Archive for the ‘media’ Category

New York Comic Con 2011 at a Glance

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

The sixth annual New York Comic Con is upon us! With it comes a fourth day of panels, screenings, back-issue browsing and celebrity sightseeing. I will once again be set up in Podcast Arena with all of my recording gear for my podcast, Comic Timing. Be sure to stop on by booth D14 in the Artist Alley to say hello, talk comics and maybe even buy some of the comics I’m getting rid of.

Before Thursday hits and we all get lost and overwhelmed, here are a few choice panels that should not be overlooked if you are looking to learn more about the nonfiction side of this here industry. I’m also including a few panels that might not be strictly nonfiction but could very well have some elements of nonfiction to them.


RWP 2.0 – The Future of Comics in the Classroom
Date: Thursday, October 13
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Location: 1A02

Speakers: Charlie LaGreca, Dr. Michael Bitz, Jessica Abel, Josh Elder, Matt Madden

Find out how YOU can help get comics into schools and get schools into comics in this informational seminar hosted by some of the biggest names in the world of comics and education. Join Josh Elder of Reading With Pictures, Dr. Michael Bitz of the Comic Book Project, Charlie LaGreca of Comic Book Classroom and Jessica Abel and Matt Madden of Drawing Words and Writing Pictures as they unveil their plans for 2012 and beyond.

I’m including this one for any comic book professionals or teachers out there that might be interested. This is only available to those with Professional badges; Thursday general hours begin at 4pm.


The Adventures of Superagent

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

New York Magazine is no stranger to comics, reporting comics news with the same respect and level of snark they report everything else with. They’ve even been known to dabble in the medium themselves, using comics to put a new twist on news that could otherwise be dry or uninteresting or just more of the same.

As part of their “Who Runs New York?” feature, they spotlighted literary superagent Andrew Wylie, who recently caused a stir when he created Odyssey Editions, selling electronic editions of some of his clients’ titles exclusively through Amazon. Traditional print publishers, particularly Random House, took issue with this, asserting that they own the rights to publish these books electronically.

What happened next? Well, Boris Kachka and Dan Goldman sum it up quite nicely in the “The Life of Wylie,” published in the October 4 issue of New York Magazine.

Understanding Media Through Comics

Friday, August 27th, 2010

It’s no secret that we live in a media-rich environment, much richer than the world twenty, forty, or seventy years ago. We live in a world where people can store entire libraries in their pocket and have television programs sent to their cell phones. But it doesn’t feel like we’ve done much to teach kids how to deal with this onslaught of information. Oh, we advise them to keep their personal info private and not put anything embarrassing on the Internet lest it come back to haunt them, but in terms of sorting through sources and looking at things with a critical eye… it seems the only difference between then and now is that instead of copying information out of a printed encyclopedia, they’re copying it from Wikipedia.

Media Meltdown by Liam O’Donnell and Mike Deas seeks to change that by introducing the concept of media literacy to kids by putting it in an easy-to-digest form: a graphic novel. For most, the concepts in this book are things they’ll never hear about until college, and that’s only if they major in the right subjects, like communications. But with media forming such an integral and increasing part in our lives, it’s important to have the tools to sort through it all, as this book both illustrates and educates.

The story revolves around a group of kids in a small town—Bounce, Pema, and Jagroop—the latter of which lives on a farm in danger of being sold to a developer. After the barn on Jagroop’s parent’s property nearly burns down, the kids suspect the developer is behind the crime, but can’t find a way to get their message through to anyone who can help them. Via Pema’s older sister Nima’s internship at the local TV station, they learn about all the pitfalls that await any message attempting  to be broadcast—especially when a major advertiser is the aforementioned developer.

The narrative flows from topic to topic seamlessly, talking about the general concept of media literacy, behind the scenes at a TV station, filters, advertising, media consolidation, social media, the components of a film script, and even the types of shots used in a film and how they’re used. The kids are likable, smart but flawed. The book is reminiscent of lots of kids’ chapter book series, though less Hardy Boys and more Baby-Sitters Club, at least in plot structure and characterization. Despite my description though, it should be noted that this is a gender-neutral story, to be enjoyed by both girls and boys. It’s also somewhat age neutral too—even if the protagonists are a bunch of kids, the lessons imparted are made for anyone navigating today’s complicated media landscape, and this would be a welcome addition to any college media studies class.

Part of the book’s plot revolves around the Media Meltdown website, which exists in our world, but mostly as a tool to promote the book and media literacy education. The site includes tools for educators, suggestions for activities, and some online games, including a comic maker that allows visitors to make four-panel strips featuring characters and backgrounds from the book.

Media Meltdown
written by Liam O’Donnell
illustrated by Mike Deas
published by Orca Book Publishers (Victoria, 2009)
ISBN 978-1-55469-065-7

Media Meltdown is the fourth book in the Graphic Guide Adventure series; other installments include: