characters in the chosen graphic novels are all struggling with issues of morality, self discovery, heart break, etc. The course in question has also been supported by the faculty, administration and approved by the board.

fun home coverShultz had said “at most I would like the books eradicated from the system. I don’t want them taught anymore. I don’t want anyone else to have to read this garbage.”

She remained in the course after approaching the professor about the curriculum to not receive a zero. It’s unknown when she did so. This claim is also odd as many professors I spoke to said that students could drop a course well into it with only a financial hit.

Tara’s father Greg Shultz said:

If they (had) put a disclaimer on this, we wouldn’t have taken the course.

It’s interesting he used the word “we.”

College administrators are looking into the complaint and the books being sold in the bookstore where there are “under-aged kids here at this campus.”

This comes after numerous op-eds from College Professors about the PC nature on campus and fear to use some texts or express some opinions due to this sort of reaction.

Update: The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund points out “the school requires instructors (p. 20) to distribute a detailed syllabus on the first day of the term–and ample time to withdraw with no effect on her grade. Fourteen other courses offered at Crafton Hills fulfill the same degree requirement as English 250. The college’s online calendar shows that the Spring semester began on January 12, and the last date to drop a course with no grade penalty was January 30. Shultz apparently brought up her objections to four out of ten books covered in the class after that date, when her only options were to complete the assigned work or withdraw with a 0.”

(via Redlands Daily Facts)

Cards Against Humanity Launches a STEM education scholarship for women

chi-cards-against-humanity-stem-bsi-photos-201-001This Monday Cards Against Humanity launched their sixth expansion as well as a special new “Science Pack.” The “Science Pack” has 23 new white cards and 7 black cards. What’s really special is that all profits for to a new Cards Against Humanity Science Ambassador Scholarship.

The new scholarship provides a full-ride for women seeking undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The “Science Pack” is co-authored with Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal’s Zach Weinersmith and Bad Astronomy’s Phil Plait. The pack is available for $10 at CardsAgainstHumanity.com and as of this posting over $196,000 has been raised.

chi-cards-against-humanity-stem-bsi-photos-201-002Similar charity packs released by Cards Against Humanity have raised nearly $2 million for non-profits like the Wikimedia Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation, and DonorsChoose.org, where Cards Against Humanity has funded over 12,500 teacher projects in high-poverty classrooms across the United States.

Scholarship applications will be reviewed by a board of over forty women who hold higher degrees and work professionally in science, including representatives from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Harvard Medical School, the Smithsonian Institution, the Adler Planetarium, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as well as TED, NSF, Huxley, and Hubble fellows.

Applications will be opened to the public for the fall 2016 school year. Applicants can be in high school or college, and must identify as women in a way that’s significant to them. Recipients of the Cards Against Humanity Science Ambassador Scholarship will receive full tuition coverage for up to four years. Students can sign up to be notified when applications are open at ScienceAmbassadorScholarship.org.

UVA Young Writers Summer Program Announces Graphic Fiction & Non-Fiction Workshop

young writers workshopEstablished in 1982 as the nation’s flagship program for young writers, the University of Virginia‘s Young Writers Workshop brings together writers from across the country and beyond to create a supportive, non-competitive environment where teenage writers can live and work together.

Through the program participants learn strategies to invent, develop, and revise material using the writer’s most essential tools—language, imagination, craft, sight, and insight. All of this while they work instructors and peer writers.

The program has focused on poetry, songwriting, screen and playwriting, as well as fiction and non-fiction prose works. This year a new program focused on graphic fiction and non fiction has been announced.

From their email promoting the program:

We’re thrilled to announce that in its tradition of being “the first” in all things for young writers, YWW is blazing the trail once more by offering a Graphic Fiction & Non-Fiction workshop. In addition to workshops in fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, songwriting, and play and screenwriting, next summer’s Young Writers can choose to explore the intersection between text and visual art to create their own graphic texts in fiction and non-fiction. Last summer, an extended visit from Visiting Writer and Graphic Text Artist Lydia Conklin, with whom young writers in all genres had the chance to work in this dynamic genre, revealed so much curiosity and enthusiasm for this innovative art form that we’re taking this next bold step in evolving the “Young Writers experience.”


And from their website:

In this new innovative workshop writers will create fiction or nonfiction – or both! –by combining their own particular visual and verbal styles. Graphic texts – currently the most popular new mediums for storytelling – will become what participants in this workshop craft to dynamically render their own unique narratives that work on textual as well as visual levels. Instruction will accommodate a wide range of drawing abilities; it’s the story that matters most!


For those interested in finding out more, supporting, or applying, you can do so here.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! How’s everyone spending theirs?

Around the Tubes

ICv2 – Joaquin Phoenix Out as Doctor Strange – Remember when all those sites reported him as cast and signing a deal?

Huffington Post – New Comic Books Aim To Teach Students In Common Core Classrooms – Interesting.

ICv2 – Another DC Licensing Apology, for a Game – Interesting.

New York Times – In the Beginning, It Was All About Comics – Some interesting history.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – American Vampire: Second Cycle #5

Talking Comics – Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #1

Comic Vine – Captain America #25

Comic Vine – The Flash: Season Zero #1

Comic Vine – Gotham Academy #1

Comic Vine – Injustice: Year Two Annual #1

CBR – Jim Henson’s The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow

CBR – Men of Wrath #1

Comic Vine – Moon Knight #8

Comic Vine – Silver Surfer #6

Talking Comics – Voids Enigmatic Mansion Vol. 1

Talking Comics – The Walking Dead #131

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