Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Comics Class Go Just Got Up and Went

So here's what happened:
Last year I got the chance to teach a high school class about comics. I created this blog, and wrote about my planning process. Then, when class started, I wrote about how it went. I got into the habit of updating more or less daily.

Creative Reading class lasted for one semester. When the class ended, I kept the blog going for a few more weeks. But then when I wrote a personal reflection on how the class had gone, it felt like an ending, so I said good-bye, at least until the class started up again.

Now summer has passed, and school has started, and I have not updated anything at all. Why? One simple reason, my friends: over the summer, my wife and I went and had a baby. When people ask about him, my standard response has been, "He hates sleeping but he loves to cry." That's generally been true, but a few nights ago he finally slept through the night, and then he did it a few more nights in a row and, knock on wood, this could be the beginning of a beautiful era of sleep.

In the meantime school has started up and, yes, I am teaching Creative Reading class again. When I first saw my class list this year, though, I was disappointed. Not because of the names on the list; because of the number of names. Last year I had two Creative Reading classes, with around twenty kids in each. This year I have one class, and it has six students. Six!

On the plus side, I can spend plenty of time with each student. And the kids this year seem less generally opposed to reading comics. Some of them are even interested in the idea. Overall they have a positive attitude. I feel good about the kids I have . . . but wow, this is a small class. If two students are absent, that's a third of the class missing. If I put the kids in groups--you get the idea. The whole dynamic has changed. It's not terrible, and it's certainly not an insurmountable problem, but it's a big adjustment to how I teach the class.

Today was Day Five, so we are still in the early stages. I'm figuring out how this is going to work. I might keep you posted. Then again, the baby boy and the little girl take up an awful lot of my time. We'll see.

In other news, today would be the 95th birthday of Jack Kirby, the greatest American comic book artist of the 20th century. Happy birthday, Jack! You may be gone, but your work lives on.


  1. Does the low enrollment mean you have a "reputation"? Or there was some scheduling weirdness? I have no idea why kids would NOT want to take your class, it sounds so awesome.

    BTW Dylan was excited about Laser Brigade and he got out his copy of Spandangle and started drawing his own comic called "Destructo". I think you have a fan! :)


  2. Oops, I really should have been clearer about that . . . the low enrollment has nothing to do with me or with the students' preferences, but is a matter of scheduling weirdness. And, because we are such a small school, it can be hard to find lots of students who haven't already taken a given elective.

    Also, "Destructo" is a great name for a comic. It sounds like a winner already.

  3. "Jack Kirby, the greatest American comic book artist ever."

    There, I fixed it for you.

  4. Hmmmm, what about . . . no, you're right.