Comics Artists to the Rescue!

By | Wednesday, March 18, 2020 Leave a Comment
One of the challenges people face these days is that many people are suddenly finding that their kids are no longer in school all day. Other public spaces where they might hang out -- friends' houses, libraries, fast food places, etc. -- are largely off limits as well. With their travel restricted often to their own property, it should come as no surprise that people are quickly growing concerned about what to have the kids do all day. Even assuming a privileged-scenario where the parents/guardians are able to work from home and are thus able to monitor the kids, they still need to find something for them to do all day. And that's where a number of comic artists are coming to the rescue!

Complete This Comic
Jarrett Lerner, creator of Geeger the Robot Goes to School (among other books!), has put together a series of "Complete This Comic!" activities. He has provided on his website a number of partially completed one-page comics; it's then up to the reader to write/draw the missing panels, including the conclusion. He also has a number of writing prompts -- often an amusing drawing with a question attached. "What book is this robot reading?" "What is this slime monster thinking about?"

But maybe the kid can't draw! That's okay; Steve Ellis is here to help! Yesterday, he started “Monster Art School with Steve Ellis.” This will be a series of Facebook Live videos in which he teaches various drawing skills. Ellis stated, "The first session will be from 2-2:45 EST... for 8-12 year olds. I’ll be showing how I draw and basic steps and rules of drawing. If you follow along, you should end each session with something fun.

I’ll be doing a second session from 3-3:45 EST for more advanced students from ages 13 to 113. I’ll still be starting with basics but we’ll be moving more quickly and hopefully making some more serious looking work. We’ll try to cover things like constructive figure drawing, drawing humans from life and photos, and fun stuff like dragons and monsters." The responses to the first one were all very positive from what I could tell. Check out his introduction here.

Jim McClain, a former schoolteacher, has taken a more academic approach for people who want to ensure their young ones are able to continue learning. (While having fun, of course!) He's made a digital edition of his first Solution Squad story, "Primer," and the accompanying prime number sieve lesson free to everyone. The material is targeted at 4th-8th grade students.

I don't doubt there are plenty of other comic artists doing similar things to help kids stuck home from school entertained/educated/generally occupied; these are just a few examples I happened to catch. Feel free to note any more in the comments below -- we can make this a resource for parents and guardians that are at their wits' end!
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