I love to write comic books, but sharing my love of storytelling and helping young people find their voice is even more important to me. The biggest thrill for me as an editor is helping a writer find his or her story. Sometimes that’s done with simple suggestions to action or pacing, but other times, it’s more about discussing the heart of the story and uncovering why the writer wants to tell this particular story at this particular time.
While guiding a writer is rewarding, talking about the creative process with younger kids is, in a way, even more exciting. I recently spent 30 minutes with my son’s first grade class, talking about the process behind making comic books, and I’ve got to tell you, I have never felt more alive or at home. Seeing those boys and girls wide-eyed with excitement, eager to learn about creating, absolutely energized me. Some were interested in the cool art, while others were captivated by the scary ghost story, but all of them were taken by the idea that anyone can create a comic book. All you have to do is try.
Anything that gets a child reading is a good thing. And if it’s something that also helps them find their creative, artistic side, then that’s even better. Which is why I want to give away copies of House of Fear: The Curse of Cottonwood Ct.
I’m happy to say that our first Kickstarter campaign has reached its funding goal. I had originally planned to provide a few simple stretch goals for backers: adding a PDF of the script to the Deluxe Digital tier, improving the paper quality of the printed comic, and providing a preview PDF of House of Fear issue 2. Instead of making those stretch goals, I’ve gone ahead and added all of that to the campaign. Those will be included regardless of the final funding number.
So now I want do something a little more fun with those stretch goals. For every $400 over the funding goal, I will send 15-30 copies of House of Fear (enough for the entire class) to a teacher or librarian who has backed the campaign. I’ll also work with that individual to see if I can participate in the class in some way, either in person or via Skype or a pre-recorded video. Depending on the age group and class topic, we can talk about the art, the storytelling, or the collaboration process. We can discuss how to read comics, how to make them, or, since we’ve got a scary comic here, we can even talk about fears and how to overcome them. I want to help bring comics into the classroom, and I’m willing to provide any help that I can.
So if you’re a teacher or librarian who thinks comics can be a benefit to your classroom, please let me know. Or if you know of a teacher who might be interested in bringing comics to his or her classroom or library, send them to the Kickstarter campaign or have them drop me an email. And please share the Kickstarter link with friends and family, too. The more support the project gets, the more comics I can send to classrooms.