Making Curriculum Pop

In One Week: The First-Ever "Graphica in Education" Conference at NY's Fordham University

If you're anywhere near the NY area and work with comics, graphic novels, manga, etc., this is the place to be next week... or perhaps just check out the Web site and follow up with me and others afterward to learn what it was like; if this conference fulfills even half of its promise I can't see why there wouldn't be one next year that many members of this Ning wouldn't want either to attend or present at...

Only recently have descriptions of all the workshops been posted, which may be why the event is not getting much press/attention. Also, since this is the first year Fordham is doing this, it's understandable that the organizers are busy working out all the logistical kinks.

The important thing is that the content is top notch. Indeed, the list of presenters from around the country is staggering, including NCTE figures (Bucky Carter), creative types, and a host of academic luminaries who work in this area (and, oh yeah, the programmers have included me as well). Check out some of the details here:

In the meantime, here is the overview I pulled from the Web site (

"Graphica in Education: Graphic Novels come out from Under the Desk
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Fordham University Graduate School of Education -
Lowenstein Center, Lincoln Center Campus, 113 W. 60th St., New York City

The conference will feature leading speakers in education, libraries and the graphic novel and comics industry. It will host a specialized educational graphica book fair and a new awards ceremony to recognize graphic novels that have made a positive impact in the classroom. The conference will cover issues facing the educators as Graphica in all forms have made a substantial impact on the reading choices of K-12 students. For a great background - read about Comics in the Classroom in Publishers Week.

Keynote Speakers

James Bucky Carter,Ph.D., is an assistant professor of English Education at the Universityof Texas at El Paso. His work focuses on literacy issues and popularculture’s connections to education. His work hasappeared in Marvels and Tales, ImageTexT, and International Journal of Comic Art.He has taught middle school, high school, community college, anduniversity courses. He is the editor of Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels: Page by Page, Panel by Panel, which advises middle and high schoolteachers ideas on how to use graphic novels in their classrooms.

Jon Scieszka is the author of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!, The Stinky Cheese Man, the Time Warp Trio series, and most recently – the whole world of Trucktown. Last January he was named the first National Ambassador of Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress and the Children's Book Council. Jon is Founder of, a web-based literacy program he created to help boys find “stuff” they like to read.


Dr. Michael Bitz, Ed.D., is the founder of The Comic Book Project and co-founder of the Youth Music Exchange is an internationally recognized innovator in education and is the first recipient of the Mind Trust fellowship in educational entrepreneurship. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Early Career Award from Teachers College, Columbia University and is the author of two forthcoming books: Manga High (Harvard Education Press) and When Commas Meet Kryptonite (Teachers College Press).

Jimmy Gownley author of the best-selling Amelia Rules! and a 7-time Eisner Awards nominee, is an advocate for kids’ comics, having co-founded the organization Kids Love Comics which works to promote comic books and graphic novels as a valuable tool for literacy and education in schools, libraries, and at home.

Jim Salicrup Editor-in-Chief PaperCutz a graphic novel publishing company for tweens 8-14, that publishes the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, worked under Stan Lee at Marvel Comics, becoming editor of their flagship Spider-Man line of comic books, launching the career of Todd McFarlane (Spawn), and founding Topps' licensed properties, X-Files, Xena, and Hercules. He is on the board of trustees of the New York Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MOCCA).

Jessica Abel author of the best-selling Graphic Novel La Perdida...."

So please contact me if you have any questions, either about the folks presenting or the conference itself, and it will be my pleasure to follow up.

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Comment by Nick Sousanis on January 25, 2009 at 9:39pm
thanks Peter. It helps, but crap - i have class that day.... have to see what i can do about coming by for some part of it.

Comment by Peter Gutierrez on January 25, 2009 at 2:18pm
Nick, the page with the details that I mention above ( has the full schedule; registration is 8:00-9:00 am and closing remarks seem to finish around 5:00.

Hope that helps.
Comment by Nick Sousanis on January 24, 2009 at 8:47pm

thanks for posting this. Very cool. I'm trying to find out the time for it - probably right in front of my face....

btw, my newer comics are at Thanks for sharing what you have,



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