One Graphic Novella in 24 hours

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.)

Peace (in frames),
Kevin

The 24 Hour Comic Project

I’m jumping in and hoping for the best.

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!

Peace (in comics),
Kevin

An Audio Adventure Story Collage


(this is an illustration from one of the adventure stories)

Yesterday, my students chose a section of their adventure stories to share and we created a collective podcast of their readings from each class. I love this idea of an audio collage, and students were quite interested to hear the bits and pieces of each other’s stories, wondering about the rest of the tales.

Give a listen:

Stories from First Period

Peace (in voice),
Kevin

A Rafting Adventure

We took our sixth graders on a white water rafting adventure last week and it was a blast! We taught them all about teamwork and cooperation and working towards a goal (the Class III rapids). The weather was perfect and the trees were in the midst of Autumn change.

Here is a video I made for them:


Peace (in the rapids),
Kevin

Days in a Sentence: the musical, part 2

As anyone trying to blog with Edublogs knows, last week was a difficult time. The entire network was in the midst of change to a new server system and it was difficult at times to get to a blog to comment. Although there was grumbling in the forums, I still think Edublogs is a powerful network and that the push for upgrades shows foresight by James Farmer and company. I know I don’t want to be part of a network that just stands still.

So I asked Amy, who hosted last week’s Day in a Sentence (see the results here), to consider doing it again this week and she graciously agreed. Amy continues with her theme from last week, which is to boil down your week or a day in your week, with music and lyrics in mind.

We hope you consider joining us over at Amy’s place for this week’s Day in a Sentence.

Here is my submission:

My Sentence: I can’t help but wonder what it must be like to be a stock broker these days, wandering the wreckage of the economy.

Reflection: And this reminds me of a song that I wrote a few years ago with my older band. The song is called: The Stockbroker’s Blues.

Listen to the song

THE STOCKBROKER’S BLUES

I got the stocks
I got the bonds
I’ve got the whiskey
to tie one on
I’ve got the money
I’ve got the gold
I’ve got companies down on their knees
being sold

You know it’s funny
these games we play
All of that money
Bound to drive a man insane

I’ve got the mansions
I’ve got the cars
I’m laughing and smoking
Cuban cigars
Living the high life
Making the calls
Hoping and praying the market
doesn’t fall

You know it’s funny
these games we play
All of that money
Bound to drive a man insane

Now I’ve got nothing
I lost it so fast
One day I’m up
and the next day I’ve crashed
Five-cent deposits
Thunderbird wine
That’s how I spend my days,
killing time

You know it’s funny
these games we play
All of that money
Bound to drive a man insane

Peace (in days),
Kevin

K12 Online Conference (and NotK12Conference)

This coming week, the 2008 K12 Online Conference ramps up into high gear with the start of presentations and if you have ever wanted to explore new tools and learn about integration of technology into education at a higher level, this free conference might be just the thing for you. The online event is full of interesting topics and workshops and best of all, it is archived on the K12 Online site, so there is no rush on your part. Delve in when you can. You can even participate in your pajamas.

Here is what piques my interest this year:

  • Web 2.0 Tools to Amplify Elementary Students’ Creativity and Initiative
    Jackie Gerstein
  • Games in Education
    Sylvia Martinez
  • Connecting Classrooms Across Continents: Planning and Implementing Globally Collaborative Projects
    Kim Cofino and Jen Wagner
  • Monsters Bloom in Our Wiki
    Ann Oro and Anna Baralt
  • Film School for Video Podcasters
    Mathew Needleman
  • The Lie of Community: The True Nature of the Network
    Bud Hunt

Meanwhile, Bud is also leading a complimentary concept: The NotK12Conference, which I hope to gather more information about in the near future. I told Bud that we could shift the Day in a Sentence idea over to the Unconference, and he liked that idea. I’ll chat with him about coordinating that effort and broadening the scope of Day in a Sentence.

Peace (in sharing),
Kevin

PS — Last year, Bonnie and I presented on our Collaborative ABC Movie Project and the workshop is still there for viewing, if you are interested. Go to the ABC Movie Presentation site.

A PhotoFridays’ Adventure

I don’t always blog about it, but the PhotoFridays project that Bonnie started up continues to be a source of great interest. Simply put, participants (and you are invited!) add photos via Flickr to the PhotoFridays group, and then write comments and share ideas, etc. It’s a nice way to mix the visual with the written word.

Bonnie has now launched a project within PhotoFridays in which we are mailing around a pair of California Raisin figurines. When we get them, we take photos of them in our environment and then mail them off to the next person (I said it is sort of like a Flat Stanley project).

When I got the little dudes the other day, I also wrote a short, first-person narrative of their visit, and I am hoping others will follow my lead and do the same, adding the stories both to the PhotoFridays site and also in paper form into the envelope. At the end, it might be neat to see the entire collection.

Here was one of my photos:

And my narrative:

Arrived yesterday. Sick of being stuck inside this envelope. And tired of hearing my brother practice his saxophone. If he plays the melody to Tequila one more time, I am going to squeeze the last bits of grape juice from his body and leave his skin behind. Before the envelope was even opened, I heard a lot of commotion. This must be a busy house, I thought, and I warned my brother. He ignored me and started to work on some Ornette Coleman free jazz lines, which also drives me crazy. Finally, some dude opened us up and took us out. Fresh air, at last. I looked outside the window and noticed all of the trees were different colors. This must be New England, I told my brother. In the autumn, the leaves go from green to red, yellow and orange. Beautiful, man, was all he could say. He so much wants to be the hipster. The dude who took us out of the package them lined us up next to a comic book. A comic book! What are we? Some playthings? The picture on the cover was some scrawny guy, looking like he was running for president. Click. Then, the guy puts us on top of some blocks that were hung on the wall. I noticed some musical notations, and so did my brother. Cool, man, my brother said, and then started to play some Grover Washington Jr. Now, that I didn’t mind. Click. I figured we had some time, but then this guy stuffs us right back into the envelope and starts writing on the outside. Hey, man, that pen hurts! I wonder where he is sending us this time …

If you want to be a recipient of the traveling raisins, just let Bonnie know (you can find info at the PhotoFridays site, including Bonnie’s email).

Peace (in sharing),
Kevin