One of my running gags in my Boolean Squared comic is that the boys want to see a legendary “dancing chicken” video on YouTube (or MeTube, for them). But all the firewalls block it and their teachers sees no value in a dancing chicken (do you?).
Anyway, my series on The Flat World continues this morning over at the webcomic home at MassLive, the online home to the large regional newspaper. Take a look if you get a moment. (And I believe the comic will start running on Thursdays starting this week, too. Here is the RSS feed if you want automatic updates)
This week, my webcomic strip tackles one aspect of connecting with other students in the Flat World: once a geek, always a geek. See for yourself at Boolean Squared. (Or grab the RSS feed here.) Next week, Boolean Squared goes twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays).
Meanwhile, I also got a nice mention for Boolean Squared over at The Daily Cartoonist, who writes about webcomics on a regular basis. My comic was part of his weekly roundup.
And, if you haven’t gone there yet, I have set up a website for my other, longer comic pieces. I call it Kevin’s Comics because I am trying to be very original. (hahaha)
I loved the concept of the 24 Hour Comic Project that I took part in a few weeks ago that I decided to do it again on my own. This time, I trace my own development within the sphere of politics and urge folks in the United States to get out and vote. I am sharing a few of the frames here and hope that you will wander over to my new site for longer comics that I am now creating,in addition to my home for Boolean Squared.
Well, I did it. In a 24 hour block of time that started yesterday morning with an idea, I created a comic book novella (to call it a graphic novel might be to give it more creedance than it deserves). The book runs 44 frames (over 22 pages) and is called “Brothers on Ice,” as it tells the story of the time when my brother pulled me out of a frozen river. I also tried to capture some of the “place” of my childhood a bit.
Really, though, the idea comes from watching the strong relationships of my own children. It has made me think about my brother when we were kids.
So, after finishing up the book, I delivered it (and the one created by my 10-year-old son) back to the comic book store, where they will send them into the 24 Hour Comic project people, who are archiving all of the comics that were created during the event. Pretty neat.
While my son used pencil and comic book formatting paper, I used Comic Life and MS Paint. One thing I just noticed is that you can export your comic out of Comic Life in any number of formats, including as an HTML site and also as a movie/video. That is pretty neat. So I am going to try to narrate Brothers on Ice and see where that takes me. (And, I am thinking, I would love to get my students creating a comic strip, export as a movie and add their own voices. That could be a powerful idea.)
The 24 Hour Comic project is a worldwide event in which people gather to try to create a 24-frame comic in 24 hours of time. The project is promoted by many in the comic industry, such as Scott McCloud, as an interesting event for writers and illustrators.
So, as I have launched myself into the world of comics this year with Boolean Squared, I figured: why not take the plunge? Our local comic store — Modern Myths — is hosting folks all day long and is providing some basic materials. My older son also is interested and we may venture down there.
This morning, I drafted out my story — a true tale of the time when my older brother saved me from an icy river (which I once wrote about here). I’ll see how it goes today. I now have 23 hours left!
As I mentioned, last weekend, I headed off to Missouri to give a keynote talk at a conference at the Prairie Lands Writing Project. I also created a shortened version for their website and I figured I would share that out with you. (Actually, this is the main keynote and the smaller presentation on using Web 2.0 in Education I will share out later).
My friend, Glenn, is an inspiration to me for his work and thinking around comics. As another member of the National Writing Project, Glenn has published a regular webcomic with his regional newspaper that looks at local politics. It was called Nota Bene. I say “was” because after 100 comics, he is now moving on to a new comic strip project.
But he continues to think about ways to push the medium, and this week, he shared an experiment that moves comics into video, with narration. He has taken an issue — Merit Pay for teachers, and the possibilities of competition over students — and crafted this video. The voices are sort of creepy, which is the point.