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History Through Graphic Novels: How Comics Make History Come Alive An Interview with Jason Aaron on his Vietnam epic, The Other Side
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A round up of the best historical fiction graphic novels Tips for hosting a game night event at your library A look at Paizo’s new Starfinder game and other upcoming game titles A preview of The Tea Dragon Society from Oni Press
WELCOME TO BOOKSHELF T HE GR APH I C N OV EL RES OURCE FO R EDU CA TOR S A ND LIB R A R IA NS Graphic Novels have a lot to offer as literature, educational tools, entertainment and more! Whether you are a teacher or reading specialist seeking to incorporate graphic novels into the classroom; or a librarian or media specialist looking to add graphic novels to your collection, our mission with the Diamond BookShelf is to provide you with comprehensive information on the latest graphic novel news, reviews and events.
On Our Cover
From writer Jason Aaron and artist Cameron Stewart, The Other Side hardcover edition tells an unforgettable Vietnam war story from the point-of-view of two young soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Private Bill Everette is a US Marine. His opposite number, Vo Binh is a fighter for the People’s Army of Vietnam. These two young men have never met. They are not even aware of each other’s existence. And yet, in the battle-scarred country of Vietnam, fighting a war that no sane mind can fully comprehend, their destinies are on a deadly collision course.
HOW TO USE THIS PUBLICATION The BookShelf magazine was created as a compliment to Diamond’s BookShelf website. With this publication, you’ll find articles designed to introduce you to the world of graphic novels and help you learn how to integrate them into your classroom or library. You’ll also find reviews, core lists, reference recommendations and special extras to help you get started. If you want to know what comics and graphic novels are and how or why to use them, or if you are already familiar with graphic novels and are looking for a great resource to improve your collection… Read on!
Read BookShelf Online! To read a pdf version of previous issues of Diamond BookShelf, visit http://bit.ly/BookShelfMag
TABLE OF CONTENTS SPECIAL FEATURES
From The Other Side��������������������������������������� 12 Creator Jason Aaron discusses the inspiration and creation of his Vietnam epic, The Other Side
Against All Odds �������������������������������������������� 14 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang discusses his graphic novel companion set Boxers & Saints
History in the Making��������������������������������������20 A list of must-have historical fiction graphic novels for your library or classroom collection
A Celebration of the Magic of Everyday Life ����������������������������������� 35
A preview of the upcoming graphic novel The Tea Dragon Society from the author of the award-winning title Princess Princess Ever After
Spreading the Word������������������������������������������8 Prof. Katie Monnin analyzes the role of graphic novels in today’s literary world and explains why they have become the most important format of the 21st-century
History Through Graphic Novels��������������������� 16 Social Studies teacher Tim Smyth provides an overview of historical fiction graphic novels for the classroom
Katie’s Korner�������������������������������������������������� 38 Prof. Katie Monnin reviews The Underwater Welder and Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom, with suggestions for how they can be used in the classroom
Broad Skills: Tips for Hosting a Game Night����27 Young Adult Services Librarian Lauren Richards provides tips for hosting a game night for teens
Roll for Initiative���������������������������������������������32 Game creator Owen Stephens discusses the inspiration behind the unique sci-fi world of Starfinder, and the importance of tabletop role-playing games expanding into different genres
Graphic Novels 101............................................4 News and Notes.................................................7 Reviews............................................................40 Core Lists.........................................................42 Resources.........................................................45 Editor: Ashley Kronsberg Contributing Writers: Katie Monnin, Tim Smyth, Lauren Richards Designer: Nick Pentz Special Thanks to: Cindy Anderson, Roger Fletcher, Steve Geppi, Allan Greenberg, Kuo-Yu Liang, Dan Manser, Tom Sadowski PRINTED IN CANADA
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GRAPHIC NOVELS 101 ST A R T I N G A G R APHIC NOV EL CO LLEC TION Deciding to include comic books and graphic novels in your collection is the first step into a larger world. Now, you must decide what to do once you’re there. Here are some basic steps on your path to using graphic novels in your collection:
1. Determine Needs
First, you need to ascertain what books you would like to incorporate into your collection. Perhaps you have one or two graphic novels already, or you may be deciding to carry these books for the first time. You’ll need to decide which books would be appropriate for your community of readers, which books they’re hankering for, and which books would delight and surprise them.
2. Find An Expert
You don’t have to possess an encyclopedic knowledge of comics and graphic novels to successfully integrate them into your library’s offerings. There are people out there who can advise you on what books are valuable. Reach out to your library community or local comic book retailers who are armed with detailed information about this area of reading they have a vested interest in supporting. (See “A Great Resource: Your Local Comics Shop“ on page 46 for information) And, of course, you can also feel free to contact those of us at the Diamond Bookshelf!
3. Purchase The Books
4. Decide How To Catalog/ Where To Shelve
Now you need to decide where to put them! For information on cataloging to make integrating graphic novels into your collection easier and shelving, visit the BookShelf website for a comprehensive look at options and resources.
5. Promote Your Graphic Novels
You could have the finest graphic novel collection in history, but if no one knows about, it won’t matter. The success of your collection relies on a certain level of promotion. If you don’t get the word out, no one will know the books are there. Start including the news about your graphic novels into your existing newsletters, pamphlets, and other promotional materials. Put up easy-to-read signs at the entrances to your library so that nobody who enters will fail to know about the new additions. Add the news to your e-mail correspondence. Contact your local media and encourage them to do a story about your library’s efforts to expand and enhance readership through this vital art form. Stage contests, offer giveaways, and plan fun events. Coordinate promotions with your local comic book retailer.
6. Evaluate Success /Circulation Data
Once you have consulted with your readers, experts in the field, and any others who can offer insight, you’ll be ready with a list of titles of graphic novels to acquire for your library.
After a certain period of time, you’re going to want to crunch the numbers. Measuring the graphic novel circulation at your library indicates the extent to which your readers are using this new library resource and will help you evaluate the success of the program. It will also point you in the right direction as to which titles and series to snap up in the future!
GRAPHIC NOVEL SELECTION IS KEY but the best titles to
include can vary from library to library. There is no national standard when it comes to appropriateness of graphic novels, so it is vital — once you’ve decided on a particular book — to read through the book yourself. What might pass muster in some communities may not pass muster in yours. This website and the various resources listed throughout are your best starting points if you are approaching comics from a starter’s perspective.
THREE CATEGORIES TO KEEP IN MIND:
7. Poll Patrons
Never forget to meet the needs of your readership. Consulting the experts and embarking on your own research into which titles to carry is a necessary element of this program, but asking your patrons what they want is also crucial.
8. Make Graphic Novels a Regular Part of Your Ordering Cycle
Once you’ve talked to your readers and assessed your circulation data to see how successful the addition of comic books and graphic novels has been, you’ll want to keep the ball rolling. An established graphic novel program in your library needs to be sustained, and making graphic novels a regular part of your ordering cycle will ensure the vibrancy of your collection. Including these titles in your regular decisions on what books to carry will help make them a significant and popular segment of your library.
1. BESTSELLERS Lists of bestselling graphic novels can be obtained each month from www.DiamondBookShelf.com. Additionally, resources such as BookScan (www.bookscan.com) can provide similar information for the highest selling graphic novels in the book-store market.
2. CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED TITLES Graphic
received stellar reviews and won literary awards are sure to generate interest in the medium, will attract new readers, and also make a great case for having
As with any collection development, there is a period of experimentation during which you will learn which titles will circulate and which will not. You cannot judge the effectiveness of a graphic novel collection with a handful of titles, any more than you would do so with a handful of DVDs or audiobooks. If there’s no room in your budget to make a large initial purchase, start small and evaluate regularly. Add titles as you can, polling your patrons, reading review sources, and keeping diversity in mind. As time goes on, you will find the right combination for your readership and community. Soon, you’ll come to realize that comic books and graphic novels are an engaging and vibrant form of literature, and the promotional possibilities for your library are endless!
There are a number of literary publications that review graphic novels,
Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist, VOYA and others. See pages 40-41 for a selection of recent reviews.
3. MEDIA TIE-INS Titles that tie in to hit movies, games, novels and TV shows are sure to appeal to fans of the same. Many manga titles are also TV cartoons, and many blockbuster movies are adapted from comic books. The BookShelf newsletter stays current with the latest media tieins and adaptations.
GRAPHIC NOVELS 101 T
WHY COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS PROMOTE LITERACY
They bring a whole new group of readers into the library
There is no dearth of material that appeals to readers of all ages, genders, backgrounds and literacy levels
They engage the reluctant reader – and appeal to gifted readers
They help increase kids’ vocabulary – studies show, even more than movies, television, or adult books!
They are a multi-modal form of communication (meaning is communicated through visual context, not just words), similar to spoken language and are thus a great bridge to written language
Visual literacy is increasingly important in 21st-century society
They stimulate the imagination and model visualization for readers
They offer dynamic and high-interest supplementary material for a wide range of disciplines – not just English but also history, civics, science, art, geography, and more
They appeal and strengthen kinesthetic and visual learning
They create a gateway to literature!
Comics and Literacy: A Powerful Team-Up!
“The presence of comics in a junior high school library resulted in a dramatic 82% increase in library traffic and a 30% increase in circulation of non-comic books.” - Dorrell & Carroll, School Library Journal
C ONC ER NED AB OU T C OMIC S?
DON ’T BE. GRAPHIC NOVEL can be used to denote both the content and the format of a book. When speaking of content, a graphic novel is a long, self-contained story depicted as a pictorial narrative, often taking the form of a comic book. In terms of format, however, the words “graphic novel” can be used to describe any pictorial narrative that looks like a book, whether it is a selfcontained story, a chapter in a longer serial, an anthology of different work or a non-fiction text depicted in comic book form. Before taking the plunge and using comic books in your instruction, you may be hesitant about the appropriateness of the content of the comic. Some misperceptions of the comic book medium are that it is rife with graphic depictions of violence, sex, nudity, or worse. And while there are certainly titles that meet that description, it is impossible to pigeonhole the diverse landscape of comics into a single slot. As with any form of literature, comics and graphic novels run the gamut from kid-friendly to adult and represent every kind of genre imaginable. Also like other forms of literature and entertainment, not every comic book may be suitable in your classroom. Remember, the comic book is a format, not a genre. It is just another unique medium used to tell a story. When it comes to the appropriateness or selection of graphic novels, you have the liberty to choose the best titles to include in your library or classroom based on your community needs. It is vital – once you’ve decided on a particular book – to read through the book yourself. What might pass muster in some communities may not pass muster in yours. The BookShelf website and the various resources listed throughout are your best starting points if you are approaching comics from a starter’s perspective.
NEWS AND NOTES SUPERHEROES OF LITERACY
THE 2017 WILL EISNER AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Parent, community activist and Chairman for New Berlin Elementary School in Jacksonville, FL, Andy Morlock has partnered with local comic shops and schools in the Jacksonville community to promote literacy in children using the allure and influence of comics books. Morlock reads aloud to elementary students on reading days through an initiative he has coined as SuperHeroes of Literacy.
Named for acclaimed comics creator Will Eisner, the awards are celebrating their 29th year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels.
The initiative came about after Morlock’s involvement with local schools as a parent. Volunteering for nine years through various leadership roles such as the Co-Chair of the Area Advisory Board for Northside Duval County Schools, Morlock presented SuperHeroes of Literacy at an Area Advisory Council meeting in 2016 and received overwhelming support from every principal in attendance. He now partners with several different schools in providing these reading days for elementary students. “There’s science, and there’s physics, and there’s love stories, and there’s foreign language, and there’s interpersonal relationships, and all of this stuff. And it’s all inside of a comic book,” Morlock tells The Florida Times Union. “I think it’s a great way to encourage children to read more and be excited in reading things that interest them,” said Kathy Dellaire, co-owner of Mythical Mountain, one of the comic shops participating in the program. “I think comic books are a great way to encourage children to read what they want to read. If they find something they like, hopefully they’ll keep that for the rest of their lives.” For more information on the SuperHeroes of Literacy initiative, visit their Facebook page at http://ow.ly/QYIO30cEees
The awards are presented annually at San Diego Comic-Con under the auspices of Comic-Con International, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to art and culture. Taking place on the evening of Friday, July 21st at San Diego ComicCon, awards for over 25 categories were given to titles, creators, and publishers excelling in the comic craft. For a full list of award winners, please visit: http://ow.ly/ YarN30dYWx0
HALLOWEEN COMICFEST ANNOUNCES 2017 LIST OF COMIC BOOKS Halloween ComicFest (HCF) takes place every year on the Saturday on or before Halloween at participating comic shops worldwide, with this year’s event taking place on Saturday, October 28. This year, HCF features a whole new selection of 30 comics—18 Full-Size and 12 Mini-Comics—and features comics for everyone: from tiny goblins and ghouls, to witches and warlocks, to crypt-keepers and zombies alike. The FullSize comics have a wide range of stories from all ages, teen, and mature ratings; whereas, the all-ages Mini-Comics are perfect for the trick-or-treaters in your life! The Mini-Comics are available to purchase in packs before Halloween ComicFest and are encouraged to be given out in classrooms and to trickor-treaters on Halloween night. For a full list of Halloween ComicFest 2017 titles and how you can partner with a local comic shop to host a Halloween Comic Event, please visit: http://ow.ly/DMiV30dKHzs
SPREADING THE WORD
HISTORICAL & NONFICTION GRAPHIC NOVELS IN K – 12 CLASSROOMS BY D R. KATIE M ONNIN
n February 2nd, 2009, Graphic Novel Reporter published an article I wrote entitled The Revolution Will Be Visualized. With a brand-new shiny doctoral degree in hand it was (and still is) one of my most memorable articles. When I wrote it, I was hoping my scholarship on graphic novels was right, that we were (and are still) living during the greatest communication revolution of all time – we were living during a time in history when teaching with graphic novels can serve as the perfect medium for globally communicating in an equally shared printtext and image-text 21st-century world.
