Thursday, February 4, 2016

New York Public Library Event

     To celebrate Will Eisner Week, I will be speaking at the Columbus Branch of the New York Public Library about comics and graphic novels, touching on a pivotal moment in their history and delving into the the codes and symbols that make the form work, ending with an activity to bring the experience of comic creation closer to home.
     The event takes place from 11:30-12:30 on March 5th at the Columbus Library, 742 Tenth Avenue.  If you're in the area, please come by.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Multicultural Graphic Novels

     The January 2016 issue of Booklinks features an article by yours truly on the subject of multicultural graphic novels, including a reading list and suggested classroom activities.  Have a look here.

Thursday, January 7, 2016


     Regarding a post from just before the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens: bravo to everyone involved, though most directly actress Daisy Ridley and director and screenwriter J.J. Abrams.  If art can be a force for social change, then they just set off an atomic bomb of gender role subversion in the middle of the biggest blockbuster in mainstream Hollywood history. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Happy Holidays

     Beyond Where You Stand is going on winter break.  I'll return with new posts on articles, books, reviews, appearances and other pertinent information.  Have a wonderful holiday celebration and a happy new year. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Surviving Through Story

     In a recent piece, New York Times columnist David Brooks discussed the traits and strategies that best lend themselves to overcoming trauma.  Super survivors, as he calls people with an unusually high capacity for this, have "a rock of inner security" instilled by a sense of deep and abiding love in early life, and a tendency to be slightly deluded (in a positive way) about their own abilities yet realistic about the problems they're facing.  But, he notes, "recovering from trauma is mainly an exercise in storytelling."  It is ultimately a matter of being able to write a new story for yourself, to construct a new narrative that moves you beyond the trauma and allows it to become a thing you can put in your past so that your future remains unwritten by dark psychological forces.
     We view time in terms of story: the past, the future and our own lives.  We construct the world in metaphors so that we can more easily understand and interpret it.  Our brains are constructed to work by story.  Maybe it isn't such a surprise then that, sometimes, it's stories that allow us to survive.