Archive for brian wood

odds and ends

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Thought today would be a good time to mention: I’m going to take next week off from comic posting. We’ve reached the end of the first quarter of this school year, hard as it is to believe. I have 140 fictional narratives that need to be read, corrected, commented on, and graded. I also made the mistake of asking for a big sustained silent reading project to be due a week from this Monday… in addition to all the regular classwork we do everyday.

In short, I’m going to be spending the majority of free time I normally use to pursue my hobby in doing extra work for school.

It’s weeks like the one upcoming I think of when people say “Teachers are overpaid, they get out of school at 2 everyday and only work nine months a year!” Saying teachers only work during those specific hours is like saying firefighters are only working when they’re inside a burning building… or surgeons are only working when they are in an operating room. It’s silly when you give it even a moment’s scrutiny.

I think I have enough bits and pieces for daily posting (sketchbook stuff and the like) but teaching comics will resume on October 24th.


In other school news, thanks to some donations from local businesses my classroom just received a brand new Eno board this week!

I must admit, I’m probably the last person under the age of 40 working in public schools who unreservedly LOVES chalkboards, to the point of making them a weekly feature on this blog every Sunday. To that end, I’m a bit leery of this new piece of technology currently resting in the front of my classroom.

I’ve been assured I will receive training on how to use the board in my class and I look forward to that. I’m also quite thankful to be in the first wave of teachers who are having Eno boards installed. Hopefully I can figure out something cool to do with it in the upcoming months.


I picked up the first three trades of DC/Vertigo’s DMZ this past week. They were a DonorsChoose donation to my classroom and I decided to read ’em through before I put the books into circulation. Gotta say, I really loved them.

Written by Brian Wood, DMZ takes place during the second American civil war in the near future. Photojournalist Matty Roth finds himself in the Manhattan demilitarized zone and begins to investigate the new landscape of New York City.

The gritty, angular artwork from Riccardo Burchielli sets the tone for the first three trades, which cover roughly two years of the comic. Burchielli’s blunt pencils bring home the grimness of a war-torn Big Apple, while at the same time wonderfully capturing the character moments that ground the big ideas.

Wood’s wonderfully good at world-building; he can do with one issue of a comic book what it takes some writers five to accomplish. My favorite work of his will always be Local, but DMZ gives Local a run for its’ money. Wood has clearly thought out the structure of his future Manhattan as well as any piece of fiction I have read this year. I love that he doesn’t skip on even the puniest of details of what it would be like to live in a DMZ. Wood writes it as a scary, imposing place… but makes sure to illustrate the surprising freedom inherent with living in the middle of a war zone.

Anyhow, it’s a good series. I’m keeping it on the “parental consent only” shelf but I look forward to recommending it to some of my more worldly and mature readers.