Thursday, October 20, 2016

Capturing the Action on KidLitTV

     Capturing the Action: Graphic Novels and Visual Literacy, the panel I'll be moderating for BookFest@Bank Street on Saturday, is going to be live streaming on KidLitTV.  If you can't join us in person, please have a look via the link above.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Capturing the Action

     I will be moderating the panel Capturing the Action: Graphic Novels and Visual Literacy at the Bank Street BookFest 2016, which takes place on Saturday, October 22nd.  The entire event runs from 9:00-4:00 P.M.  The panel itself takes place from 2:05-2:50 P.M. and features Jorge Aguirre, Deb Lucke, Raul the Third and George O'Connor.
     If you are in the area, please join us.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Talking with Don Brown

     The September 2016 issue of Booklinks features an article by yours truly which includes an interview with the children's author and graphic novelist Don Brown, a short reading list of his works and several suggested classroom activities.  Have a look here.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


     Here's something I heard once: no one ever finishes writing a book, they just stop.  It's appropriate, but also a bummer, that it takes as much discipline to be done with a book as it does to put down those first words on a blank page.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Batman v Superman v Joy

     Seldom has a creation so founded on joy been rendered so joylessly as the superhero has in the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  While it has suffered a non-stop fusillade of critical slings and arrows, it still feels like the most troubling point hasn't been fully raised yet.  So calculatedly grim and brutal, no one is ever going to walk out of this movie -- certainly no children if, God help them, they were ever made to see it -- with a sense of hope or inspiration. 
     It's not that you can't use superheroes as a lens through which to view adult issues.  All you need to do is look at a few actual comic books to be assured of that and certainly Captain America: Winter Soldier balanced political issues with fun as the soon-to-be released Captain America: Civil War promises to do.  Indeed, Batman v Superman almost does it, by setting up an interesting question about the democratic deployment of power.  It then elects to literally blow it up, though, in favor of crushing violence and the imagery of superheroes breaking necks and gunning people down.        
     Ultimately, what superheroes are about is offering a sense of our best selves, they are meant to inspire us to reach higher, accomplish more in both individual and collective terms, and most poignantly, they were originally built to offer this sense of hope to kids.  Batman v Superman feels like it has fully turned it's back on hope and joy and left what is best and most worthwhile about the superhero miles behind.