Malta Comic Con 2013 guest: Chris J. Thompson – Comics as an Educational Tool

[ 0 ] 25/11/2013 |

Facebook Cover PhotoIt’s long been recognized that words and pictures complement one another within an educational setting, so one of the growing trends internationally has been to look at how to bring comic books more fully into the classroom. These aren’t the traditional comics your parents read, featuring goofy heroes wearing their underwear on the outside – today’s comics encompass far more.

One of the most heartening things about this initiative is the fact that the most strenuous efforts are being made from the inside of both industries. Comic publishers and creators are looking at how they can get their books into schools and public libraries, but more than that, teachers and librarians are looking at how they bring about this change from the inside.

In Sheffield, England, one librarian has started the Stan Lee Excelsior Awards to promote the reading and inclusion of graphic novels (the modern term for comic books) in school libraries. Even Stan Lee, the publicly recognised face of comics, has lent has name and likeness to help promote these awards. Such initiatives are springing up all over the world, and there’s a similar grassroots movement growing in Malta today.

At last year’s Malta Comic Con they hosted a dedicated panel to discuss this issue with a selection of publishers, creators, teachers and academics. It was also one of the most highly attended panels of the convention, which is a testament to the passion and interest the topic inspires. With luminaries such as Dr Gorg Mallia at the forefront of this movement, I expect it will only be a matter of time before the stigma against comics falls away and it becomes accepted as a valid educational tool.

Category: Past events

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