Friday, August 28, 2009

Comic Books, Students, and You!

*Housekeeping. Please update your RSS feeds. The domain of my blog has changed to*

As I sit and think back, I don't remember the first book [novel] I read. I want to say it was an old novel written about a B-17 gunner who was sick one day and his airplane got shot down over Germany, but I am not sure.

I think back, and try really hard to remember the title, but I keep coming up empty. I took an unofficial poll in my office this morning. I asked everyone what their first novel they had read was. There was only 5 people at work when I asked. No one could really give me a definitive answer. I went back and asked the same people what was their first comic book they read.

Without thinking, I got the most 100% solid answers ever. X-Men issue 57, Batman issue 100, Superman-the one when he died with the green cover. All of these came back to my co-workers.

I remember the first comic book I have ever read. X-Men special edition issue 1. It was amazing. It hooked me on comics. That summer I took all of my extra money and bought comic every week. This is back when they still offered comic books in grocery stores.

This love of comics is exactly what Ken Glanc of the Elyria Comic Book Initiative [EBCI] is banking on. His small non-profit that was born out of an idea in a coffee shop, is now a recognized 501(c)3. Last night he held the first of many open houses to introduce the board and also to recognize who has helped to get his idea off the ground.

What is the concept? Simple. To provide free comics to the masses. To use comics as a tool for literacy and creativity across all age lines. He wants to fight the illiterate demons that pepper the landscape. This is just phase 1. There are many more phases to come. There are talks of a comic book academy somewhere. There are talks of publishing comics for people who would have otherwise had no avenue to do it.

I remember making my first comic book at lunch in 7th grade. I went on to partner with a few other artistic kids and we formed G-Force comics. It wasn't officially incorporated, but the Adventures of Radio Active Rabbit is a character I still have pleasure in drawing for my kids today.

It's with this love of comics and art, that I look forward to working with Ken and his team in the coming weeks, months, and years to bring this passion for writing and the love of art to kids who need it.

Ken's program has just teamed with a local public school system to bring this idea, and curriculum to 6th and 7th graders. Once the pilot program is done, ECBI will look back and get input on what worked, and what didn't.

Ken has a great team of folks with him. I can't wait to share with you the news of all the great things he will be able to do.

Non-profits are inherently poor vessels. Their ability to give is all dependent on your desire to want to help. ECBI has started a website and is accepting donations to help fund future projects.

Right now this is a local program centered out the children of Elyria, Ohio, but this idea is not bound by geography, it is bound only by our imagination. You will notice I have linked ECBI, and please help me in spreading the word of the great program.

This is the community service program that Tangobaby mentioned would come out of nowhere and change a person.


rxBambi said...

That wasn't Catch 22 was it? A little heady for a first novel but it popped into my head right away

Shawnee's Girl said...

That is awesome. Don't forget it will also help bring enjoyment of reading and imagination back to out children as well. I have never been a comic book fan, but I am an AVID reader. (My book reading has only been slowed a little by the new addition :D) I get so much enjoyment out of reading that I wish everyone else did too.

Just Jules said...

hmmm can remember first novel, but not first comic ;) but totally get your point.

I love this idea.

Did you know that is how Hugh Hefner started out? Scribbling comics in his youth?

Vodka Logic said...

Don't remember either but the comic was probably Archie.

Sounds like a great project and good luck, there needs to be more creativity available to kids.


Kelly Muys Wood said...

I think this is brilliant. As someone who has taken much of this year off to focus on volunteering with children, this hits a nerve with me.

Are you looking for comic books too, or just donations?

I would be happy to write this up on my blog and provide a link, if you'd like.

Besides literacy, this encourages an entire generation of future designers and artists.

Keep it up.

p.s. If you decide to expand the program, I'd love to expose the children I work with to this.