Second historically to the invention of the printing press, our current communication revolution is first in terms of significance. While the 15th-century invention of the printing press caused the first communication revolution to change the ways in which we read and write globally, our current communication revolution responds to a host of technological advancements that are again changing the ways in which we read and write globally. Due to so many visually based technological platforms, modern reading and writing calls on readers to be equally literate with both print-text and image-text. Print-text no longer stands alone as the single dominant literacy gateway, as it did when the printing press was invented. Today, printtext and image-text are co-stars on the modern literacy stage and must receive equal billing. For educators, librarians, and families equal billing means redefining what it means to be literate in the 21st-century. In your daily lives, do you comprehend them? Probably.
Columbus, Ohio. Long story short, my principal ran in the room, whispered in my ear to turn on the television and ran right back out of the room. For a fleeting moment, I flinched and looked behind me, searching for the adult in the room; I looked for Mrs. Fleck, my third-grade teacher who sat with us when we watched the first teacher in see any images and space lift off and head to the moon. On that tragic day in American history I had an adult in the room to help me understand what I saw happen next. On 9/11, however, I was a Language Arts teacher just two weeks “THE GRAPHIC NOVEL SERVES into her first year of I was the adult AS AN IDEAL MEDIUM TO BRIDGE teaching. in the room.
As we live through this communication revolution and teach our children to be modern literate readers and writers, it’s important to note that this OUR INCREASINGLY IMAGE-BASED I walked over to the shift in literacy learning to a television, turned it on, WORLD WITH OUR FAMILIAR shared literacy stage (printand in live time the second text and image-text together) PRINT-TEXT WORD.” plane hit the World Trade happened on a very significant Center building. I didn’t st day in 21 -century history. The demarcating date for our current communication even have time to turn around when I heard one student revolution is September 11th, 2001. Most of us remember start to cry over and over “My dad is there!” “My dad is where we were. I was teaching seventh graders in there!” “My dad is there!” At that same moment, twentythree other students looked at me like I was their Mrs. Fleck.
diamondbookshelf.com Another student stood up and shouted “Sweet! Best movie explosion ever. They’re all dead!” I needed to be much more than Mrs. Fleck to these students. As we were all forced to realize that day, I realized what my students and I were seeing was something I’d never been prepared for, never been taught; I didn’t know how to read and comprehend the images and the print-text working together on the screen. I found myself asking: Why are my students and I having such a hard time comprehending what visually happened right in front of our eyes? After doctoral school (aka: much later), I fully realized that images, the visuals themselves, were a literacy. Even though it happened in live time right before our eyes, my students and I struggled to read the screen images we saw on 9/11 because we had not been taught to value images alone as powerful, valid storytelling literacies. Before 9/11 most classrooms placed their primary emphasis on teaching print-text, fiction literacies (only one of Howard Gardner’s 1983 work on multiple intelligences, the “verbal-linguistic” intelligence). In that split second of time between turning on the TV and the second plane hitting the World Trade Center building, I knew I wanted to be a professor who wrote books about the 21st-century literacies of our own time and place in history. And half of those literacies, I realized on 9/11, were visual. This is our historical moment!, I thought. My own reflections on this critical and seismic shift on what it means to be literate in the 21st-century may have first occurred on September 11th, 2001 and be important to me, but their impact and importance to the graphic novel community are much more poignant and potent. A phenomenon in the graphic novel world is occurring (and has been occurring) since 2001. The publication of and sales of historical fiction and nonfiction graphic novels has risen and risen and risen. Because of this rise it becomes imperative that educators (defined as anyone who helps others – of any age and ability – learn to read and write in the 21st-century) pay attention to two critically impactful phenomena: The timely and appropriate need to redefine literacy in the 21st-century to better balance the realities of our daily reading lives in a shared print-text and image-text world, and The popularity of graphic novels, especially historical and nonfiction graphic novels, to 21st-century readers within and beyond the graphic novel community. Any discussion about the popularity and significance of historical fiction and/or nonfiction graphic novels in the 21st-century undoubtedly begins with Art Spiegelman’s Maus. While Will Eisner coined the term “graphic novel” in 1978, the most famous graphic
novel is inarguably Spiegelman’s Maus. Now the most popularly assigned graphic novel in classrooms around the world, Maus I hit the market in 1986 and immediately caught attention; in fact, Maus’ original publication by Pantheon into six chapters was a
diamondbookshelf.com response to reader engagement from its original adult historical fiction and nonfiction graphic novels are serialized publication. Comparatively, while Maus I’s on the market, and it’s about time we start to discuss success was evident, making a great-big-splash in the their role outside of the graphic novel community and smaller pond Eisner established and entitled “graphic inside the K-12 classroom. novels,” Maus II set the pond on fire. Trust me, I’m from Ohio and the Ohio River caught fire in 1969. The cards are stacked in our favor. Kids are reading them. It’s possible but not for the same reasons. In Maus’ Scholars have proved them literary. The numbers are up. case the fire was figurative, a palpable and exciting comic-cons are some of the most popular events in the energy that propelled the graphic novel format into country. Contemporary readers are not only interested in the pop culture arena. In 1992, Maus II’s continued the graphic novel, but also ready for it to be merged into story about the son of a holocaust survivor (the frame the K-12 literary canon. To capture this already captive audience it may behoove us to of the story) interacting with his conversationally-inspired continue to spread the good word storyteller father who survived “PRINT-TEXT NO LONGER about the graphic novel’s serious the Holocaust (the heart of the STANDS ALONE AS THE and valid place in the 21st-century frame story) won a Pulitzer Prize, literary canon. the very first for the graphic SINGLE DOMINANT For that reason and in lieu novel format. LITERACY GATEWAY.” of the space, I want to offer Since the 1990s and the early recommendations for each three 2000s, the graphic novel has gained both literary and age groups: early reader, young adult reader, and scholarly attention, establishing itself as one of the most adult reader. These recommendations are critical to the sought after and studied 21st-century literary-level texts. future of historical fiction and nonfiction graphic novel Such attention has not gained the graphic novel a solid readership and studies because it is imperative that place at the K-12 classroom table, however, the case is those of us who study, read, and enjoy graphic novels still being made. continue to spread the word about their literary merit. Pop culture is aware of the graphic novel. It’s our job, The graphic novel serves as an ideal medium to bridge as education stakeholders who care about and work our increasingly image-based world with our familiar in the popular culture market, to take the most popular print-text world. If you read just the images you get one literary level format of the 21st-century to the next level. version of the story. If you read just the words you get For example, the historical and nonfiction graphic novel another version of the story. When readers put the text market alone belongs in our classrooms. together with the images and the images together with the text, they are reading on two levels. Read together, These historical fiction and/or nonfiction graphic novel visuals and print-text amount to a new kind of reader who titles are just a few. Those of us who live and breathe can multitask his or her literary-level reading skills by graphic novels know they are literary; we know they concentrating on multiple comprehension-based literacies belong in classrooms; we also know how important it is at once. It’s revolutionary. And the graphic novel is at that to continue to spread the good word about historical and revolutionary core with its shared literary emphasis on nonfiction graphic novels that belong in the K-12 literary reading with print-text and visual-text together. canon. Establishing that graphic novels are a valid new literary-level format outside of its own community, has proved somewhat touch and go. Built upon the huge splashes in Eisner’s pond that move beyond Maus’ acclaim and global attention, publishers have slowly started to embrace the graphic novel’s growing literary reputation. Two of the most significant – and somewhat ignored in K-12 classroom settings – graphic novel genres are historical fiction and nonfiction. Countless, high-quality numbers of early reader, young adult, and
Together we can continue to expand the literary canon to reflect and value our own time and place in history. The future of the literary canon will surely take note of our most popular literary format: the graphic novel. Spread the word, Search for more, Repeat.
Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), Get Animated! Teaching 21st-century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2014), and Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts (2015). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her three wiener dogs, Samantha, Max, and Alex Morgan Monnin.
Recommendations for Early Readers Title and Author
The Real Poop on Pigeons, by Kevin McCloskey
Penguins, Digestive System
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Hearing Loss, Early Identity
Word Play by Ivan brunetti
Language Learning, Play
Strange Stories for Strange Kids Edited by Art Spiegelman & Francoise Mouly
We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey
Recommendations for Young Adults Title and Author
Gettysburg by Chris Butzer
American Civil War, Social Justice, Identity
Laika by Nick Abadzis
Cold War, Space Race
First Second Books
Zahraâ€™s Paradise by Amir and Khalil
Middle Eastern Politics, Social Justice, Identity
First Second Books
Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
Immigration, Social Justice
Recommendations for Adults Readers* Title and Author
Forget Sorrow by Belle Yang
Asian Studies, Family Identity, Tradition and Change
Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse
American Civil Rights, Social Justice
Paradox Press Pantheon
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Middle East Politics, Coming of Age, Islamic Revolution
In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman
September 11, 2001; Historical Timing and Significance Pantheon
Pyongyang by Guy Delisle & Helge Dascher
Korean Peninsula Politics, Tourism
Drawn and Quarterly
* Maus has already been cited as the most significant adult historical graphic novel; thus, this article will list five new titles to help broaden the readerâ€™s options.
FROM THE OTHER SIDE AN INTERVIEW WITH JASON AARON BY ASHLEY KRO NSB E R G
eleasing September 2017 from Image Comics comes The Other Side Special Edition (978153430228, $19.99), a hardcover collection of the Eisner-Award nominated miniseries that started it all for writer Jason Aaron (Southern Bastards, Scalped)! With amazingly visceral artwork from Cameron Stewart (Motor Crush, Batgirl) and vivid colors from Dave McCaig (American Vampire), The Other Side tells an unforgettable Vietnam war story from the point-of-view of two young soldiers: Private Bill Everette – a US Marine – and his opposite number, Vo Binh – a fighter for the People’s Army of Vietnam. These two young men have never met. They are not even aware of each other’s existence. And yet, in the battle-scarred country of Vietnam, fighting a war that no sane mind can fully comprehend, their destinies are on a deadly collision course. In this interview, BookShelf Editor Ashley Kronsberg talks with The Other Side creator Jason Aaron about the upcoming special edition.
there was a lot of research that went into The Other Side. More research than I’ve ever done for any other project. But it was something that was already consuming my life in a few different ways, given my connection to Gus.
t Ashley Kronsberg: Can you give us a little
t What inspired you to write a story to the backdrop of the Vietnam war? What kind of research was done to create the setting seen in the graphic novel?
