Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Language of Comics

It’s great to be able to work for the university and also be able to attend classes with a dynamic group of students. I confess that when I signed up for English 232: Graphic Narrative with Professor Alex Beringer, I thought that I had it made! Reviewing the syllabus revealed that we would be reading and discussing comics that I had read years before most of the kids in the class had even been born. Did I mention that I had it made? X-Men? Batman? Chris Ware and other more current graphic novels from the last few years? I was in my element! Wrong. Graphic Narrative began to shift my perception about books that “I knew”. I've seen the worlds created by my favorite artists and writers transformed yet again by the knowledge I’ve learned in this class. I mentioned earlier that I work for the university, so I have to play the role of student and University employee. Being a part of the team at Carmichael Library, I became a liaison for this class project: The Language of Comics. I was tasked with assisting students in learning photo editing skills to process images that would be used in the displays. I also assisted the class with cutting and spray mounting the completed posters. Over a couple weeks’ time, two sections of Dr. Beringer’s class came together as a team to create the museum style show that is hanging in Carmichael Library from April 12 thru May 10. With Dr. Beringer’s instruction, my peers and I have created informative and entertaining posters, curated museum display artifacts, and set up digital media displays. This exhibit is a teaching tool that provides UM’s students, faculty, and staff an introduction to graphic novels and comics and the methods used to tell stories within the pages of what we call comics.

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