Linkfest: Spiegelman speaks!
Art Spiegelman doesn’t usually do a lot of reviews, but with several new books out, including the early-readers title Jack and the Box, he has been a bit more talkative of late. In part 3 of a five-part interview at The Daily Cross Hatch, he talks about the Toon Books, the lack of comics for very early readers, and why comics are better tools for teaching literacy than ordinary readers:
Using a wordlist of the words kids are supposed to know by the end of first grade is pretty restricting, but what Francoise found out while doing this thing, was that at one point she ran into this psych professor who said there’s a reason why I learned to read from comics and Francoise in France learned to read from comics, and because all of the crap I had around the house that the kids destroyed, damn it—I sacrificed my comics collection—they learned to read from comics. And the reason is, when you learn to read, it’s not like some mechanized voice out of 2001’s Hal robot says, [in robot voice] “would baby like some milk?” it’s [in baby talk voice], “oooh, would baby like some miiiilk?” So, there’s a lot of expression, a lot of gesturing, and a lot of pointing.
And those things actually give context to these otherwise gibberish-like sounds that us apes make, and get the kids to understand that there’s a code, and you can break it, with all of those brain cells that you’ve got. And similarly, comics, with the facial expressions, the gestures, and the objects, are inviting something analogous to learning speech, and as a result, it actually is much more fluid to learn from all of that choreographed picture-making, rather than illustration and text that “see Dick run. Run Dick run.” Yeah, I see him running. I don’t need to have that same thing in the text. But if they’re saying, “why are you sad?” You want to know why he’s sad, he looks sad. It’s a much more connected process, in terms of mastering language. So, that was inspiring for me, trying to work for something that basic and trying to make it not stupid.
At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson interviews Alex de Campi, the creator of the unfinished Tokyopop series Kat and Mouse.
Alex Cox talks to Raina Telgemeier, the artist for the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels and creator of the upcoming Smile: A Dental Drama, at Comic Book Resources.
Chris Wilson is hosting a contest on The Graphic Classroom: Write a mini-review of your favorite comic, get a chance to win a copy of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror: Dead Man’s Jest.
Just for fun: Frank Cammuso re-imagines the presidential candidates as Harry Potter characters.
Robin Brenner on vol. 1 of Bound Beauty (Teenreads)
JL Bell on Camp Babymouse (Oz and Ends)
Ed Sizemore on The Good Neighbors, Book One: Kin (Comics Worth Reading)
Greg McElhatton on The Good Neighbors, Book One: Kin (Read About Comics)
John Hogan on The Good Neighbors, Book One: Kin (Teenreads)
Brigid Alverson on vol. 1 of Hitohira (MangaBlog)
Snow Wildsmith on vols. 1 and 2 of Muhyo and Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation (Teenreads)
David Welsh on vol. 1 of Papillon (Precocious Curmudgeon)
Sandy Bilus on Stinky (I Love Rob Liefeld)
Eva Volin on vols. 1 and 2 of Two Flowers for the Dragon (Teenreads)
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About Brigid Alverson
Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good E-Reader.com. Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.
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