Jason Aaron: The Other Side was really different than anything I’ve written since. For one, it was the first full comic story I’d ever attempted. Before this, I’d only written an 8-page Wolverine story, as a Marvel contest winner. So, I started writing The Other Side when I was still trying to break into comics. I was working crappy day jobs and then spending most of the rest of my time reading and writing. I was too broke to do much else. I was also spending a lot of time researching the life of my late cousin, Gustav Hasford. Gus was a Vietnam vet and a novelist whose biggest claim to fame was that he wrote the book that Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket was based on. Gus was also wanted by the cops for stealing library books at the same time he was nominated for an Oscar, but that’s another story. So, all that time spent piecing together the bits and pieces of Gus’s life and all his various writings, while at the same time trying to get my own writing career off the ground, inspired me to start creating my own Vietnam War story. That’s why The Other Side is dedicated to Gus and his fellow First Marine Division Combat Correspondents from that era. So yeah,
Well, like I said, it was inspired by my cousin, Gus, who was a Vietnam vet. I got to meet and hang out with his group of Combat Correspondents around that time. I got to be a fly on the wall and just listen to their stories. But I also wanted The Other Side to be about more than just the American grunt’s perspective. I wanted to try and look at the war from different angles. So that meant doing a lot of reading about the Vietnamese side of the war, and I found the story of a typical NVA soldier to be pretty compelling.
insight into your writing process? What goes into crafting your stories, especially one based in historical events like The Other Side?
t When developing the characters, was it
always part of the plan to write from two points of view? Yes. Part of the inspiration for that came from the novel The Phantom Blooper, which was Gus’s sequel to his first novel, The Short-Timers. Blooper follows Private Joker through the siege of Khe Sanh, where he ends up being taken prisoner, experiencing life in a Viet Cong village and coming to see the war from a totally different perspective. I was really fascinated by that idea and
felt it was something we hadn’t really seen represented in American culture. The Vietnam War was so much a conflict filled with gray areas, so I wanted to try to do a more even-handed portrayal of that.
“I WANTED THE OTHER SIDE TO BE ABOUT MORE THAN JUST THE AMERICAN GRUNT’S EXPERIENCE.”
t How did the creation of this story further
develop you as a writer? Were there any parts of the story that were more difficult to write than others? I think all of it helped develop me as a writer. Again, I was brand new when I started working on this. My original editor at Vertigo, Will Dennis, helped a lot. So did Cameron Stewart, who was already an accomplished artist. I look back at it now and wouldn’t change a word, even in spots where I might want to, because this book represents the beginning of my entire career and my journey of trying to become a decent writer.
t Cameron Stewart and Dave McCaig do
a brilliant job of bringing this story to life through their art. What was it like working with them to create this visceral story? It was intimidating and exciting. I was the FNG in that situation, because those guys were already supertalented pros. But like you said, they did an amazing job of bringing that whole world to life. It was crazy that the first time I met Cameron in person was at San
Diego Comic-Con, and he was leaving from there to go to Vietnam for a few weeks on a research trip. I felt like Robert McNamara, shaking his hand and sending him off around the globe, hoping he wouldn’t get shot or snakebit. I have a lot of respect for Cameron for that level of commitment to his art, and I think it really brought a lot to the story. t The special edition from Image Comics will also feature extra materials. What kind of things can readers expect from this printing? How do the extra features enhance the story?
There are a lot of sketches and photos from Cameron’s trip to Vietnam, and also some excerpts from my script. I’m really proud of that first issue script. I’ve never worked harder on anything in my life than I worked on that. And I think it shows. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that first script. I wouldn’t have a career in comics. And I’m excited that now people can finally read it.
About the Creator Jason Aaron is a comic book writer from Alabama. His career in comics began in 2001 when he won a Marvel Comics talent search contest for an eight-page script he wrote for Wolverine. Since then, Aaron has become an award-winning writer for titles such as Southern Bastards from Image Comics and Star Wars from Marvel Comics. Aaron is currently working on Thor and Star Wars for Marvel, Southern Bastards for Image Comics, and Men of Wrath for Icon.
AGAINST ALL ODDS
AN INTERVIEW WITH GENE LUEN YANG BY ASHLEY KRO NSB E R G
et to the backdrop of one of the most violent anti-foreign, anti-colonial movements in Chinese history, Boxers & Saints (9781596439245, $34.95), is a two-volume box set created by Gene Luen Yang, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and a MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of what’s popularly known as the MacArthur “Genius” Grant. In this thrilling tale, Yang tells two parallel stories: the first of Little Bao, a Chinese peasant boy who joins the Boxers; and Four-Girl, a girl whose village has no place for her and finds refuge with Christian missionaries. BookShelf Editor Ashley Kronsberg speaks with Gene Luen Yang about the creation of this visceral and haunting tale, including the inspiration behind exploring the Boxer Rebellion and how historical fiction graphic novels can paint a better picture of historical events. t Ashley Kronsberg: What was the inspiration
behind Boxers & Saints? What led you to ground the story in the Boxer Rebellion?
Gene Luen Yang: This is a project I’ve been thinking about for a long time. The graphic novel came out in 2013, but it’s a story that has been on my mind since the early 2000s. I grew up Roman Catholic during the time of Pope John Paul the Second, and for the first time in history he canonized Chinese Catholics. The church I grew up in held massive events and festivities to recognize this honor, and it was through those festivities that I became curious in the history of Roman Catholicism and Chinese Culture. My curiosities led me to the Boxer Rebellions which, in a lot of ways, is still a mystery in how they got started, but it refers to a time when indigenous Chinese people began to rebel against the western cultures and Christianity. The Chinese government went so far as to issue a protest statement claiming that any person in China embracing Christianity makes them a traitor to their nation, family, etc. It was through this separation that some Chinese communities began praying to the gods to give them the power to fight off the encroaching western culture. These stories read very much like Shazam to me, and in creating Little Bao, I wanted to tap into the idea of the gods answering their prayers and providing powers to the Chinese people.
This was fascinating in many ways, including the fact that this was really the precursor to the two world wars – it was the first-time nations from eastern and western hemispheres were engaged, and it was the first media war where coverage of the action was in newspapers, on radio, etc. At the heart of it was this tension between eastern and western ways of understanding the world, and as an Asian American, I felt connected to this tension in many ways. t Was it always the intention to write this story from two points of view or did it develop as you created it?
Well, I was ambivalent. It definitely developed as I went along because I just could not decide who the heroes were. I went in thinking it was going to be the Boxers that were the heroes, but they did some pretty ferocious things as well. And then I thought, well maybe the Saints are the heroes, but likewise, they had their moments of extreme violence. So, after a while, I realized I needed to tell the story from both points of view. t Were there any aspects of the story that were harder to write than others?
Of all the works I have ever done, this is by far the most violent. The Boxers were mostly just kids doing ferocious things, and the violence of it all was definitely the most difficult. I remember travelling to France to look at their
t How do you view historical fiction in
using images and illustration, you are automatically adding a layer of fiction because no one looks like a cartoon. The challenge and the fun is how the creator deals with the automatic level of fiction when crafting these stories.
Historical fiction is a part of the graphic novel landscape I really want to see develop – there is so much potential there. The central question of historical fiction graphic novels though is the inherent nature of cartooning – by
As long as the cartoonist does his/her homework, you can present at least a representation of how historical events and landscapes looked. We always have a bias towards the present, and we assume the past looked more like the present than it actually did. With the graphic novel format, you have the visual evidence to support that the past is different, and using it as a supplement can also give you a glimpse into the emotional realities of the time.
archives of the Boxer Rebellion, and some of the photos I saw there I directly translated into the graphic novel. The visceral nature and brutality of this time resonated with me. graphic novels as a whole? Should it be something that is utilized as supplemental reading in student’s education in order to better understand historical events?
About the Creator Gene Luen Yang began making comics and graphic novels in the fifth grade. In 2006, First Second published his graphic novel American Born Chinese, and it became the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Printz Award. In addition to cartooning, Yang teaches creative writing through Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. In January 2016, the Library of Congress, Every Child A Reader, and the Children’s Book Council appointed Yang as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
HISTORY THROUGH GRAPHIC NOVELS HOW COMICS MAKE HISTORY COME ALIVE BY TI M SMYT H
ne of the most challenging skills for a social studies student to develop is considering the “what if” of history and personalizing events that happened. It is one thing to memorize events and names, quite another to use research to fire up the imagination and use higher level thinking skills to peel back the textbook explanation – to abandon the idea that history is simply chronological. Instead, I want my students to see history often consists of chance, rash decisions, and opportunity. Graphic novels offer the same, if not greater, opportunity for students to explore this skill. This medium forces students to read deeper, collect visual/textual evidence, and make connections. Much of history is “fiction” or at the very least, a matter of perspective, and historians are often tasked with filling in the blanks. Graphic novels are no different in this respect.
While multiple-choice tests can be challenging, it is far more thought-provoking to explain why the other answers are incorrect because this requires students to think deeper rather than just recognize facts. This same skill can be developed through historical fiction, because using these texts is not just a matter of what if – it asks the students to imagine or scrutinize what the person would have looked like, what they would have said, etc. It goes beyond a collection of facts and allows students to visualize the time-period. There are many historical fiction graphic novels that contain wellresearched facts but also utilize imagination and artistic license, allowing students to compare their thoughts with what they see in these books. This is a true 21st-century skill and is the thread that connects all my lessons. Allowing students choice is a powerful thing, and a teacher need not buy class sets of multiple graphic novel titles – they can simply purchase single copies of different titles for students to borrow. Building a classroom library should be a focus for every teacher – not just those in English. Graphic novels can inspire students to explore a new topic or complete additional research as they raise many thoughtful questions. Below is a list of some of my favorite graphic novels from a variety of time-periods.
NAT TURNER BY KYLE BAKER
This amazing graphic novel is the epitome of historical fiction and forces students to think in deep and meaningful ways. Baker used the Confessions of Nat Turner to set his
story in historical fact, but has also used his imagination to show us his opinion of what these words represent. As there are few words or dialogue in this book, he forces the reader to look closely – much more closely than textbook prose – to determine what is going on in each panel. I have my students go through each page and write down what they think is happening. This is an important skill and much more difficult than just covering content because students must think for themselves and form opinions based on textual evidence. This text is also exceptional for allowing students to make connections to other events in history. Through this text, my students learn to see connections between the Jewish and African Holocausts – tattoos and branding, dehumanization, slave ships and concentration camps. I love using this text early in the year because this skill can then be repeated throughout the course whether it’s used to analyze a picture from the Jewish Holocaust, a propaganda poster, a letter from a soldier, a poem written about WWI, etc. This book also helps the students ask questions. Often, we don’t schedule enough time for students to ponder and form questions in our daily lessons, but we must because this is where deeper thinking and critical analysis happens. Graphic novels in general, and Nat Turner in particular, are excellent for teaching these skills.
THE MORE THAN COMPLETE ACTION PHILOSOPHERS BY FRED VAN LENTE & RYAN DUNLAVEY This book is a collection
of short, imaginative, and often hysterical “stories” of over 40 philosophers, from pre-Socratic to Jacques Derrida. The piece on Marx stands out the most for me – both in history and literature. I had always assigned Marx’s The Communist Manifesto to be read and annotated by my students, followed by answering many high-level questions using textual
diamondbookshelf.com evidence. However, this important and daunting task was made much clearer for students when I introduced this companion text. My students use this selection to acquire necessary background knowledge before delving into the manifesto. Students were much more confident reading the text and more excited after laughing through the graphic novel version of Marx’s philosophies. The graphic novel places Marx in a contemporary setting where he is explaining his major tenants to a younger character – certainly a stand in for my students with whom they could identify and sympathize. This text humanizes Marx. Some people mistakenly feel that graphic novels can’t accompany academic rigor, but below are some of the questions my students were able to answer using visual and textual evidence from the graphic novel: • What creates value in a commodity? • How can the proletariat free itself from bourgeoisie domination? • How did Marx modify Hegel’s dialectic theory? • Why does Marx not approve of capitulation to capitalism? (unions, etc.) • Why have capitalists moved into the Third World? • In three sentences, explain why milk is cheaper than gold. Former students have repeatedly named this text as a helpful resource in understanding Marx and his writings.
DREAMING EAGLES BY GARTH ENNIS This graphic novel imagines the conversation between a father, who was a Tuskegee Airman, and his son, who was becoming involved in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. In it, they debate their personal roles in, and perspectives of, the Civil Rights Movement. This text is a roller coaster of history – teaching perspective and the inter-weaving of historical events, and that events interact with one another, and the past impacts the present. The conflict and interaction between father and son is universal: the son thinks his father can’t understand what he is going through, while the father can’t accept his son might have the maturity to understand the importance of current events. Neither will talk to the other in their male stubbornness. This is the beauty of historical fiction – we can make history personal and see it as a collection of individual experiences – something a textbook can never do. More than that, this text shows the interconnectedness of events such as MLK, Jim Crow, Pearl Harbor, Aryan Master Race speeches by Hitler, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, and so much more.
THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS BY MAX BROOKS
This is a great example of the power of graphic novels. Spike Lee commends the text on its cover by stating, it “brings to life a long-forgotten piece of American history.“ Unlike a few sparse sentences in a textbook, this book takes students into the world of an all-black combat unit and their experiences on the Western Front. It is a book I have put in my classroom which easily caught the interest of students and teachers alike. A quick read immediately inspires students to do additional research because the story challenges assumptions and raises questions about this little-known unit. The text contains author notes, a bibliography, and historical information which can help students to find and evaluate the historical relevance.
X-MEN: MAGNETO TESTAMENT BY GREG PAK AND CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO Despite the title, this book is not a “superhero” comic, but one that gives the seriousness of the Holocaust its due. The beginning of the graphic novel focuses on how the German people were won over through sporting events, banners, propaganda, and progresses into the Nuremberg Laws which are explained by the narrator. The powerful images show the pain, sorrow, and immensity of Nazism. The story begs the question – what would the reader do if found in a similar set of events? Would they run, try to hide, or fight back? This story is told in the voice of an adolescent, who happens to be Magneto, allowing students to connect and feel immersed in the events of Germany. The family discussions are heart wrenching – fighting back seems like a logical choice, but it will also likely get the family killed. Events happen rapidly – Kristallnacht, the invasion of Poland, ghettos, famine, and internment in Auschwitz are all depicted against the human struggle to survive. The images in this book do not shy away from the events, but the reader is not overwhelmed by devastating photo after photo, allowing one to still be involved without emotionally shutting down. The end of the book contains a collection of further resource materials, detailed endnotes, and even teacher lesson ideas. * This book is great to use alongside of the movies, X-Men (2000) and X-Men: First Class (2011)
PRIDE OF BAGHDAD BY BRIAN K. VAUGHAN AND NIKO HENRICHON
REBELS: A WELLREGULATED MILITIA BY BRIAN WOOD
I chose this example as it is much more fiction than history, but one that was inspired by true events. In 2003, during an American bombing run on Baghdad, lions escaped from the zoo. After this event, Vaughan takes artistic license as he takes the reader on a war-torn tour of Iraq to face deep questions of morality, pride, and what it means to be free. This book is for older students, not only for some of the images, but also for the deep questions and discussions it will raise. Like a modern Animal Farm, this text uses the perspective of animals to explore contemporary United States, and its role in the world. This book forces the reader to take a step back and see these events with fresh eyes. Using the animals to explore and evaluate the situation makes it easier in a sense to have these challenging discussions because we are not being presented with humans, but with an unknown.
SUPERMAN: RED SON BY MARK MILLAR
This book places the reader into the American Revolution and does an amazing job of portraying the confusion and multiple points of view of the royalists, rebels, women, Native Americans, and traders. This is a collection of stories all told with the same events as a backdrop. Wood allows the reader to go deep into history and see the events through many of those who are often not written about in textbooks. He easily gives voice not just to great generals, but the common soldier and citizen. Beginning in New Hampshire in 1768 and continuing along to explore Bunker and Breed’s Hills, Ticonderoga, Saratoga, Vermont, North Carolina, New York City, Ohio River Valley, as well as the many historical figures who were present, means this text provides a wealth of opportunities for research. The reader can truly feel history in this book – these are men, women, and children just trying to survive – not just the few assured sentences found in textbooks about the outcome of the battles.
MARVEL: 1602 BY NEIL GAIMAN
This book may initially
be dismissed by some as only giving a surface level treatment to historical events, but that is simply not the case. This is a wonderful example of getting into alternative “history” as it imagines what would happen if Superman had crash landed in the USSR instead of the United States. It inspires exploration of Stalin, socialism, the Warsaw Pact, Sputnik 2, propaganda, N.K.V.D. and more. Even Superman’s “S” symbol has been changed to that of the hammer and sickle. Superman aside, what if the USSR had won the Cold War? Even the ideal of Superman comes to be challenged by some Soviets. After all, according to Marxist doctrine, all need to be equal. The Americans then create their own version of Superman (Bizarro) – a clear allusion to the Cold War Arms Race.
Queen Elizabeth, King James of Scotland, Bloody Mary, the Inquisition, the New World, the Knights Templar – these names and time-periods are enough to excite anyone to read and learn more. However, throw in other players such as Spider-Man, Beast, Iceman, Cyclops, Fantastic Four, Count Otto Von Doom, Doctor Strange, Jean Grey, Magneto, Thor, and many others, and the engagement level becomes astronomical! The political and religious intrigue of this time-period lends itself naturally to the Marvel universe. Neil Gaiman takes the reader on a potent, thought provoking, and action packed historical journey. This can lead to some fascinating highlevel discussions about historical figures – who would they be allied with and why? Who would be on their superhero team? But most of all, it gets students engaged and excited to explore the time and connect with its people.
Tim Smyth has been a high school social studies teacher since 2002, and currently teaches in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has a BA in History and received his Masters as a Reading Specialist. Smyth is a firm believer in cross-curricular writing and close reading analysis and has used graphic novels and comics to engage students while maintaining those beliefs. Smyth takes his knowledge of teaching and the use of graphic novels in the classroom on the road by presenting panels at various conventions such as WizardWorld, San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con. More information about Smyth’s beliefs and adventures can be found on his website: historycomics.net.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING M U ST -H AV E H I S T ORICAL FICT ION FO R YOU R COLLECTION Atomic Blonde: The Coldest City By Antony Johnston and Sam Hart Oni Press – 9781620103814, $14.99 Ages: 16+
MI6 spy Lorraine Broughton was sent to Berlin to investigate the death of another agent, and the disappearance of a list revealing every spy working there. She found a powder keg of mistrust, assassinations and bad defections that ended with the murder of MI6’s top officer, as the Berlin Wall was torn down. Now Lorraine has returned from the Cold War’s coldest city, to tell her story. And nothing is what it seems.
Kobane Calling: Greetings from Northern Syria By Zerocalcare Lion Forge – 9781941302491, $19.99 Ages: 16+
The autobiographical memoir of a young Italian humor cartoonist who volunteers to support and observe the Kurdish resistance in Syria as a journalist and aid worker. He winds up in Ayn al-Arab, a majorityKurd town in the Rojava region of Syria, on the front lines against the encroaching Islamic State, and there he receives a heartbreaking education into the Syrian Civil War.
Manifest Destiny Volume 5: Mnemophobia and Chronophobia By Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts, and Owen Gieni Image Comics – 9781534302303, $16.99 Ages: 13+
Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark set out on an expedition to explore the uncharted American frontier. This is the story of what the monsters they discovered lurking in the wilds... As winter begins, Lewis & Clark hunker the Corp of Discovery down in their new fort on the very frontier of civilization. All is calm... until old enemies emerge from the fog... and the real nightmare begins.
By Alex de Campi, Tony Parker, and Blond Image Comics – 9781534301573, $14.99 Ages: 16+ April 1971. The CIA is handed the espionage coup of the decade when a KGB general defects with a list of all Soviet intelligence assets in Asia. Including spies within the US Army in Vietnam. All Jack Hudson has to do is get the defector and his microfilm from Hong Kong to California... and keep Palm Springs’ overzealous FBI office from turning everything into a freak show. All Codename: Felix has to do is kill the defector and get the microfilm back to the USSR, by any means possible. Easy, right? Now throw in a beautiful woman, a fast car, and a whole lot of drugs.
Moonshine Volume 1
By Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso Image Comics – 9781534300644, $9.99 Ages: 16+ Set during Prohibition, and deep in the backwoods of Appalachia, Moonshine Volume 1 tells the story of LOU PIRLO, a city-slick “torpedo” sent from New York City to negotiate a deal with the best moonshiner in West Virginia, one HIRAM HOLT. Lou figures it for milk run -- how hard could it be to set-up moonshine shipments from a few ass-backward hillbillies? What Lou doesn’t figure on is that Holt is just as cunning as ruthless as any NYC crime boss and Lou is in way over his pin-striped head. Because not only will Holt do anything to protect his illicit booze operation, he’ll stop at nothing to protect a much darker family secret...a bloody, supernatural secret that must never see the light of day...or better still, the light of the full moon.
Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie By Anthony Del Col and Werther Dell’Edera Dynamite Entertainment – 9781524104177, $19.99 Ages: 13+
A Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery unlike any other you’ve ever read! When the teenage brothers Frank and Joe Hardy are accused of the murder of their father – a detective in the small resort town of Bayport – they must team up with Nancy Drew to prove their innocence (and find the real guilty party in the process) in a twisting noir tale, complete with double-crosses, deceit, and dames. Writer Anthony Del Col (Assassin’s Creed, Kill Shakespeare) and artist Werther Dell’Edera (Batman: Detective Comics, House of Mystery) bring the iconic teen detectives into the modern age, and redefine noir for a new generation of readers!
By Joe Sacco Fantagraphics – 9781560974321, $24.99 Ages: 13+ Based on several months of research and an extended visit to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s (where he conducted over 100 interviews with Palestinians and Jews), Palestine was the first major comics work of political and historical nonfiction by Sacco, whose name has since become synonymous with this graphic form of New Journalism.
Paper Girls Volume 3
By Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson Image Comics – 9781534302235, $12.99 Ages: 13+ The multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning series from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and CLIFF CHIANG continues, as newspaper deliverers Erin, Mac and Tiffany finally reunite with their long-lost friend KJ in an unexpected new era, where the girls must uncover the secret origins of time travel... or risk never returning home to 1988. Collects issues 11 through 15!
Rough Riders Volume 1
By Adam Glass and Pat Olliffe Aftershock Comics – 9781935002925, $19.99 Ages: 16+ At the cusp of the 1898 World’s Fair, America is poised to become Earth’s most industrious nation. When a terrible power emerges from the darkness, a group of unlikely heroes team-up to stop it. A tortured Teddy Roosevelt recruits a struggling Coney Island magician named Harry Houdini: a hard-drinking, gun-slinger, Annie Oakley; a financially strapped and aging Thomas Edison; and a boisterous, womanizing African American boxer with a big chip on his shoulder named Jack Johnson. These legends of old will soon wage a shadow war that will change the course of history for America, and the world. That is of course, if they don’t kill one another first.
We Stand On Guard
By Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Skroce Image Comics – 9781534301412, $14.99 Ages: 16+ Set 100 years in our future, We Stand On Guard follows a heroic band of Canadian civilians turned freedom fighters who must defend their homeland from invasion by a technologically superior opponent... the United States of America. Collecting all six issues of the controversial hit miniseries.
A MANGA IN EVERY BACKPACK AN INTERVIEW WITH STU LEVY BY ASHLEY KRO NSB E R G
ver its history, Tokyopop has published thousands of books, distributed anime and Asian films on home video and television, licensed merchandise to consumer goods companies, created graphic novels of major brands and led the way digitally in social media, e-commerce and user-generated content. Tokyopop’s brand expanded internationally with a network of over 160 partners in more than 50 countries and 30 languages. Diamond BookShelf Editor Ashley Kronsberg spoke with Tokyopop founder Stu Levy about Tokyopop’s partnership with Disney and upcoming titles to be expected from the manga publishing house.
t Ashley Kronsberg: Can you give us a little background on the Disney titles Tokyopop currently has on the market? What kind of content can we expect from the Disney line in the upcoming months?
Stu Levy: Back in the heyday of Tokyopop’s “Manga Revolution,” we had a close licensing relationship with Disney where we created a line of Cine-Manga books from the original shows. We also published some manga created in Japan for Disney such as Kilala Princess and Monsters Inc. So, as part of our return to publishing, we did a new licensing deal with Disney and dedicated significant resources to a full line of Disney Manga, including the complete Kilala Princess five-volume series, three adorable Stitch! books, the two-volume Magical Dance kid-friendly series that features multiple Disney characters, the Tim Burton movies Nightmare Before Christmas and Alice in Wonderland along with Pixar’s Finding Nemo. Then, Disney entrusted us to create new manga – and we began with the companion volumes Belle’s Tale and The Beast’s Tale for Beauty and the Beast, which retells the story from each of their perspectives. And we have just shipped the first color manga – Book 1 of our Descendants trilogy that retells the first movie. Moving ahead, we have exciting Disney Manga coming out, both translated from manga previously published in Japan and created originally by Tokyopop. We’ll have a five-volume Disney Fairies series, a Tangled manga, the Princess & the Frog, a series of Pirates of the Caribbean books, and very exciting announcements coming soon – including original Disney Manga based on some of these fantastic brands!
t Disney is well-known for their work in cartooning and animation. What has the experience been like having these classic stories adapted into the manga format?
