Nall, Alex – Are Comic Books Real?
It just occurred to me that some of you may be reading this without already being familiar with any of Alex’s previous comics, so I’ll just get this out of the way: no, this is not a lengthy graphic novel about that nature of existence and whether or not anything we experience is actually reality. The title comes from close to the end of the book, when a student in Alex’s class asks him that literal question. From there it turns into as philosophical a discussion you can get when dealing with… third graders maybe? I don’t recall the exact grade he teaches. It’s also questions that he’s asked himself, which leads to some serious introspection when he’s home. Oh, you were probably also curious about the book in general, right? Let me start again. Alex has been chronicling his time as a teacher for several years now, and this one is maybe the best of the bunch. Full disclosure: I have no kids and all I know about school is based on my memories, but I do think that his book would be an excellent start for any teacher out there who’s looking to get their students interested in art. This was done in the pre-covid world; I’m really curious how he and his students handled things a couple of years after this book. It’s also a peek into the highlights and lowlights of a school year, so the stories can wander a bit. I mean that in the best possible way! Subjects include finding the source of that terrible smell (and handling it as diplomatically as possible), how he’ll be remembered by his students, accidentally making fun of Luigi, the bestest climber, trying to help students with their math problems when he was a terrible math student, learning from his students, trying to keep them focused while not shorting their recess time, making a class play, and getting schooled about where polar bears hang out. There were also a couple of short pieces that referenced how he wasn’t able to call Halloween by name to his students, which is just bizarre to me. Maybe he teaches at a religious school? Even so, that’s an unstoppable juggernaut to kids and you’re not going to make them forget about dressing up and getting free candy just by leaving the name out. Not his fault, as he’s just following the rules, but wow, what a fantastically stupid rule. Anyway, this has a lot to offer students who are interested in comics, and there are enough stories told from his grown-up angle that any adult can get a lot out of it too. Also I just lifted the book, so clearly comics are real. Duh! $20