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Bam! Pow! Graphic Novels, Comics, & Manga, oh my! Exploring Visual Literacy.

A presentation on graphic novels and visual literacy - what it is and why it matters. Presented April 16 2013 at the St. Thomas University Library.

Gricel D

on 11 April 2014

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Transcript of Bam! Pow! Graphic Novels, Comics, & Manga, oh my! Exploring Visual Literacy.

But aren't they all comics?
“all graphic novels are comic books, but not all comic books are graphic novels” (Burmark, 2008, p.31)
Graphic what?
Graphic novels... kind of like comics, kind of like manga, but in a class all of their own.

We'll talk about the differences in a moment, but here are some facts...

After the US, Franco-Belgian and Japanese publishers are the top producers of graphic novels (Tabachnik, 2009).
1 in 5 books sold in France is a graphic novel (Burmark, 2008).
Many early American comic artists were members of minority groups and often addressed issues of race and society in their stories (yeah, even in superhero comics).
Graphic Novels, Comics, & Manga,
oh my!

Exploring Visual Literacy
So what is visual literacy?
Visuals are everywhere. You read visually every time you see an ad, a billboard, a sign...

Being visually literate means knowing how to read the signs.

Graphic novels put visual literacy into high-gear... You need to understand what's happening in the text AND the images to really read a graphic novel.
Graphic novels in the classroom
For the professors out there...
Where do I start?
Check out Radioactive!

Or try one of the selections in our new graphic novel collection.
These novels range from fiction to nonfiction, and include works that explore history, society, politics, world events, science fiction, and more.
Bam! Pow!
Presented by
Gricel Dominguez
University Library
April 2013
Bobcat Read 2013
Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout
by Lauren Redniss

A graphic novel on the lives and discoveries of Marie and Pierre Curie.

Available at the STU library.
“reading today has become a hybrid textual-visual experience”

(Tabachnik, 2009, p.4)
“comics, a medium that straddles the border between literary and visual art”

(Rabkin, 2009, p.45)
“signs are everywhere--for those who can read them. Because of television, advertising, and the Internet, the primary literacy of the twenty-first century is visual”

(Burmark, 2008, p.5)
“Today the term ‘comic book’ describes a format that uses a combination of frames, words, and pictures to convey meaning and tell a story.”

(Burmark, 2008, p.31)
What's the difference?
Graphic Novels
highly popular and readable.
attracting plenty of scholarly
explore culture, politics,
society, heroism, magic,
everyday life...
lengthy story-lines
1 closed story arc
complex literary themes
high quality hardcovers
short, magazine quality prints
multiple story arcs
lengthy publication runs
monthly publication
some stories are bound into single or multi-volume graphic novels
Japanese comic medium
lots of cultural nuances present in the writing and art
lengthy publication runs
published in high quality softbound volumes
read Right-to-Left
Graphic novels are complex visual/literary works that
merged from the comic tradition but explore themes and subjects that require greater analysis and engagement with the

so what does that mean?
“Teachers use graphic novels because they enable the struggling reader, motivate the reluctant one, and challenge the high-level learner” (Burmark, 2008, p.32).

“there is one format that covers a variety of genres, addresses current and relevant issues for teens, stimulates young people’s imagination, and engages reluctant readers: graphic novels” (as cited in Carter, 2007, p.10).

“If we really want our students to become lifelong readers, we need to ensure that they have the opportunity to do so and the choice to read what they find interesting” (Fisher & Frey, 2007, p.30).
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