First and foremost, our goal is to bring the manga aesthetic and storytelling approach to Disney’s famous characters. But of course, these are beloved stories so it’s a balance between having fun with the look and the feel of the manga, but also maintaining the core essence and fundamentals of each Disney property. Disney has been amazing with their guidance – they are truly passionate about their brands, and it shows when they give feedback. They are also very protective so they make the sandbox clear – we’re not going to play outside of the box! However, they have been very supportive of the Disney Manga effort, allowing us to bring our own creative element to the table. Beauty and the Beast was a very special project, and I believe it earned our trust with Disney, so now we are spreading our wings a bit with the next phase of titles.
t Tokyopop’s Beauty and the Beast two-
volume manga set came out alongside the live-action movie adaptation. Are there any plans for more manga series to come out with the upcoming Disney films? We look very carefully at each Disney brand and consider a range of factors, including whether we believe there is a compelling manga take; if we believe the brand itself will reach a young manga reader or potential reader; if we have the bandwidth to create a special book; and perhaps, most importantly, if the Disney team supports and encourages us to consider a manga. It’s neither simple nor cheap to produce a manga so we need to consider each project very carefully.
t Tokyopop has published a robust list of kid-friendly titles, pulling in new readers of all-ages. Was it an intentional decision to publish content suitable for readers of any age, or was this something that developed to accommodate the growth in readership in those areas grew?
My slogan from the old days was “a manga in every backpack” and while Tokyopop’s new role is different from then, I believe publishing kid-friendly and parentapproved manga is a big opportunity for libraries, educators and families throughout the country to encourage reading with engaging, fashionable, and thoughtful content. Manga is a medium that can provide this – and of course the Disney brand assures a safe experience for everyone. We hope to publish non-Disney manga content that can appeal to younger readers as well – and frankly guiding everyone as to which manga are age appropriate and which are not is key. Since Tokyopop has published and will continue to publish content for teens and adults as well, it’s critical that we distinguish which titles are for whom. In that sense, Disney Manga speaks for itself so it makes our job – and the job of librarians, retailers, educators and parents – easier.
first started the Rising Stars of Manga competitions, our goal was to nurture a young generation of global manga creators to develop the skills required to express their voice in the medium of manga. Almost fifteen years later, we can see that generation filled with talent and important stories to tell. One example is our new shojo fantasy series Ocean of Secrets. The story itself parallels the creator’s personal journey using fantasy as the medium. Sophie-chan, born in Iraq and raised in Abu Dhabi, taught herself how to draw manga, emigrated to Canada with her family, and started a YouTube channel that has garnered almost 400,000 subscribers – and this is her first published work, which touches upon issues of learning who one really is and which world one belongs. Later this year, we’re publishing Grimms’ Manga Tales – a particularly modern take on the eponymous fairy tales done manga style. And in January, we launch a true shonen adventure story, Goldfisch, created by a young African-German woman that topped the comic book charts in Germany. The young boy in this story develops a Midas-like power, and inadvertently turns his brother into gold – and journeys to the far end of the world trying to find the magic needed to undo his tragic mistake. It’s non-stop fun, but also has many touching moments. Our plan is to publish manga we love created by diverse, youthful voices from around the world – and to nurture the next generation of manga readers and creators.
with Disney licenses, Tokyopop is driven by original manga and English adaptations of beloved series. Are there any titles that you are excited about for the rest of the year and into 2018? I know that “diversity” has become a buzz word, but that should not dilute its importance. When Tokyopop
TIPS FOR HOSTING A GAME NIGHT AT YOUR LIBRARY B Y L A U RE N R I C HARD S
hen I first started out as a Young Adult Librarian, my game days were usually a hit or miss. I would give my teens all the options. I put out classic and new board games, card games, and set up two to three different video games. It was one big game day, at least once or twice a month. They were successful, but after some time, the teens lost interest, and attendance became intermittent. I had to start thinking outside of the box. What could I plan for my game days that would, first, pull the teens into the library, and second, keep them coming back?
1. ASK THE TEENS
This first point might be obvious, but it is the most important, and one of the easiest ways to gain input of exactly what your teens want in a game day program. Ask them.
2. BOARD, CARD, AND VIDEO GAMES
In my experience, when I ask what kind of games teens want to play, answers fall into two major categories, board/card games or video games (though these are not the only choices). Board and card games are great game day options. Many of these games can accommodate multiple players, and the set up/clean up are not too taxing. If you have a lot of interest in one game, putting teens into groups makes the program a bit livelier, and it is great team building exercise. I find that the most successful board and card games are the ones a majority of the teens already know, or games with simple directions. Another thing to consider with board games is the time it takes to play one game. Most of my teens have maybe an hour to spare before they have to be somewhere else. Whether you have a big group or small group, try to find games that can be finished quickly, or that have rounds that could make it easier for players to come and go.
Years ago, my game day attendance started to wane. Board and card games are trendy too. Teens can love a Wanting to know the reason for the change, I asked particular game one year (or month), only to go untouched the teens. They were quite honest and told me the the next as if it never existed. Just like everything else, games I had needed a bit of an upgrade. They had trends can change quickly and we must be ready to fun at first because it was the start of a new school adapt. year, and they enjoyed catching up with friends. As weeks went by, they wanted to play games that were I have worked in a few different libraries, and video game days are always a great program more interesting than what I go-to. If you, your library, or “GAMES HELP TEENS BOND had. They loved Minecraft, and your library administration can they could play that at the WITH EACH OTHER, AND MEET provide the teens with a few computers, so why would they different video game choices, want to attend my gaming NEW FRIENDS WHO SHARE A then once the set-up is done (and programs? What games the teens will help with that if COMMON INTEREST.” could I get that would be needed), the teens will jump right similar to Minecraft, especially in. Even if it is a new game, most seem to inherently know in the competitiveness it invokes? I happened to look how to play it. at my personal games one day at home, and came back to work with Wii’s Super Smash Brothers Brawl. While it is impossible to keep up with obtaining every The teens loved it! It was a competitive game that most new video game and console, do not be discouraged to were already familiar with, and now they could play offer video game days with the equipment that you against each other at the library. have. It does not matter what brand or generation of Do you have a teen advisory group? Do you have a set of regular teens who hang out at the library or come to most of your other programs? Are you a fan of making surveys? By asking your teens, you will get plenty of ideas; some you can try out immediately and others save for another time. Chess, Mahjong, Say Anything, Rock Band, Minecraft, Jenga, Taboo, Quidditch -- consider any idea when it comes from your customers.
gaming console, you can get a roomful of teens wanting to play. If you feel you need an update, and it is not in the budget right now, coordinate with your library to ask for specific gaming donations. Your customers might want a great place to donate those games that are now collecting dust at home. Ask family and friends if you can borrow games. This keeps your collection of games fresh and allows you to test drive titles you might want to permanently add.
I have pleasantly come to realize over the years that if I add the word “Tourney” to any gaming program, the teens’ interests are piqued. They enjoy being competitive. Whether it is a board game or a video game, they want to win. Prizes can be anything! It can be small like candy, trinkets, and books. The prizes can go larger, such as trophies and gift cards. If you are not sure what to give away, then consider your teens’ interests. What fandom is popular? Any new movies or books coming out that the teens have been talking about? Or, again, just ask them. You chance receiving ideas that may be extreme, but some will be feasible. Remember, winning a prize is nice, but for teens, the bragging rights matter most. If you are unsure how to pull off a tournament, do not hesitate, it is easier than you think. First, decide on the game. Board, card, video, or made up, if you have the willpower, and you can transform it into a tournament. To celebrate the film premiere adapted from The Maze Runner book series, I created a competition to win the book and movie passes. I printed out different paper mazes with levels of increasing difficulty. I created the rules making the teens run around the room (the “maze”) before getting their paper maze checked and moving on to the next level. There are not many programs where I let the teens’ noise level rise too much, but this one I encouraged them to distract their neighbors any way they could without actually touching anyone else or another’s paper. They definitively got creative, and loud! It was a simple idea, and the teens had fun. Second, once you know the game, if it is not a game of your own making, play the game yourself. Play it a few times, either with the teens, coworkers, or with friends. Become comfortable with it as it will help with planning the time needed to play come program day, along with time needed to set up and take down. Third, make your “hard–fast” rules and determine how you will be keeping score. These are the two points that probably
will not change. Depending on the chosen game, you might want input from the teens for certain game situations. Many times, they come up with a consensus on their own when I give them two or three choices. I used to try to control all aspects of video game tournaments, but that became exhausting. Even with my knowledge of a game, I am still not the expert my teens are. I respect their opinions and found as years go by, the teens were more responsive when they realized they had a voice. Fourth, my favorite tournament tip, if you have a way to do it, have a second-chance battle for the “losers” to win their way back into the game. This never fails to get all the teens riled up, in a good way. I have never had an instance where teens complain that this was not fair. They now get to cheer their friends on again, and there is a possibility, if they themselves are kicked out of the game later, they can win their way back in. In my last video game tournament, I had a second-chance battle after every round. The teens just do not give up on themselves or their peers to get back in and win. Or as one teen so eloquently said, “I am ready for my friend to get back in, so I can beat him again in the next round.” Teens are fun. 4. COLLABORATE WITH OTHERS For those of you who work with teens, we know they are very busy people. Busy with family, friends, homework, extracurricular activities, after school tutoring, etc. They may be too busy to find time for a game at the library. If teens are not coming to your game day programs, try working with other age groups. Come up with gaming ideas that allow people of different ages to participate without alienating the teens. One of our children’s librarians asked me if I would be interested in holding a few Tween Game Days during the summer months. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with younger children, some of which are younger siblings to my teens. These tweens got the chance to know me and the teen activities a bit and, hopefully, when the time comes, their transition into teen programming will be easier. Continued on page 30
Continued from page 28
Our library’s Family Chess Club is another successful collaboration. The volunteers for the club are elementary school teachers wanting something fun to do during the summer. Since they were elementary school teachers, I was prepared to introduce them to our children’s department, when they mentioned “all ages.” After some more collaboration with the volunteers and input from other departments, dates were set and the Family Chess Club was a summer hit for children, teens, and adults. If you are worried about planning a program that may not garner the interest of your teens, work with others and open the program up to more ages. It can help you see where your teens fall in their gaming interests and what they want to play. Once you know that, you can plan a game day with solely the teens in mind.
Another great way to get teens to your game days is to center the game day around something the teens already love. Explore the current fandom and passions at your library. Take that knowledge and turn it into a game day. Video Game Day or Board Game Day may be too general of a program title to persuade teens to take time out of their busy schedules and join. Get them excited before you start playing. Theme game days can be molded to whatever restrictions you have. If you only have a few weeks to plan before that next movie adaptation comes out, look online for game day ideas for that fandom. Take a game you and the teens are familiar with and put a twist on it to fit the theme. Play Jenga, but with “Would you rather....” questions the teens have to answer before placing it back in the stack. For Harry Potter fans, “Would you rather have a detention with Professor Snape or Professor Lockhart?” A “Who Am I” game is a great icebreaker. Place popular characters on teens’ heads or backs so they cannot see. Have them talk to everyone in the room to figure out who they are. Trivia games are always popular.
There are many resources online that can help make a fun Jeopardy game, or Name That Tune. If you do not want to use technology, keep it simple. Make simple dry erase boards with cardstock paper inside a page protector. For my Hamilton Musical Game Day, I had a trivia game and used makeshift dry erase boards along with a PowerPoint for the questions. You do not have to stop at a game day with a theme. Make it into a party. If you can add a craft or two, with food, maybe some decorations or prizes (though not necessary), you have a party! While the crafts, food, and prizes are fun, the main focus of the party will be the games. They help the teens bond with each other over their fandom, and meet new friends who share a common interest. Game days have always been something that I look forward to, whether the program is keeping it simple by providing a few different games the teens can play, or going all out and making a tournament or party. It can be difficult to draw the teens in, but by using their ideas and knowing what is important to them, you can find plenty of opportunities to create a Teen Game Day that will grab the their interests and pull them into your programs over and over again.
VISIT THE KINGWOOD BRANCH LIBRARY: www.hcpl.net www.facebook.com/kingwoodlibrary/ www.twitter.com/KingwoodLibrary About the Author Lauren Richards has been a Young Adult Librarian since 2013, and has worked in public libraries since 2009. She is currently a Young Adult Services Librarian at the Kingwood Branch Library, part of the Harris County Public Library System in Houston, Texas. When she is taking a break from her librarian duties, she can still be found playing games, either at lunch with coworkers, or at home with her family and friends.
