Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 In Review

It's typical for comics to do retrospectives around this time of year, so I'll do likewise. 2008 was a very good year for the Create a Comic Project. After a number of workshops, it finally found a home for regular sessions. It began its own line of comic books to help educators. And the project broke new ground in its use of modules and reached record numbers of children.

I'm quite happy with the project's current home at the Collegiate YMCA. While I only have 5 students regularly, they (usually) work hard and are quite creative. It's taken me a few months to connect with them, but I think now we have the kind of bond I had with my students at New Haven. They'll do great things in 2009!

When I first started the project, I wanted to publish materials under its name. I'd already published a two page activity guide through Hess Educational Organization in Taiwan, but I wanted something that could reach the general public. With the help of many artists, especially Ryan Estrada and Erin Ptah, I have begun this task with three comic books so far and more to come!

The two biggest events of the year were the Comic Making Tournament II and the National Public Health Week field trip. CMT II was far larger than its predecessor, indicating an upward trend I hope continues for some time. The lessons I learned in events and organizing are helping me greatly in preparing for the third tournament.

The field trip was the first major excursion for the module form of the comic project. Nearly 200 students lead through a field trip at the Children's Museum, making comics even as they experienced the various events. While it wasn't without problems, it proved that the project could be melded seamlessly with almost any educational endeavor. This was shown again during Healthy Holidays and will lay the groundwork for projects in 2009.

Places that sponsored the Create a Comic Project in 2008:

New Haven Public Library
Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
University of Pittsburgh
Association of Schools of Public Health
Collegiate YMCA
Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Northview Elementary
Shadyside Boys and Girls Club
Human Services Center
Braddock Carnegie Library
Squirrel Hill Carnegie Library

The project would not be possible without their support, so many thanks go to them. I'll post more detailed plans for 2009 soon.

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