Friday, February 6, 2009

Fordham University Graphic Novels in Education Conference

Just saw this from SLJ:

Fordham University Hosts First Graphic Novels in Education Conference

Artists, publishers, educators, and librarians came together in New York on January 30 to share their insights on graphic novels at Fordham University’s first Graphica in Education: Graphic Novels Come Out from Under the Desk conference.

... [James Bucky] Carter, a North Carolina native brought up on comics, went on to dismiss critics who say comics doesn’t involve real reading. In fact, Carter says, one comic book contains 2,000 words. If a child read a comic book a day, the total number of words read by the end of the year would be in excess of half a million. And in the process kids improve their vocabulary, develop an understanding of various reading genres, and increase their reading comprehension.

... Youth and reference service librarian Michael Schofield, of the Bradford County Public Library in Starke, FL, together with Chris Wilson, creator of the blog, The Graphic Classroom, presented a collection development overview for the graphica novice. Based on a survey of graphic materials checked out of libraries, the two men said superheroes or manga weren’t the most popular. It was titles such as American Born Chinese (Roaring Brook, 2006) by Gene Luen Yang, the "Babymouse" series (Random) by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, and "Amelia Rules!" (ibooks) by Jimmy Gownley that topped the list.

There just might be something to that whole "no flying, no tights," idea!

There was also this cute quip:
Throughout the daylong event, there was much debate about what the graphic novel/comic book format should be called. Many said the term "graphica" was too closely linked to "erotica." In a moment of levity, Jimmy Gownley, author of the best-selling "Amelia Rules" series (S & S/Atheneum) and a seven-time Eisner Award nominee, pondered that the format was "illustrated literature," so why not call it "illiterature"?

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