ROLL FOR INITIATIVE AN INTERVIEW WITH STARFINDER DEVELOPER OWEN K.C. STEPHENS BY ASHLEY KRO NSB E R G
aizo Inc. is one of the most popular game publishers in the industry to date with their line of Pathfinder campaigns and merchandise consistently topping the charts in the world of tabletop roleplaying. After the phenomenal success of Pathfinder, Paizo is now releasing their second major roleplaying game, Starfinder. Releasing September 2017, the Starfinder Roleplaying Game (9781601259561, $59.99) will feature a massive 560-page hardcover rulebook with essential rules for character creation, magic, gear, and more for both game masters (GM) and players. Playing the role of a bold science-fantasy explorer investigating the mysteries of a weird and magical universe as part of a starship crew, this new sci-fi campaign will demand all your wits, combat skill, and magic to make it through. In this interview, BookShelf Editor Ashley Kronsberg discusses the unique features of the upcoming roleplaying game with Starfinder Developer Owen K.C. Stephens. t Ashley Kronsberg: Can you tell us in
your own words the story and general gameplay to be expected in Starfinder? Aside from genre, what are the major differences between Starfinder and other tabletop roleplaying games?
we have done our best to give GMs and players the tools to tell as many stories as possible, while still grounding it in a setting that can serve as a launching pad for their imagination. Games can involve starship combat, or not, psychics and knights, or not, as the play group prefers, all using the same core systems. t Ashley Kronsberg: Starfinder is set in a science-fantasy world with players having the ability to choose between several new game-specific character species as well as the classic fantasy races of Pathfinder. What is the process for creating the different races and classes seen?
We took a two-prong design path to end up with the classes and races we present in the Starfinder Core Rulebook. Since the game is set in the same universe as Pathfinder, there were some obvious choices for fan favorite races and character roles, that ensured we would have soldiers and mystics and dwarves and elves. But once the obvious roles were filled, we wanted to flesh out that design skeleton with new options that hopefully include both flexible tropes common to science fiction and fantasy stories, and new possibilities unique to Starfinder. For example, the Solarian class is a supernaturally-augmented warrior who can call on the powers of the stars themselves, from black holes to supernovas, to manipulate both creative and destructive energies. t Ashley
Kronsberg: The gameplay includes the use of a starship for combat, including building and customization rules. How did you and the creative team come to the decision to include this unique feature in playerâ€™s gameplay? What were the main challenges in incorporating this feature, and how will it enhance player experience?
Owen K.C. Stephens: Starfinder is a game of adventure and exploration with few limits. Any plot or idea that works in a science fiction, high fantasy, cyberpunk, swords and sorcery, space opera, or heroic quest setting can easily be used in Starfinder. While it is the same universe as Pathfinder, and even set with the same solar system as a starting point, Starfinder mixes elements of fantastic technology and impressive magic together to allow everything from cybernetic dragons to powered armor-clad knights invading planets.
Starships are one of the things that define a lot of great sciencefiction, and the ability of players to fly to new worlds was an
So, while Starfinder focuses on a small group of adventurers and explorers much as Pathfinder does,
important part of the stories we wanted to be able to tell. Plus, some players get really excited about the possibility to engage in starship combat, and that’s a part of the experience we wanted to be sure to include. The trick is that starships operate on an entirely different scale, and combat rules that work well for small groups of individuals fighting don’t always handle capital ships attacking armed freighters in the void of space. So, we had to develop a separate set of starship combat rules, then make sure characters and players could interface with them without forcing characters to specialize in ship combat roles to be effective, or allowing a game session to focus on just a starship pilot while everyone else gets bored. So, in the end we designed a system where most characters have multiple good, useful choices during starship combat taking various starship roles, like engineer, gunner, or science officer using the same skills and abilities their characters want for other kinds of adventures anyway. On top of adding a new dimension of play, I think a lot of players will enjoy getting to customize their starships as a campaign progresses. A starship really is a mobile base of operation, and being able not just to decide what a character keeps under his bunk, but also if the group
is going to add a life boat, medical bay, or passenger seating to their starship is going to help players get invested in a Starfinder campaign. t Ashley
Kronsberg: The Starfinder Core Rulebook also takes a new approach to the tabletop roleplaying experience by having both the Game Master and Player rules included in a single hardcover edition. What was the motivation behind combining the two? The GM is one of the most important players in a Starfinder game, and it can be intimidating to pick up a book and be told you need to learn everything in yet another book in order to run a game. We tried to make Starfinder as friendly to new players as possible, and that had to include giving GMs the tools and advice they need to begin designing adventures for players to run through.
t Ashley Kronsberg: What race and class would you choose for your Starfinder campaign?
Dwarf Solarian. His name is Wrothor Ironstar. I already used him in a few of the playtest games :)
About the Creator Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens was born in 1970 in Norman, Oklahoma. He was introduced to gaming by his uncle in 1979 (though his uncle now claims no memory of the event) and was instantly hooked. For the past 30 years, he’s never gone long without running or playing in an ongoing RPG campaign. He has written freelance for numerous companies, including WotC, Paizo, Green Ronin, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck, on projects such as Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition, Thieves’ World RPG, EverQuest RPG, numerous D20 Modern and Dungeons & Dragons books, The Guide to Absalom and other Pathfinder RPG books. He is now the Pathfinder Developer for Green Ronin and the Publisher for Rogue Genius Games, amongst other game industry jobs.
GAMES OF THE ROUND TABLE UPCOMING TABLETOP GAMES FOR GAMING EVENTS FOR VARIOUS AGES Acension: Apprentice Edition
Back to the Future Adventure Through Time Game
Manufacturer: Ultra Pro Players: 2 Time: 60 minutes Ages: 13 and up
Manufacturer: IDW Games Players: 3+ Time: Varies Ages: 10-15
9781640310421, $10 Available June 2017
B019KGFZYK, $34.99 Available Now!
Ork RPG Second Edition
Manufacturer: Ultra Pro Players: 2-5 Time: 30-60 minutes Ages: 8 and up
Green Ronin Publishing Players: 4+ Time: Varies Ages: 21+
9781934547700, $10 Available June 2017
9781934547861, $45 Available August 2017
Critical Role Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting HC
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook
Manufacturer: Green Ronin Publishing Players: 4+ Time: Varies Ages: 16+
Manufacturer: Paizo Players: 3+ Time: Varies Ages: 16 and up
9781601251503, $49.99 Available now!
9781934547847, $34.95 Available August 2017
Floor Wars Vampires VS Unicorns Card Game
Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game
Manufacturer: Yumfactory Games Players: 3+ Time: Varies Ages: 13+
Manufacturer: Renegade Games Studios Players: 2-4 Time: 30-60 minutes Ages: 14 and up
9781640310391, $39.95 Available August 2017
9781640310377, $45 Available September 2017
Holmes Sherlock & Mycroft
Valerian Alpha Missions Board Game
BGHOLMESEN, $24.99 Available July 2017
9781640310384, $45 Available August 2017
Manufacturer: Devir Players: 2 Time: 30 minutes Ages: 10 and up
Manufacturer: Ultra Pro Players: 3+ Time: Varies Ages: 13+
A CELEBRATION OF THE MAGIC OF EVERYDAY LIFE A PRE VIEW OF ONI P R E SS’ TH E TE A D R A G O N S O C I E T Y
The Tea Dragon Society Written by: Katie O’Neill Illustrated by: Katie O’Neill Publisher: Oni Press Format: Hardcover, Full Color, 8.5 x 11.75, 72 pages, $17.99 ISBN: 978-1620104415
rom the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the stor y of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives--and eventually her own. For an interview with creator Katie O’Neill, please visit: http://ow.ly/infx30d7v3F Fall 2017
A PREVIEW OF ONI PRESSâ€™ THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY
A PREVIEW OF ONI PRESSâ€™ THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY
GRAPHIC NOVEL TEACHER’S GUIDES B Y D R. K A TI E M ONNIN Major Settings: Lighthouse, Jack’s Truck, Underwater, Jack’s House, Sea Breeze Diner, DiveBoat, Underwater Welding Project(s), Ocean, Rusty Anchor, Tigg’s Bay, Jack’s mother’s house
The Underwater Welder Written by: Jeff Lemire Illustrated by: Jeff Lemire Publisher: IDW Publishing
Themes: Birth and Death, Escape, Loneliness and Alone Time, Danger and Escape, Work and Home Life, Health and Wellness, Addiction
Format: Softcover, 6 x 10, 224 pages, $19.99 ISBN: 9781603090742
LESSON PLAN RECOMMENDATIONS USING THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS FOR MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL READERS
Before I read Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire I heard a rumor that it was being made into a movie. My ears perked and my nose twitched simultaneously. I love the sound and smell of a good story coming my way . . . .
Craft and Structure:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.6 Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement). * **
A movie, really? Completely worth the anticipation! Feeling more at home underwater than on land, the main character Jack struggles to deal with his life above water, where he and his partner are awaiting their first-born child. Taking off to do some underwater welding right before the baby is born feels intuitively wrong to Jack’s partner, “Suse.” Despite her protests, however, Jack feels called, almost lulled into the water. The ocean water even becomes its own character in and of itself; the water may be Jack’s sanctuary or his coffin. In fact, he seems to even gravitate toward the water every single second he is out of it. On this untimely and deep dive right before the baby, Jack sees something mysterious and alluring. It seems like everyone wants Jack to slow down, take it easy, prepare for the baby, and let his body heal after his near fatal and mysterious dive. His friends, his partner, and his doctors are pretty convinced that Jack’s oxygen tank malfunctioned and he simply hallucinated or some other medical reason. Jack disagrees. He’s convinced that he saw something special, and he’s determined to see it again. The question becomes not only whether or not he will see it again, but also whether or not Jack can see and believe in anything going on in his life right now. LANGUAGE ARTS ELEMENTS OF STORY
Plot: Jack Joseph is about to have his first child and he’s not so sure he understands himself, let alone how to take care of a baby and a partner. Major Characters: Jack Joseph, Suse, Marlene, Trapper, Ocean Water, Unborn Baby, Doctor, Jack’s Father, Jack’s Mother/Dorrie, Young Jack, Ron
* The number(s) referenced above corresponds to the number used by the Common Core Standards. ** A Common Core Standard for High School is used because Underwater Welder is appropriate for both high school and middle school (both of which are covered in the standard above). LESSON IDEA FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL AND/OR HIGH SCHOOL READERS
Directions: Teaching students about plot conflict(s)/ tension(s) is sometimes one of the most challenging aspects of teaching the elements of story in Language Arts. Because the conflict(s) and/or tension(s) run so high in this story, Underwater Welder lends itself well to addressing what can sometimes be challenging to identify and to teach to students. The conflict(s) and/or tension(s) are both intuitively and emotionally implied, and verbally and visually shown. First, ask students to select three panels that best identify and represent the intuitively and emotionally implied beginning, middle, and ending conflict(s) and/or tension(s) panels in the story. Second, offer students an opportunity to select another three panels that best identify and represent the verbally and visually shown beginning, middle, and ending conflict(s) and/or tension(s) in Underwater Welder. For a copy of the graphic organizer accompaniment to this lesson plan, please visit: http://ow.ly/FW6W30dS950
Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom Written by: Lewis Helfand Illustrated by: Manikandan Publisher: Campfire Format: Softcover, 7 x 10, 108 pages, Full Color, $12.99 ISBN: 9789380741215 REVIEW
One of the most challenging nonfiction characters to write about is Abraham Lincoln, president of legendary fame and consistent story-telling attention. Published by Campfire, Helfand and Manikandan’s Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom is a solid and informational resource that teachers, librarians, parents, and students will find helpful in any study of Lincoln. Written for fourth grade readers and above, this graphic novel will make a solid addition to any school or home library. Helfand and Manikandan center their story on Lincoln’s rise from an impoverished and illiterate familial background on the western frontier to his unlikely election to the presidency of the newly founded United States. Following Lincoln from his childhood to his presidency readers will also learn about one of his most significant presidential and national contributions. The passing of the 13th amendment was critical for many reasons. Two of those reasons featured in this graphic novel are: 1. To ensure all men were given their freedom to pursue the American dream, just as he had done in his own life, and
Hillary Rodham Clinton,
William Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Grace Bedell, John C. Breckinridge, Jefferson Davis, Alan Pinkerton, Elihu Washburne, Frederick Douglass, George McClellan, General Robert E. Lee, General William T. Sherman, John Wilkes Booth, Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt, David Herold, Vice President Andrew Johnson, Major Henry Rathbone and his fiancée Clara, Edwin Stanton, President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State
Settings: Kentucky; Indiana; the Mississippi River and New Orleans; Springfield, IL; train ride to Washington DC inauguration (New York, Baltimore, etc.); Washington, DC Themes: Perseverance, Freedom, Pursuing the American Dream, Advocating for Change, War and Peace, Loss/ Death, Legacies Suggested Literary Pairings: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington, The Souls of Black Folk by Booker T. Washington, Narrative of Sojourner Truth by Sojourner Truth, Lincoln by Gore Vidal, Gettysburg: The Graphic Novel by C.M. Butzer READING COMMON CORE STANDARDS ALIGNMENT
2. To finally put an end to the tragic and horrifically massive loss of life that was occurring as a result of the Civil War.
