Posts Tagged ‘Michael Bitz’

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.


Learning by Creating

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Even though it seems like you don’t see them in comic stores much anymore, kids do love comics—just check the graphic novel section of your local library, you’re bound to see dozens of volumes torn up from being read so much, and there might even be a child there, flipping through a manga or trade paperback collection.

Many educators recognize the power of comics to get kids reading, and nowhere it is more apparent in the goals of The Comic Book Project (a flagship program of the Center of Educational Pathways). According to their “about” page,

The Comic Book Project engages children in a creative process leading to literacy reinforcement, social awareness, and character development, then publishes and distributes their work for other children in the community to use as learning and motivational tools.

The children are walked through the comic creation process step-by-step, from brainstorming ideas (on a chosen socially-relevant theme) to writing a script and creating the artwork. All of the completed projects receive a spot in the online art gallery, while some work will be selected to appear in a district- or city-specific comic book to be printed and distributed nationwide by Dark Horse Comics.

Some of these comics are available on the website, and the themes are meant to reflect the concerns of today’s youth. Most of these deal with social situations, teaching about leadership, conflict resolution, and teamwork; another tackles environmental concerns, which is usually a hot-button topic with kids (it certainly was when I was young). Especially relevant to today’s world is the comic dealing with financial responsibility, funded by the New York State Banking Department and written and drawn by various groups of kids from New York City.

Then there is the more general topic of “I am a Superhero,” where it seems the kids were largely left to interpret what this meant for themselves. Some chose to create superheroes along more traditional lines, while others chose to think of ways one could be super without superpowers. Some of these comics were collected into city and statewide publications, and eight are available to download on the official site.

The founder of the program, Michael Bitz Ed.D, has written two books about The Comic Book Project—Manga High:
Literacy, Identity, and Coming of Age in an Urban High School
(published by Harvard Education Press) and When Commas Meet Kryptonite: Classroom Lessons from the Comic Book Project (published by Teachers College Press).

Out and About: September 11-12, 2010

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Tomorrow begins Small Press Expo 2010 in Bethesda, Maryland. Guests include Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma) and Raina Telgemeier (Smile). In addition to shopping the floor, events of interest on the schedule:

Sunday, September 12

Autobiography in Pieces

3:00 | Brookside Conference Room

How do you tell the story of a life that’s still in progress? Is “story” even the right way to think about it? How do you winnow down the manifold details and data of your life? Cartoonists Sarah BecanGabrielle BellVanessa Davis, and Jesse Reklaw will discuss alternatives to the memoir with moderator Isaac Cates.

R. Sikoryak: Adaptation and Parody

3:30 | White Flint Amphitheater

Comics chameleon R. Sikoryak inventively adapts canonical Western literature using the visual styles and characters of historical American comic books and comic strips. These works have been collected in his 2009 book Masterpiece Comics (Drawn and Quarterly). Sikoryak will reveal his intensive working process and will discuss the history of parody and adaptation in comics in a discussion with Bill Kartalopoulos, curator of the recent exhibit  “R. Sikoryak: How Classics and Cartoons Collide.”

The show is open from 11am to 7pm on Saturday, and from 12 noon to 6pm on Sunday at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

On a more local scale, the Brooklyn Book Festival takes place this Sunday from 10am to 6pm at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Vendors include Drawn & QuarterlyNot For Tourists, PictureBox, and For Beginners. Events of interest include:

2:00 P.M.

The International Graphic Novel: Drawing from Life. Three acclaimed cartoonists, whose work takes on social and political themes, talk about the on-the-ground research and background work they have all done in preparation for creating their books. Featuring author Nick Abadzis (Laika), Josh Neufeld (A.D.), and Jessica Abel (La Perdida). Moderated by Matt Madden (Drawing Words and Writing Pictures).


Youth Workshops at the Workshop Tent
(next to the Youth Stoop)
Workshops are first come, first served and limited to 12 participants

3:00 P.M.

The Comic Book Project presents When Commas Meet Kryptonite with Michael Bitz, Director of the Center for Educational Pathways. Join us to dream, design, and draft an original comic book. Transform ideas to ink and star in your own superhero story! (Ages 8-16).

Sam Anderson (New York Magazine) and David Rees (Get Your War On) are also doing a “comic” presentation as part of “Cabaret BBF Style” at 4pm but it is unclear whether they mean comic as in funny, or comic as in the medium. (With David Rees involved, hopefully it’s both.)