14 Replies Latest reply on 31-Dec-2016 10:07 AM by derrick.schellenberg

    Participant Comic Thread

    teachontario.team

      Why not try your hand at creating a comic (even about the benefits of comics, like the creators of Unshelved)? You don’t necessarily have to be a wonderful writer or artist, as there are several online tools available to assist you. Not all of these tools are suitable for all ages.

      Share your creations in the thread below...

      • Reply
        • Re: Participant Comic Thread
          aking

          I'm going to cheat in order to get things started here because I find the idea of making my own comic (as opposed to a doodle on the back of a napkin) highly intimidating.  One of my FAVOURITE books about comics is by Scott McLeod who says that comics help us look at visual art in a new way:

          ceci n'est pas une pipe.jpg

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            • Re: Participant Comic Thread
              dianamali

              I agree with you Alanna - Scott McCloud is awesome. (So much so that I bought his book twice - I think I lent my first copy to someone and never got it back.) I like that quote too.

               

              I hope you'll forgive me for "troubling up" your statement: "I find the idea of making my own comic ... highly intimidating".

              I know you're an incredible writer and your blog (yes, I'm promoting your blog here: threadbare beauty – Struggling for perfection but my artist keeps getting in the way ). Some people feel the way you do about "just" writing the way you feel about making a comic. Can you share (if you are comfortable) if or why the two tasks are different (writing vs creating a comic)?

               

              What can we do as educators to make creating (either in just writing, just art, or a mixture of both in graphic novels) a way to express themselves free of stress or anxiety? (I didn't say difficult, because all creative pursuits can be difficult at various stages of the process.)

               

              Thanks for getting this ball rolling!

              Diana

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                • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                  derrick.schellenberg

                  Hi Diana and Alanna,

                   

                  Diana, I like the final question, about relieving stress or anxiety. I don't personally think we should release ALL stress or anxiety, and I feel the things that we get nervous or anxious about are often things we care about, so some of those responses are fine for me and my students to experience.

                   

                  I think the whole gradual release of responsibility and scaffolding can be applied to the creative process as well.

                   

                  My grade nines are currently in the process of writing a Choose Your Own Adventure story. Part of relieving the pressure is that they are working in groups (which may be positive for some and less so for others), there are stages to the planning process (determining the setting, building the main character, creating a plan for the plot which may organically evolve, building in peer and self editing steps, as well as teacher conferencing, all while we are working in a communal Google Doc where the process can be managed as a group, using the COMMENTS feature).

                   

                  Having students write in journals, share their own (nonfiction) stories from their life, having them retell myths or short stories they've read, having them write postcard stories that are 50 or 100 words long (or even 10 words long!) can help build them up to the idea that writing (and sharing, because that is going to happen in my class) their stories is doable.

                   

                  For many of my classes, and easy program to start with is Storybird where students choose an artist they like, students sequence the images, and then students add the text to make it a story. The challenge is that once they find an artist they can't change midway through the narrative, and you can't plan the story ahead with this program, because you don't know what images you are going to get from this artist.

                   

                  Here are some attempts, over the years:

                   

                  A Story in 20 Words - Exemplar

                  The Girl Who Wrestled With The Bear (an analogy for our ISU assignment)

                  The Quiet Girl (and what she asked for Christmas)

                  Bobo's Quest

                   

                  I would say these are all picture books, as opposed to comics (in my narrow interpretation), but perhaps these might be a middle step before graduating to comics, which has many more techniques to consider in the layout.

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                    • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                      dianamali

                      I *loved* "The Girl Who Wrestled with the Bear" story! What a great analogy! I have my Grade 1-2s exploring StoryBird right now - it's wonderful to see how the same task changes with age and experience.

                       

                      I agree again that it's good to have a little stress / anxiety. Like you said, Derrick, it means we care about the outcome.

                       

                      Does this same process, can this same process, apply to creating comics as well? Is it the art part that scares folks? Is it, as you suggest, that comics have more techniques to consider when designing?

                       

                      I just realized that most of my reply was just agreeing with what you said! I should have just used an image, like

                       

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                        • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                          derrick.schellenberg

                          I have yet to play with bitmoji. Still recovering from the loss of the tool to make all my bitstrips' student assignments.

                           

                          I agree with you that it is the art that scares kids and adults alike. I guess I would try a few things to get over that with the kids:

                           

                          -show them comics that are great where the art is ultra-simplistic stick people (my specialty)

                           

                          -have kids make comics with no tech whatsoever, just a pencil and some frames, with them later graduating to creating their own frames for each panel (my lingo for comic layout is not great)

                           

                          -finally I think it would be cool to do comics in groups with roles; I don't know all the names, but you could have the person who makes the story, the person who draws the pictures, the person who writes the text, the person who colours the pictures, an editor, etc. (possibly with the roles doubled up if you had groups of three)

                           

                          I think kids would love that collaborative experience where there is a group vision, compromise, opportunity to show strengths, etc. and no technology needed.