Key Ideas and Details Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
A great informational resource, this graphic novel is sure to inform and enhance any reader’s study of Abraham Lincoln and his legendary contributions.
Middle School and High School Lesson Plan Suggestions As a class, draw a straight timeline across the board. Ask students to do the same in their notes. On the far left of the line write “February 12, 1809.” On the far right of the line ask students to write “April 14, 1865.” These two dates span the living years of Abraham Lincoln.
LANGUAGE ARTS ELEMENTS OF STORY
Plot: The life story of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States Major Characters: Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Sarah Bush Johnston, William Herndon, General Ulysses S. Grant, Tad Lincoln, Sarah Lincoln, Thomas Lincoln, John Brackenridge, James Gentry, Jack Armstrong, Clary Grove Boys, Ann Routledge, John Todd Stuart, Ninian Edwards and Elizabeth Todd, Ward Hill Lamon, Eddie Lincoln, Robert Todd Lincoln, William Lincoln, Tad Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, Judge David Davis,
Next, in groups, ask students to reread or take a quick book walk through the graphic novel one last time. As they do so ask them to keep Lincoln’s significant life events in mind. When they are done rereading or book walking ask each group to add what they think are the most significant moments in Lincoln’s life to the timeline. When the groups are finished, have each group present their timelines, rationalizations, and evidence.
Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), Get Animated! Teaching 21st-century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2014), and Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts (2015). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her three wiener dogs, Samantha, Max, and Alex Morgan Monnin.
GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEWS Beowulf
stands no chance against the mighty hero. Separated into three acts of heroism displayed by Beowulf, García and Rubín faithfully follow the original story for a version that captures the tone and important details of this potent text.
Written by: Santiago García Illustrated by: David Rubin Publisher: Image Comics Format: Hardcover, 6 x 11, 200 pages, Full Color, $29.99 ISBN: 9781534301207 Ages: 18 and up Santiago García and David Rubín unite to create Beowulf, a visceral and elegant re-telling of the epic poem that has endured thousands of years and become a foundational piece of literature. Using original source material with translations done by Sam Stone and Joe Keatings, García and Rubín have developed a unique graphic telling of the Old English poem, giving readers an enthralling new experience. García taps into the core nature of Beowulf as a character – a figure who prioritizes honor and glory above all else with altruism and heroism being supplementary to his true goals. Showcasing this iconic character in this light provides a deeper insight into the epic poem’s telling of Beowulf’s tale, and when partnered with the contrasting bold artwork provided by Rubín, readers find themselves completely immersed within the pages of this oversized hardcover. In the graphic novel, the Scandinavian hero travels to Denmark to rid the lands of a terrible monster known as Grendel. The monster has been terrorizing the area for 12 years prior to Beowulf’s arrival, but Grendel
Dreaming Eagles Written by: Garth Ennis Illustrated by: Simon Coleby Publisher: Aftershock Comics Format: Softcover, 6 x 9, 160 pages, Full Color, $29.99 ISBN: 9781935002949 Ages: 16 and up Garth Ennis and Simon Coleby’s Dreaming Eagles tells a riveting story of the first African-American fighter pilots to join the United States Army Air Force in World War II. With humble beginnings in Tuskegee, Alabama, not only were the pilots instrumental against the Nazi war machine, but also braved an equally great challenge of overcoming everyday bigotry and racism amongst their fellow American soldiers as well as civilians at home. The story begins with former Army Air Force
The genius of the graphic novel comes not only from the well-paced and calculated storytelling, but the structure of the panels and intention of each line and color of the art. Rubín paints the Scandinavian hero in bright reds, harsh grays, and muted blues and greens to create a visual experience akin to the journey unfolding on the page. Emphasizing these color characteristics as well as intentionally utilizing pull out panels and full pages, this beautifully illustrated tale succeeds in portraying the layered meanings and symbolism present in the epic poem. Due to the graphic violence and nudity, this title is best used in a college level setting as supplementary reading for classic readings. Readers interested in graphic adaptations, classical texts, and visceral literature will love this re-telling of the original epic poem. pilot Reggie’s son returning from a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. rally with a black eye. The strain between Reggie and his son intensifies as he tries to explain that it is foolish to fight when things in America have gotten better since his time in the military, and his son refuses to accept that they should settle for how things are. It’s this conflict that drives Reggie to tell his son about his time in the Army Air Force and his experiences fighting the Nazi’s.
diamondbookshelf.com Twenty years earlier, Reggie and his comrades became one of the most requested escort squadrons in the military because of their extraordinary record of bringing bomber plans home with minimal causalities. Not only does Ennis’ expert story-telling lace Reggie’s memories with highimpact action and historically accurate events, Coleby’s intense color palette and page-wide illustrations pull readers into a tangible narrative experience. Walking through Reggie’s memories with his son, readers are able to see the horrors of World War II from the skies juxtaposed with the racism experienced by these fighter pilots on the ground, creating a exhilarating commentary on the similarities and differences between American culture and the Nazi agenda. Despite the extreme heroism presented by Reggie and his comrades, when they are finally sent home after the war, they are once again greeted with hatred as civilians.
Generations Written and Illustrated by: Flavia Bondi Publisher: Lion Forge Format: Softcover, 6 x 9, 144 pages, Black and White, $14.99 ISBN: 9781941302507 Ages: 16 and up Generations is a beautifully written and illustrated tale from Italian comic creator Flavia Biondi. Biondi takes a nuanced look at generational attitudes surrounding the values held within families and the always changing world around them. Tapping into the strained relationship often felt by young gay men after coming out to their family members, Generations proves to be a sensitive and insightful portrait of the millennial generation in comparison to their older counterparts. Beginning the journey with Matteo’s insecurities about coming home and avoiding his father, readers find themselves idly walking through life alongside the protagonist as he tries to rebuild his life in his provincial country hometown after breaking up with his boyfriend and leaving the urban metropolis of Milan. Matteo finds refuge at his grandmother’s house where she is already housing Matteo’s aunts; while his intentions were to only stay for a few nights, months pass by as he struggles to find energy to complete even the most menial of tasks. Noticing Matteo’s lackluster in life, his aunts encourage him to get a job and work around the house to keep himself occupied. Through learning how to take care of his grandmother and reconnecting with old hometown friends, Matteo finds himself confronting new truths about the older generations in his family and about himself.
Seeing the medals adorned upon their uniforms, Reggie and one of his closest friends from the war are beaten senseless by fellow Americans for not being worthy of the accolades. While Reggie’s story resonates with his son, he still believes he is fighting for what is right and acceptance of racism in any form is unacceptable. Not only does Dreaming Eagles touch on the conflicts and repercussions of war, telling the story through the lens of African-American pilots provides a depth to the history of World War II that is not often experienced by the general public. This unique take on the true-life story of the Tuskegee Airmen explores the ideas of sacrifice and resilience while presenting readers with the history of men who changed their country for all time. Dreaming Eagles is highly recommended for older teens interested in non-fiction, world history, and war stories.
Generations provides an interesting insight into both Matteo’s point of view and the opinions of his older counterparts. Not only relying on the protagonist’s immediate experiences, Biondi provides readers with a deepened understanding of the intergenerational gaps experienced by all families, and takes a look at the responsibility of both young and older family members to bridge those gaps in order to have functioning healthy relationships. The cornerstone of this story’s problems stem from the argument had between Matteo and his father about his sexuality before he fled to Milan where he lived for three years with his boyfriend. While this experience is unique to the LGBTQ+ community, Biondi does an elegant job of portraying the tension felt between a parent and child any reader will find relatable. Forcing Matteo to intrinsically analyze his decisions and desires as well as understand how those things affect the people around him gives Generations a unique layer of depth as a coming-of-age story. Generations is a perfect title for older teens and adult readers who are interested in LGBTQ+ themes, coming-of-age stories, works dealing with moral and intergenerational issues, and realistic fiction.
For more reviews, visit http://bit.ly/BookShelfReviews Fall 2017
CORE LISTS BookS h elf p resents a l i s t of s e l e ct e d e s s e n tia l title s f o r d if f e re nt a g e ra ng e s
Titles for Kids (Age 6+)
King of the Bench: Control Freak
By Steve Moore Harper Collins - 9780062203328
By Svetlana Chmakova Yen Press - 9780316381307
A Polar Bear in Love Volume 1
Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
Baltimore Volume 8: The Red Kingdom
By Koromo Yen Press- 9780316441711
Animal Crackers By Scott Christian and Mike Holmes First Second - 9781626725041
Apple and An Adventure By Martin Cendreda KaBOOM! - 9781684150649
Bad Machinery Volume 3: Pocket Edition By John Allison Oni Press - 9781620104439
BroBots Volume 2: Mecha Malarkey By J. Torres and Sean Dove Oni Press - 9781620104248
Disney Manga: Descendants Rotten to the Core Volume 1
By Ben Hatke First Second - 9781626722668
Miraculous: Lucky Charm By ZAG Entertainment Action Lab - 9781632292766
My Little Pony: Twilight’s Kingdom By Megan McCarthy IDW Publishing - 9781684050642
Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 4 By Jeremy Whitley and Xenia Pamfil Action Lab - 9781632292643
Smurfs Graphic Novel Boxed Set By Peyo Papercutz - 9781629911670
Swing It, Sunny By Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm Graphix - 9780545741729
By Mike Mignola, Peter Bergting, and others Dark Horse - 9781506701974
Britannia Volume 2: We Who Are About to Die By Peter Milligan and Juan Jose Ryp Valiant Entertainment - 9781682152133
Clueless, the Graphic Novel By Amber Benson, Sarah Kuhn, and Siobhan Keenan BOOM! Entertainment - 9781608869831
Descender: The Deluxe Edition Volume 1 By Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen Image Comics - 9781534303461
Doctor Who: The Companion Collection By Various Penguin Group (UK) - 9781405929974
Eleanor & the Egret
By Jason Muell and Natsuki Minami Tokyopop - 9781427856876
The Little Red Wolf
Doctor Who: Official Annual 2018
By Amélie Fléchais Lion Forge - 9781941302453
By Various Penguin Group (UK) – 9781405930000
The Time Museum
Donald Quest: Hammer of Magic
By Matthew Loux First Second - 9781596438491
By Stephano Ambrosio, Andrea Freccero, and others IDW Publishing - 9781631409127
The Totally Awesome Epic Quest of the Brave Boy Knight
By Matt Fraction and Steven Sanders Image Comics - 9781534304369
By Pranas T. Naujokaitis Blue Apple Books - 9781609050993
Giant Days Volume 5
By Liniers Raw Junior - 9781943145201
Grumpy Cat / Garfield By Mark Evanier and Steve Uy Dynamite Entertainment - 9781524104962
Harry Moon Origin: Wand, Paper, Scissors By Mark Andrew Poe and Christina Weidman Rabbit Publishers - 9781943785001
Hilda and the Troll By Luke Pearson Flying Eye Books - 9781909263147
Hocus Focus By James Sturm, Alexis Frederick-Frost, and Andrew Arnold First Second – 9781596436541
Kid Sherlock Volume 1 By Justin Phillips and Sean Miller Action Lab - 9781632292896
Kilgore Graphic Novel By Mark Andrew Poe and Becky Minor Rabbit Publishers - 9781943785742
Zombies Ate My Homework: Redstone Junior High By Cara Stevens and Fred Borcherdt Sky Pony Press - 9781510722323
By John Layman and Sam Kieth Aftershock Comics - 9781935002765
Faith Volume 4: The Faithless By Jody Houser, Joe Eisma, and Kate Niemczyk Valiant Entertainment - 9781682152195
Five Fists of Science
By John Allison, Max Sarin, and Liz Fleming BOOM! Entertainment - 9781608869824
Goldfisch Manga Volume 1 By Nana Yaa Tokyopop - 9781427857675
Infini-T Force Volume 1
Titles for Young Adults (Age 13+) Accell Volume 1: Home Schooling By Joe Casey, Damion Scott, and Robert Campanella Lion Forge - 9781941302378
By Ukyou Kodachi and Tatsuma Ejiri Udon Entertainment - 9781772940503
Invader Zim Volume 4 By Jhonen Vasquez, Warren Wucinich, and others Oni Press - 9781620104286
Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Volume 1 By Akira Himekawa Viz Media - 9781421593470
Alters Volume 1
Lighter Than My Shadow
