Graphic Novel Review (Reflection) 222/365: You Might Have to Spend a Little Money

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days! Or search #365GN on Twitter.

Hey, all!  I have some cool things coming your way in February, so make sure that you are checking back every day.  I appreciate you for reading.

I have this on my chalk board:

In my graphic novel class, we spend a good amount of time free-reading comics.  A good number of my students do not have a lot of exposure to comics, so introducing them to a bunch of different publishers, genres, and subject matters works to break common comics stereotypes and help them find their comics groove.

Most of what you see here is my own personal collection.  The school does buy us class sets of books, but let’s be honest, if you are going to really make a comics reader, they need options, lots of options!  So, I bring my collection to them.  But back to the image on my chalk board.  When a student is reading a comic, and they want more of a particular run or they want a volume two of a trade, I have them list it on the board…we also find that various issues in a run end up missing, so they list those as well; I’ve actually had Star Lord #5 come up missing twice.  I don’t get it.

When I head up to the comic book shop, I take my list with me, (picture on my phone…same one that you see above) and I buy what I can, usually on a weekend, and when I come in on Monday, I announce what I picked up, and the students check the books out from me and keep reading.  Yeah, it does set me back a few bucks, and yes, I know that with no kids of my own I have a few buck to spend on my students, but it’s really not that much for what I get in return.

My students know that I support and encourage them in their interests.  Honestly, they have a hard time believing that their teacher goes to the comic book store for them on the weekend to pick up comics that they want.  I don’t go every week, heck, it’s usually about once a month, but I do go.  And that effort is noticed.  Imagine you had a student that came up to you and heard about The Scarlet Letter and really wanted to read it; you’d find them a copy!  …I hope…  And they’d love you for it!

We should be literacy dealers.  You know, like drugs…but with books.  As days pass, kids are reading less and less, so if I can hook some new readers, even if it costs me a few bucks, so be it.  And I bet I could get the school to pick up a good amount of these books for me, but I want to get them into the hands of kids as soon as possible.  I don’t want them to forget how much they enjoy the series.  I don’t want them, to think that I don’t support their new reading interests.  I have kids from two years ago that still contact me to talk comics/graphic novels!

What I’m saying to you, teachers, is own what you love in the classroom, share that love with the kids, and if they end up enjoying it, go as all in as you can to keep them loving what inspires them.

Have a great weekend.  Rest well.  And…

Happy reading!

Eric

Twitter: @comics_teacher

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