                            • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                              dianamali

                              It took me a long time to accept Bitmoji. I loved Bitstrips. In fact, if you peek at this link, you can see our school profiled in a Global TV spot about using Bitstrips (and that's me doing some comics-related teaching!)

                               

                              mzmollytlsharespace [licensed for non-commercial use only] / Praise and Public Relations

                               

                              As for the lingo (you are fabulous at leading readers to the next sections of content), that can come with section 3 of this course, "how do you read a comic?" When my school did a huge graphic novel inquiry for the Boys Literacy project with the Ontario Ministry of Education, we used those roles (writer, illustrator, inker, etc.) We had the creator of Captain Canuck come to our school to teach us about the roles - very useful! In the back of the recent, Silver Birch Award nominated book "Awkward", the graphic novelist goes through all the steps she does in making her comics.

                               

                              Final thought - interesting that some consider the technology to be a great aid (e.g. use Pixton or Bitstrips because the tech helps you with the drawing) and some consider the technology to be a great hindrance (e.g. get caught up in using the tool when pencil and paper can be more free).

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                                • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                                  derrick.schellenberg

                                  Hi Diana,

                                   

                                  The video of the work being done with Bitstrips was very cool, and so was seeing the work (and the purpose that was directing the work, such as conflict resolution) being done by the students.

                                   

                                  I think that's an awesome idea, to have the creator of Captain Canuck come to your school. My two boys saw some of the original comics (and a still unopened action figure of him) up in a store in Orillia this summer and had no idea we had our own version of Captain America (as a superhero).

                                   

                                  I am sure your students loved exploring the various roles involved in creating a comic.

                                   

                                  One tool that I haven't found the time to play with is Comic Life and I'm wondering how good it is. I think with something like Bitstrips (maybe all tech tools) you increase the usefulness of the tool in terms of time invested leading to quality of work as students get more proficient with using it (multiple opportunities).

                                   

                                  We used to use it for Hamlet modernization/reinterpretation of key scenes and while it took students a while to create their comics they enjoyed how the process and product were so different from their "typical" English assignments.

                                    • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                                      dianamali

                                      I've used Comic Life but I find the emphasis is on the user to find photos to insert, or make the poses, rather than manipulate the characters within a tool (like Pixton/Bitstrips/Bitmoji) the way you wish.

                                       

                                      Just clarifying - did you use Bitstrips or Comic Life for modernizing / reinterpreting key scenes in Hamlet?

                                       

                                      Diana

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                                        • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                                          derrick.schellenberg

                                          I used Bitstrips for Hamlet with my ENG4U elearning/virtual school students for years as well as some of my day school classes, and it was a nice change from discussion forums, essays, and slideshows.

                                           

                                          An edtech expert/friend in YRDSB recommended Comic Life a few years ago, perhaps because our board has/had some licensing with the tool. It does show up as an app on my iMac but I have never played with it. Perhaps I should also give Pixton and/or Bitmoji a try.

                                • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                                  hutchis

                                  OMG the Girl Who Wrestled With the Bear is TOO FUnny (and relateable!)!  I love it. I am SO sharing this link with every educator I know. 

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                                    • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                                      derrick.schellenberg

                                      Glad you liked it Sarah. It was a lot of fun to make. What I would love to see is teachers of subjects other than English using narrative as a review or synthesis task (instead of a concept map, mind map, etc.) where students choose the most important terms and ideas from a unit of study, and "sew" the ideas together in the form of a story. This could easily be applied to a unit in history, but could be applied to art, science, math, etc., with a little creativity.

                                       

                                      And I bet students wouldn't forget the material if they organized it into a narrative form.

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                                  • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                                    aking

                                    Yep I don't even mind Storyboarding and I've done that a few times for film projects...drawing inside squares, hmmm...seems dangerously close to comic making! Has point of view, perspective, why is this different? And yet....I think of it as a planning tool, not an art form in its own right.  


                                    I'm happy to borrow someone else's work to express my own thoughts though! 


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                                      • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                                        dianamali

                                        Alanna, I really enjoy seeing how your mind works! I like the self-reflective questions too - storyboarding vs comic making, planning vs final, process vs product (and you thought about this so early in the morning too!)

                                         

                                        Diana

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                                  • Re: Participant Comic Thread
                                    hutchis

                                    I'm currently writing my first graphic novel. This course is so inspiriational!  For the past 8 years, I've written screenplays (no, I"m not 'discovered' yet).  The last one I wrote, a children/family movie called Roots of Magic has generated an entire series that, some day, could be a whole franchise. As I hash out the various interconnected storlines, I'm finding the medium of only writing text in panels, gutters and bubbles, to be a LOT like screenplay writing!  Some day I'll find a fabulous artist to add fabulous picture to the stories (that presently have a LOT of blank space or very very light pencil sketches).