Monday, August 6, 2012
Kyle Baker, Reginald Hudlin, and Rob Guillory
This fall, I'll teach a course comprised of 20 first-year college students--all African American men. We'll talk about subjects such as getting adjusted to college, improving writing skills, reading literature, etc. And we'll also spend some time here and there throughout the semester talking about the comic book work of Reginald Hudlin, Kyle Baker, and Rob Guillory.
We'll look at Nat Turner by Baker, Who is the Black Panther? written by Hudlin with artwork by John Romita, Jr., and Chew Vol. 1., written by John Layman with artwork by Guillory. When it comes to roles models, people often present young black men with successful politicians, lawyers, athletes, entertainers, or businessmen. I'll mix it up a little by presenting the guys in my course with a group of comic books artists and writers whose work I have enjoyed.
The fellas and I will have discussions about the three books, and I'll provide them with writing prompts and see how they respond to the stories and drawings. I'm mainly wanting to provide them with an option beyond the typical literature and essays that we cover. I'm thinking that exposure to the blend of writings and illustrations that comic books offer will assist some of the visual learners in particular.
I'm hoping too that our coverage of these works allow us to expand our thinking about creativity, collaboration, and the combined use of words and images to tell stories and communicate ideas. I'm excited about what we'll come up with and what these young guys will help me see that I've been missing as I've read the works alone.
In the coming months, I'll keep you posted on how our reading experiences go.
• A Notebook on comic books
• A Notebook on Rob Guillory