Monday, January 3, 2011

ENG 176T: "Studies in American and British Literature"

Today was the first day of instruction for my course on American and British comics and "graphic novels." I have a full room of almost 60 people, including one old gaming buddy who is sitting in out of sheer love of comics.

We're beginning with McCloud, since he is as good a guide to reading comics as I am likely to find. As Amy Nyberg and others have said so well, comics literacy is a skill that must be taught and trained like any other kind of literacy. We do not pop out of the womb with the ability to read comics. Even someone who is well-read can be confused when confronted with a comics page. And even if you disagree with everything McCloud has to say -- or find it too simple, or just the beginning of a very long conversation -- his book is a great way to learn how to read comics.

I collected a few other resources on McCloud and his work to help my students, including his presentation for TED, his website, and an interview he did when the collected ZOT! was published a couple years back. I wanted to show them the interview Charles Hatfield did with Scott for Comics Journal, but it does not appear to be online.

If anyone else out there in comics-land has some great McCloud resources they would like to send along, I'd be grateful and delighted to look at them.


  1. Wish I could have been there!

  2. You're doing a fabulous job with the class, and I'm really enjoying it :)