The rich tradition of African storytelling is making the leap to comics By Curt Hopkins

These look awesome, esp:

The Pack, an adventure about of a group of Egyptian werewolves, is written and illustrated by Paul Louise-Julie, an American-born and well-traveled artist of French-Caribbean heritage. In an essay he wrote for Bleeding Cool, Louise-Julie said that as a black man he found the Western mythology of comics and his inability to connect with the white heroes deeply unsatisfying.

Then, while visiting West Africa, a Wolof man introduced Louise-Julie an oral historian. They spent hours absorbed the mythology of an epic story-telling session that reviewed the region’s expansive history. Inspired, Louise-Julie embarked on a years-long research project that led him to design more than 30 civilizations to populate his title. He used J.R.R. Tolkien’s work as a template on how to adapt the mythology to make something brand new and ancient at the same time.

“I thought: If I ever want to see more originally Black fantasy completely unrelated to racism or social commentary, I had to go to the roots,” he wrote.”

Call for submissions: Taking Back Tiger Lilly

From Four Winds Magazine: “This project, Taking Back Tiger Lily, is symbolic and representative of reclaiming Indigenous womanhood from a mainstream dialogue that has excluded the very subject of its conversation. This project seeks submissions from Native American artists, re-creating Tiger Lily to fit a real model of Indigenous womanhood – and in so doing, will reflect that there is no one way to be an Indigenous woman, just as there is no one Tribe, but many Tribes, many models. We seek sketches, paintings, beadwork, photography, poetry, short essays, and prose. We are open to other suggestions. Submissions sought by June 15th, with a zine, “Taking Back Tiger Lily,” to follow July 1st.”

How to Avoid 100% Whiteness in Your Summer Reading List.

Navedeep Singh Dillon has come up with a promising summer reading list “that won’t make your teeth hurt”.

“Summer is here! I know this because the all-white summer reading lists have begun making their rounds. There was an amusing post by Jason Parham at Gawker with the best title: NYT Summer Reading List Finally Achieves 100 percent Whiteness. The sad thing is that the New York Times is not alone in their 100% White list. And in the coming weeks and months there will be plenty of thoroughly white reading lists, or ones with the same one or two People of Color.”

More at:


A great article by Donald Mass. He’s one of my favorite Craft guys. Anyways forcing me to think harder about what I’m writing, and since I’m in the depths of the 3rd rewrite of my current manuscript, this was a great reminder about what makes compelling character, and therefore, compelling story.

“The surest way to stir emotion in readers can be summed up in one word: change.

Change is a universal experience.  We’ve all gone through it.  We cannot avoid it.  The passages of life guarantee it.  Change is necessary, difficult, wrenching and individual.  When a character in a story changes we each recall the emotional earthquakes of our own lives.  We feel for characters, or so we say.  We’re really feeling for ourselves.”

Read the article here:

Review Wednesday: The March, Congressman John Lewis and the Civil Rights Movement (w Giveaway!)

A great interview series on the use of graphic novels in school curriculum to teach social justice and the surprising diversity of graphic novelists.

Strong in the Broken Places

This fairly spectacular Graphic Novel gave me the idea to talk this month about how we build empathy with our young readers for events completely outside their realm of experience. I picked it up because it’s going to be featured beside an article I’m writing for Teaching Tolerance about using GNs in the classroom to teach social justice. And I noticed instantly that it is the best book about the Civil Rights Movement that I have ever read. And by “best book” I mean that while I was reading it, I could FEEL a little bit what it must have been like to be a young person who was a part of that movement. I have read many excellent books and seen many good documentaries about the Civil Rights Movement. I certainly know plenty of the history (although, did you know that comics played a key role in the…

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