I got an awesome email forwarded to me from David Lloyd the other day.
Hello. We met a couple of weeks ago at the Cardiff Expo. We had a lovely chat about Aces Weekly, and you were kind enough to draw an impromptu V on the inside cover of my graph- thank you again.
Duting the conversation, I mentioned that I am a school teacher and that I have used a strip from Aces in class; you were quite pleased by this, and asked me to get in touch to explain how I utilised the strip in my teaching. Well, here I am- sorry it is a bit later than anticiapted, but we’ve had Estyn in the last week (the Welsh equivalent of Ofsted), so is has been a bit busy, but bettter late than never and all that.
The strip that I have used is the lovely Line Story Zero by Paul Maybury.
I have used this comic for a variety of purposes. Firstly, the fact that there is no dialogue is a bit of a gift- my students can write dialogue, etc (normally, I’ve photocopied strips and laboriously tippexed out speech, before photocopying again, etc), engaging with the strip creatively; they also wrote a paragraph from the pov of the main character. There is also the denotative level of engagement- what is going on in this strange and curious story? It is a delight using unusual narratives with the younger children; not far from fairy tales and the anthromorphic fantasy of pre-school books. they are far more open to imaginative ways of telling a story, and unconstrained by the grey, uneventful truth of how things are ‘meant to be’. They like the idea of the guy creating and interacting with the world around him, making a paper plane and flying off in it! (and, for me, the subtext of creativity being powerful and effective is a potent bonus).
Using comic strips is a really useful strategy of engaging children who are lacking confidence where reading is concerned (I refuse to accept that people ‘don’t like’ reading- you may as well say people ‘don’t like’ eating). However, there are also higher order applications; we have discussed the themes that spin out of the story- man’s relationship with his fellow men; the responsibility of creators, and leaders.
All in all, an inspiring narrative, which has been directly responsible for some highly creative and interesting work. Thank you, Mr. Maybury.
Best of luck with the Aces Weekly initiative. I really enjoy it.
You may purchase Line Story Zero via the Aces Weekly website.