Comics Alternative Special: A Roundtable Discussion on Children’s and Young Adult Comics

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Forever Young

On this special episode of The Comics Alternative, Gwen and Derek moderate a roundtable discussion on comics for children and young adults. Joining them in the conversation are Karly Marie Grice and Joe Sutliff Sanders, both contributors to the brand new book coedited by Gwen, Graphic Novels for Children and Young Adults: A Collection of Essays (University Press of Mississippi). Over the course of the roundtable, both Joe and Karly present the research they conducted for the collection — the aesthetics of children’s digital comics and contesting narratives in Gene Luen Yang’s Boxers & Saints, respectively — but the core of the discussion centers on the current state of children’s and adolescent comics, the scholarship surrounding it, questions of demographics, and the pedagogical challenges facing educators when framing the medium.

Gwen’s coeditor, Michelle Ann Abate, had planned on joining the roundtable discussion, but due to technical difficulties she was unable to do so.

Comics Alternative, Episode 179: Reviews of Patience and Visual Storytelling: An Illustrated Reader

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Lesson Plans

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This week on the review show, Andy and Derek focus on two notable titles, one that has been greatly publicized and the other that has come in under the radar. The former is Daniel Clowes’s Patience (Fantagraphics), the creator’s long-awaited release and his first new book since 2010’s Wilson. (Mr. Wonderful and The Death-Ray, both published in 2011, had been previously published in different formats.) In fact, the guys begin by discussing the publicity and the excitement surrounding this event. While Andy tried to keep himself ignorant of the book’s details before its release, Derek admits that his reading experience was initially affected by all the hype, and not in a positive way. However, both guys conclude that this is a strong narrative and one well worth reading. While much of Patience bears the Dan Clowes stamp, parts of it seem more outside of the creator’s usual style. For example, even though the relationship between the protagonists is reminiscent of the interactions found in Ghost World, Daniel Boring, and Ice Haven, the fact that Clowes premises everything on time travel make this book stand out in his oeuvre. And although, as Andy points out, there’s nothing really new to the time-travel subgenre presented here, Clowes does use its basic components in a compelling way. Next, the Two Guys discuss a work that was designed specifically for the classroom, Visual Storytelling: An Illustrated Reader, Bennett-sampleedited by Todd James Pierce and Ryan G. Van Cleave (Oxford University Press). This book was released late in 2015 yet hasn’t received much publicity at all. While there have been other comics-related books that are designed for pedagogical use, this is the first to bring together a wide variety of primary texts specifically as a course reader. What’s more, it’s a book that could easily be used in rhetoric/composition and other non-comics-centric classes, as well. Pierce and Van Cleave divide their collection into seven thematic topics: identity, men and women, young adulthood, trauma, history, politics, and the arts. The comics that compose each segment, some complete short pieces and others excerpts, serve as illustrative examples of their particular theme, while at the same time potentially connecting with other thematic sections, thereby giving the collection a feeling of cohesion. The guys admire the diversity of the reader’s selections, arguing that this is a much more usable book than the comics anthologies already out there. At the same time, Derek questions the editors double dipping on some contributors — Peter Kuper and Derf Backderf each have two pieces in the collection, while Gabrielle Bell has three — while Andy questions Derek’s second guessing of Pierce and Van Cleave’s decisions. But this is a debate that the guys always seem to have with anthologies. The bottom line is that Visual Storytelling is an exciting anthology perfect for the classroom, but it is also a collection that can be enjoyed outside of any pedagogical context.

Patience-sample

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ComicsVerse Podcast Episode 58: THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE

Do you want to learn all about the entire history of the known universe, but just can’t commit to all of that pesky student loan debt? Do you prefer reading comic strips to textbooks? Then you’ve got to check out Larry Gonick‘s THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE.

Kathleen, Jamie, Nolan, Pete, and Travis sat down to discuss Gonick’s incredible 30-year project as part of our The Best Comics You’ve Never Read podcast series. Be sure to check out our last episode on one of our favorite indie titles no one is talking about: THE TALES OF MR. RHEE by Dirk Manning.

LISTEN: Want more Kathy? Check out another podcast she hosted on Craig Thompson’s BLANKETS!

THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE gives an entertaining and surprisingly accurate account of the history of the known universe from the Big Bang all the way up until 2008 (at least until Gonick treats us with another entry). The series is notable not only for the incredible achievement of giving a fairly complete (and balanced) history of the universe, but for Gonick’s incredibly charming Sunday strip comic art-style and the wealth of superhero level  puns and Dad-humor.

Gonick began work on THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE all the way back in 1978 when the series was published in traditional comic book format. Today you can find the series broken up into three thick trade paperback volumes along with THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE MODERN WORLD #1 & #2 which concluded the series. According to the scholars over at Wikipedia the project was “championed” by none other than former first lady Jackie O, who worked as an editor over at Doubleday.

HEAR: This isn’t our first podcast on something without superheroes! Why not listen to this podcast on Julie Daucet’s MY NEW YORK DIARY?

If you’re interested in getting schooled on topics ranging from science to sex be sure to check out Gonick’s website (http://www.larrygonick.com) so you can enjoy his work as much as we did.

Be sure to check out our next episode in The Best Comics You’ve Never Read podcast series, where we’ll be discussing BOOK!

For your convenience, this episode and more of the ComicsVerse Podcast is also located on iTunes:

Download The ComicsVerse Podcast on iTunes

source: http://comicsverse.com/episode-58-the-best-comics-you-never-read-the-cartoon-history-of-the-universe/
website: http://comicsverse.com