Archive for jeff smith

Teacher Comics: Comics, Classroom Reading, and Student Choice

Posted in 2015-2016 school year with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2015 by Christopher Pearce

NCTE Comic

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the National Council of Teachers of English asked me to draw a comic for their September newsletter. I was beyond excited for the assignment and chose the topic of student choice in independent reading. Me being me, I of course skewed it toward comics and graphic novels. I was happy to namecheck great books like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Jeff Smith’s Bone, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga, and Raina Telgemeier’s Drama. All of those great comics have been banned in schools and libraries for what I view as laughable reasons. All of those comics should absolutely be available to young people to read and enjoy.

Tomorrow I’ll be making my way to the annual NCTE convention in Minneapolis where I’m receiving a Teacher Award for Literacy, so I thought on the eve of my trip, posing a nice version of this comic was worth doing.

Teacher Comics: Stupid, Stupid Antagonists

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

TeachingComic14

Haven’t read Bone? What are you waiting for?!?

thrift store finds: disney adventures magazine (volume 4, number 11)

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , on October 6, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

This week, we’re looking at Disney Adventures Magazine (Volume 4, Number 11), published in  August 1994. Cover price on this was $2.50, I paid a buck.

Continue reading

odds and ends

Posted in odds and ends, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 18, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

As is likely clear from my weekly trolling of all our local thrift stores, one big vice that I have is books. I love books. Love to own ’em, love to have ’em, and I really love  fancy-pants special editions of my favorites books, comics, and stories.

Behold one fancy collection that I will have to somehow live my life without owning:

The Bone 20th Anniversary Full Color One Volume Collector’s Box Set. It comes with an art print signed by Bone creator Jeff Smith. It comes with three pewter figures of the Bone cousins. It comes with a 22k gold-plated recreation of Phoney Bone’s gold coins. It comes with a facsimile of Bone #1 in black and white. It comes with a DVD documentary.

Oh, it also comes with one of my favorite comic stories ever, in hardcover with a beautiful new coloring job… presented in a handsome red case.

Cost: $350 dollars… although Cartoon Books is offering a version for $1,000 dollars wherein Smith will draw and Hammaker will watercolor a sketch for you. I honestly prefer Bone in B&W as that is how I originally encountered the story, but you cannot argue with how beautiful Steve Hammaker’s work is. Plus, I LOVE that Phoney Bone coin.

Alas and alack… I think I’ll probably use that money to feed and clothe my children. I will content myself with the original One Volume edition, which proudly sits on the shelves of both my classroom and my own private collection.

……………………………………

I was excited to read Horribly Heartbroken at Hogwarts this week, a sort-of travelogue by cartoonist Lucy Knisley and her studio mate Laura Renick-Reinhart.

I’ve become a fan of Knisley’s work in the past year, especially her contribution to Dan Savage’s It Gets Better campaign. It inspired me to write my own comic in response!

HHH found its’ beginnings in a rather unique fashion- Knisley and Renick-Reinhart opened a Kickstarter project to fund a trip to Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure, with the goal of visiting the new Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Florida. The deal was this: if the readers would fund their trip, they’d get to read the comic about the trip. The ladies’ project was a resounding success- they asked for $2,500 dollars… they got over $7,000. Had I been in a position to donate at the time, I certainly would have… but I’ve contented myself with resting on other’s laurels and buying a PDF of the comic after the fact.

As far as the comic pertains to the more lofty stated goal of the strip (connecting their recent break-up woes with significant others to their love of Harry Potter), I thought HHH missed the mark. There are some interesting swipes at the thesis; in particular, I liked the observation Lucy makes about dealing with her logical-thinking ex-boyfriend versus her more emotional travel companion. Still, by and large the “heartbroken” stuff felt shoehorned into the comic and wasn’t my favorite part of the 25 page book.

From the perspective of a travelogue, I enjoyed Horribly Heartbroken at Hogwarts immensely. Part of the goal of this project seemed to be glorying in all things Potter and the authors carry that off with style. I, for one would jump at the chance to pay for Knisley and Renick-Reinhart to take another trip in the future, if it means more comics like this. Ladies, if you’re ever interested in a sequel, I will gladly fund your trip to visit the places in England and Scotland where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.

Download the comic for $3 dollars!

…………………………

Finally, I wanted to share this with all of you. A few months ago, I told you all about my son Elliot’s love of Ralph Consentino’s Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight, to the point where he has the book memorized and will quote it for you in odd places. I got in touch with Ralph and he generously sent Elliot a lovely drawing of the Dark Knight himself.

Ellen is the manager of an art gallery/framing studio and she decided to have both Ralph’s drawing and my own sketch framed… and here’s the result:

A beautiful job, if I do say so myself. I wanted to thank Ralph again here on the blog- it was a genuine thrill for Elliot… and myself!

christmas comics cavalcade: bone holiday special

Posted in christmas comics, commentary with tags , , , , , on December 4, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Comic books and Christmas have a grand tradition, owing much to the time when comics were cheap stocking fodder. That is sadly no longer the case. While most comic companies continue to publish holiday specials, they often clock in at $5 bucks or more; certainly I’d think twice about impulse buying something that expensive.

Despite prices, the tradition continues- Archie regularly publishes their “Stocking Stuffer” digests, and DC and Marvel also routinely crank out yuletide collections. I’m going to take the next month to look at some of my favorites from years’ past. Today we’re looking at

Bone Holiday Special, published as a giveaway in 1993 by comic fan magazine Hero Illustrated.

Continue reading