I presented at my school districts education expo this past weekend. I really left energized and I think I really changed some minds. Several teachers said they were going to use some of my lesson plans and ideas that utilized comics. The biggest hit amongst teachers was using sequential art as a planning phase for narrative stories. My students are given a number of post it notes and a blank storyboard. Each post-it becomes a stick figure drawing representing a different part of their story (their entertaining beginning or where they start to build suspense). If something needs altering for clarity's sake, peeling off and moving around a post-it is incredibly simple, and immediately engages beginning writers.
I also helped change some parents minds. Many parents weren't aware that some of their favorite novels were being adapted into comic books like Twilight or Wizard of Oz. Others were thrilled to hear that there were educational books such as Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe. I even had one parent tell me her child was reading comic books but she was doing her best to get him to stop. I told her she had come to the right place, that we were fighting those preconceptions, and were there to show her how to foster her sons love of reading instead of shunning his tastes. She really seemed receptive and I gave her and lots of other teachers and students tons of suggestions on comic books. I had a blast, and to top it all off I even sold two copies of Mera while I was there! Certainly not my plan, but I'll always be willing to make a sale to those that offer. Until next time comic fans!