By Paul Jenkins and Leila Liz Aftershock Comics - 9781935002871
By Katie Green Lion Forge - 9781941302415
Monstress Volume 2: The Blood
By Izar Lunacek and Nejc Juren IDW Publishing - 9781631409523
By Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda Image Comics - 9781534300415
diamondbookshelf.com Moonstruck Volume 1
By Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle, and Kate Leth Image Comics - 9781534304772
By Ricardo Mo and Alberto Muriel Vault Comics - 9781939424204
Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie
Crosswind Volume 1
By Anthony Del Col and Werther Dell’edera Dynamite Entertainment - 9781524104177
Paper Girls Volume 3 By Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson Image Comics - 9781534302235
Roots By Tar O’Connor Top Shelf Productions - 9781603094177
Sherlock Holmes & The Green Lama: The Heir Apparent By Adam Lance Garcia and Mike Flyes Moonstone - 9781944017101
Shinobi: Ninja Princess Volume 2 By Martheus Wade, Janet Wade, and Gene Fayne Action Lab - 9781632293015
Superb Volume 1: Life After the Fallout By David F. Walker, Ray-Anthony Height, and others Lion Forge - 9781941302408
Table Titans Volume 2: Winter of the Iron Dwarf By Scott Kurtz and Steve Hammaker Toonhound Studios - 9780986277924
Taproot By Keezy Young Lion Forge - 9781941302460
The Altered History of Willow Sparks By Tara O’Connor Oni Press - 9781620104507
The Ocean of Secrets Volume 2 By Sophie-chan Tokyopop - 9781427857224
By Gail Simone and Cat Staggs Image Comics - 9781534304741
Durarara!! Volume 8 By Ryohgo Naria and Suzuhito Yasuda Yen Press - 9780316474290
Extremity Volume 1 By Daniel Warren Johnson and Mike Spicer Image Comics - 9781534302426
By Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw Image Comics - 9781534302341
Kill or Be Killed Volume 2 By Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser Image Comics - 9781534302280
By Zerocalcare Lion Forge - 9781941302491
Kulipari: Heritage By Revor Pryce, Joshua Starnes, and Sonia Liao Red 5 Comics - 9781926513034
Lady Mechanika Volume 3 By Marcia Chen, Joe Benitez, and others Benitez Productions - 9780996603041
Not Drunk Enough Volume 1 By Tessa Stone Oni Press - 9781620104149
One Week Friends Volume 1 By Matcha Hazuki Yen Press - 9780316414166
Rick & Morty Volume 6
Back to Brooklyn Volume 1 By Garth Ennis, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Mihailo Vukelic Image Comics - 9781607061243
Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand Volume 1 By Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, and Julius M. Gopez Dynamite Entertainment - 9781524102555
Great Divide By Ben Fisher and Adam Markiewicz Dynamite Entertainment - 9781524103347
By Amanda Connor, John Timms, and others DC Comics - 9781401273699
Jazz Maynard: The Barcelona Trilogy By Raule Lion Forge - 9781942367437
By Chris Lewis and Tony Gregori Vault Comics - 9781939424266
Kingsmen: The Secret Service By Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons Image Comics - 9781534305229
My Pretty Vampire By Katie Skelly Fantagraphics - 9781683960201
Oh Joy Sex Toy Volume 4 By Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan Oni Press - 9781620104446
Plastic By Doug Wagner, Daniel Hillyard, and others Image Comics - 9781534303775
Providence Act 2
By Lou Reed and Lorenzo Mattotti Fantagraphics - 9781606994443
By Donny Cates and Garry Brown Aftershock Comics - 9781935002772
By Dan Abnett, Michael Lopez, and others Marvel - 9781302909027
Babyteeth Volume 1
Bloodstone & The Legion of Monsters
Harley Quinn Volume 3: Red Meat
By Steve Niles, Christopher Mitten, and Jay Fotos Black Mask Comics - 9781628750782
Titles for Older Teens (Age 16+)
Titles for Adults (Age 18+)
By Kyle Starks, CJ Cannon, and others Oni Press - 9781620104521
Royal City Volume 1: Next of Kin By Jeff Lemire Image Comics - 9781534302624
Saga Volume 8 By Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples Image Comics - 9781534303492
Secret Weapons By Eric Heisserer and Raul Allen Valiant Entertainment - 9781682152294
Vessel By Joe Brusha and Julius Abrera Zenescope - 9781942275633
Unpresidential By Kevin Bieber and Victor DeTroy Z2 Comics - 9781940878171
By Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows Avatar Press - 9781592912926
Regression Volume 1: Way Down Deep By Cullen Bunn, Danny Luckert, and Marie Enger Image Comics - 9781534303379
Rashomon: A Commissioner Heigo Kobayashi Case By Victor Santos Dark Horse - 9781506703176
Suicide Squad Volume 3: Burning Down the House By Rob Williams, John Romita Jr., and others DC Comics - 9781401274221
Ten Thousand Years in Hell By M. Tillieux Fantagraphics - 9781683960300
The Courier: From the Ashes By Ralph Tedesco and JG Miranda Zenescope - 9781942275626
Z Nation Volume 1 By Craig Engler, Fred Van Lente, and Edu Menna Dynamite Entertainment - 9781524104542
RESOURCES B O O KS ABO UT G RAPHIC NOV ELS Superhero Comics
By Chris Galaver A complete guide to the history, form and contexts of the genre, Superhero Comics helps readers explore the most successful and familiar of comic book genres. In an accessible and easy-tonavigate format, the book reveals: the history of superhero comics-from mythic influences to 21st-century evolutions; cultural contexts-from the formative politics of colonialism, eugenics, KKK vigilantism, and WWII fascism to the Cold War’s transformative threat of mutually assured destruction to the on-going revolutions in African American and sexual representation; key texts-from the earliest pre-Comics-Code Superman and Batman to the latest post-Code Ms. Marvel and Black Panther; approaches to visual analysis-from layout norms to narrative structure to styles of abstraction.
Going Graphic: Comics at Work in the Multilingual Classroom
By Stephen Cary Comics are natural for second language development. Their unique mix of abundant comprehensionbuilding visuals and authentic text readily engages learners, contextualizes language, and offers a window into the culture. Building on the latest brain-based research, second language acquisition theory, and progressive literacy principles, Stephen Cary offers twenty-five proven activities for comics-based instruction in all classrooms, especially TESL/TEFL settings, and for all grade and English-proficiency levels.
Reading with Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter
By Josh Elder Uniting the finest creative talents in the comics industry with the nation’s leading experts in visual literacy to create a game-changing tool for the classroom and beyond, this fullcolor volume features more than a dozen short stories (both fiction and nonfiction) that address topics in Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, and Science, while offering an immersive textual and visual experience that kids will enjoy.
Graphic Novels in High School and Middle School Classrooms: A Disciplinary Literacies Approach
By William Boerman-Cornell, Jung Kim and Michael L. Manderino The ultimate guide for using graphic novels in any middle school or high school classroom, this book considers how the graphic novel format can support critical thinking and help reach disciplinary goals in history, English language arts, science, math, fine arts, and other subjects. Using specific graphic novels as examples, this book considers how to help students read, question, and write about both fiction and non-fiction. Whether teachers are new to graphic novels or have been working with them for years, this book will help improve instruction.
U S E F U L
L I N K S
The Comic Book Project – Center for Educational Pathways http://www.comicbookproject.org/
Good Comics for Kids (School Library Journal Blog) http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/goodcomicsforkids
ComicsResearch.org – Academic & Library Resources http://www.comicsresearch.org/academic.html
Making Curriculum Pop http://mcpopmb.ning.com
Eek! Comics in the Classroom! (Education World) http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/profdev/profdev105.shtml
Maryland Comic Book Initiative http://archives.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/programs/ recognition-partnerships/md-comic-book.html
Expanding Literacies through Graphic Novels (Members Only) http://www1.ncte.org/Library/files/Free/recruitment/ EJ0956Expanding.pdf
No Flying, No Tights (Graphic Novel Review Site) http://www.noflyingnotights.com/
Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels: Page by Page, Panel by Panel http://www.graphicnovelreporter.com
Using Comics and Graphic Novels in the Classroom (The CouncilChronicle, Sept. 05) http://www.ncte.org/magazine/archives/122031
GNLib: Graphic Novels in Libraries https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/gn4lib/info
YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens List http://www.ala.org/yalsa/ggnt
More Links DiamondBookShelf.com maintains an ever-growing database of web resources for educators and librarians. Categories include official Publisher sites, resources for teachers, resources for librarians, graphic novel and comics review sites, resources for kids and more!
HOW TO ORDER COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS Yo u ha v e man y o p tion s – c h oose th e o ne t hat w o rks bes t f o r yo u!
1. BUY FROM YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK SHOP
2. BUY FROM YOUR USUAL WHOLESALER OR BOOK JOBBER
For a variety of reasons, your local comic book shop could be the best possible resource for your purchase of graphic novels. In fact, many local comic shops service both schools and libraries already with the latest comics and graphic novels.
Baker & Taylor, Booksource, Brodart, Follett, Ingram, and other wholesalers all carry a full line of graphic novels. Most schools and libraries already do business with one or more of these companies, and it’s easy to add in your order through these procurement channels.
3. BUY DIRECT FROM DIAMOND If there are no comic book stores in your area and your usual wholesaler doesn’t have deep stock on a variety of titles, Diamond does sell directly to educators and librarians. For more information, call Allan Greenberg at 443-318-8001 ext. 8864 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
A GREAT RESOURCE: YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK SHOP Quality comic book shops are a valuable resource for libraries and schools seeking graphic novels and graphic novel information. In the past, such partnerships have proven successful for all involved, with increased sales and circulation, as well as the satisfaction that comes with community involvement. As comic book and graphic novel specialists, comic shop retailers have up-to-date knowledge on the most recent and upcoming hits, and a great familiarity with what their customers are reading and enjoying. Many are more than willing to work together on cross-promotional events, reaching out to and expanding the audience of graphic novel fans. So, how do you go about finding and dealing with your local comic shop? Well, it’s easier than you think. By following these easy steps, you’ll be coordinating with your local comic shop in no time!
Find a Store. We’ve already done the work for you! To find your closest comic shop, all you have to do is use the Comic Shop Locator Service. Just log on to http://www. comicshoplocator.com and enter your zip code. It’s as simple as that! Located on the store listings is the School and Library Partners icon above. Stores with this designation have told us they are willing to partner with schools and libraries to aid with selection, programming, purchasing, and more.
Research and Choose a Store. Once you’ve located a store, the next thing to do is find out more about it. If you used the Comic Shop Locator, many of the stores have posted brief profiles. The best way to find out more information about a store is to visit it in person. That way, you’ll have the opportunity to browse through the store’s collection and get personal advice from the knowledgeable experts on hand. All stores will have their own unique approach – find one that you feel comfortable with. Introduce Yourself. Going into any new environment can be intimidating, especially when you have preconceived notions. But there’s nothing to fear from comic shop retailers. Many of them are happy to welcome librarians and teachers into their stores because they understand the mutual benefit working together can achieve. Let them know you’re interested in using graphic novels, and they will be more than happy to help!
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BOOKSHELF WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU! What did you think of this issue of Diamond BookShelf? Send your feedback, ideas, and suggestions for future articles to: DIAMOND BOOKSHELF 10150 YORK ROAD HUNT VALLEY, MD 21030
We at Diamond have known for years that comic books and graphic novels are excellent teaching and learning tools… we’re pleased that so many educators are starting to agree! We hope you find this publication and our website a useful resource to convince others that comics can make a difference in helping to promote literacy, motivate readers, and more.
If you find Diamond BookShelf worthwhile, be sure to pass it on and tell your colleagues! Diamond Comic Distributors is the world’s largest distributor of Englishlanguage comic books, graphic novels and comics-related merchandise. We believe that comics are not only great fun and great art, but also have educational value and are terrific tools for promoting literacy. The BookShelf magazine and website are two of Diamond’s outreach initiatives to support the use of comics and graphic novels in schools and libraries.
BookShelf #24: The Historical Fiction Graphic Novel Issue • An interview with Jason Aaron on his Vietnam epic, The Other Side • A round up...
Published on Aug 30, 2017
BookShelf #24: The Historical Fiction Graphic Novel Issue • An interview with Jason Aaron on his Vietnam epic, The Other Side • A round up...