Saturday, September 25, 2010

Happy Accident

I find that Saturday mornings are a good time to get lost on the internet. With a little of that extra weekend time, I'll follow this link or that like so many bread crumbs and I usually end up in some pretty interesting places. This morning was a good example. I actually started out on facebook marveling at the juxtaposition of my libertarian tea party friend's status with those of my much more liberal-leaning buddies and wondering how I became the fulcrum that balances such opposing views when I noticed that one of these characters had liked something called Coiled Comics.

Did I click on the button to get out of the sticky middle or was there genuine interest there? It was a little of both, to be honest. Over the last few years, I have been working to introduce more opportunities to create graphic pieces in my class and so I do have an interest in comics. Plus, kids love reading them-- In my experience, both the Bone and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series can be classified as genuine gateways to more text-based selections for many kids.

Anyway, I was not disappointed this morning. Coiled is a weekly serialized web-based comic that has a sixth grade boy as its protagonist. It looked like something my students would like as readers, but also something that I could use as a model text for them as writers. I was only concerned that, since it isn't finished, the series might take a turn for the inappropriate either in terms of violence, language, or even sex.

With that in mind I promptly e-mailed the co-authors. It was only a few hours later that I received Peter Gruenbaum's reply: My personal philosophy is that people should be able to tell good, exciting stories without the level of violence that are found in many young adult novels. The prologue is as violent as it will get, and the story will have no sexuality or swear words in it -- they just aren't relevant to the plot. He also invited me to stay in touch as to how the kids like it.

How cool is that?

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