Saturday, July 26, 2008

Politics, Comics, and the Classroom

Notice McCain is looking to the right
and Obama to the left.

It is the responsibility of classroom teachers to instruct students on democracy and patriotism, yet that typically manifests itself in the form of daily recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance and a civics examination. Not that either are bad, but there are other ways, more engaging ways, to facilitate learning. Mock elections, historical studies of the founding fathers, creating a classroom constitution, all of these are ways great teachers help kids understand democracy.
After all, our country was founded on democratic principles and it is this democracy that unites us, not culture, race or religion.

Come October 8, IDW Publishing is putting out two full-color, 28-page comic book biographies, one on John McCain and the other on Barack Obama. Each will sell for $3.99 or a flip-book version will also be available, where both are published in one book, for $7.99. Scoop has the … well scoop:

Depicting the presidential nominees’ life, Presidential Material: John McCain, focuses on Senator McCain’s Navy tour, including his time spent as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and his memorable tenure as an Arizona senator. This flag waving graphic novel is written by Andy Helfer, who also authored other graphic novel biographies including Ronald Reagan and Malcolm X, and is illustrated by Stephen Thompson.

Writer Jeff Mariotte, who wrote River Runs Red, portrays Barack Obama’s rise through the Democratic Party in Presidential Material: Barack Obama. Winning the surprising upset victory over Senator Hilary Clinton in the primaries, this event is illustrated by Ted Morgan.

The comics will also be available for download to mobile phones from GoComics. You can order your copies from your local comic book store or from Presidential Comics.


Rachel (a-big-apple) said...

Maybe this is my education in picturebook interpretation showing, but I find it problematic that they're looking in different directions. It's clever politically, but as far as composition goes, McCain is looking "forward", into the story, smiling, his body position very open and ready to face anything that might come in the pages to follow. Obama, on the other hand, has turned away from the direction of the story and is frowning, as though he wants to deny the story from continuing--he doesn't look ready to move onto the next page, as it were, and the wind blowing the flag behind him accents that "turned away" impression. I'm sure nobody's opinion is going to be changed by the cover of these comics, but it still bugs me.

Mary Lee said...

Never mind Obama and McCain for a minute -- you've won an award!