I was at a local high school this week speaking with the pupils about comics. Specific examples I looked at were Jeff Smith’s Bone, and the upcoming Twilight series.
Twilight seems to be Marmite for teenagers. I also took a selection of library books including Alex Ross’ Marvels, Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Matt Groening’s School is Hell, Alan Moore and David Gibbons’ Watchmen.
They were good bunch of kids. They were not all that clued up on comics. I started with “Does everyone know what a comic is?” and “Can you name three comics?” Answers given were “anime”, “Spider-Man”, “Beano”, “Marvel”. There was one enthusiastic cry of “I love manga”.
I also took them through a five minute exercise – using a 9 panel page to do a comic translating a movie.
I handed out some books for the last ten minutes so they could peruse them. They also each got a copy of Metaphrog’s First Men on Mercury to keep. This got quite a few laughs when they were reading it.
The talk went well, apparently the kids told their teachers it was “awesome”, so they were definitely interested.