- Written work is rarely successful the first draft, or even the first try. NEVER get discouraged. Just stay open to constructive criticism and constant editing;
- Structure is really important in writing graphic novels. Writers/illustrators must structure the story, the panels, the pages, and they must structure their working time and day;
- Panelists agreed that developing 'real' characters was the trick to successful work and readers must be able to relate to them;
- While writing the story is important, equally important is being able to 'lay out the story' so art, text and panels flow smoothly.
- Classroom attention should be directed not only to literacy building (both visual and verbal literacy), but to teaching executive functions such as structure and organization, attention to detail, and the encouragement of creativity and creative alternatives.
- Is Superman out of date? Has his role of super-hero been replaced by awesome but ego-centric, crime-fighting anti-heroes?
- Why is it that we frequently ask about Superman's place in our culture today, but Spidey, Batman ("The Dark Knight"), XMen, and so many other superheroes' 'potency' in our world of fantasy and fiction are rarely questioned?
In fiction, an antihero (sometimes antiheroine as the feminine) is generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is an "everyman" type of character, in contrast to the larger-than-life qualities of an archetypal hero. The term dates to 1714, although literary criticism identifies the term in earlier literature...
Unlike traditional heroes, antiheroes are not as fabulous as the traditional ones. They may be corrupt, oppressive, etc., or may merely have no unusual qualities whatsoever (the common definition). They are not villains but not necessarily heroes. They may do bad things but are not evil. They may fight villains, but not for the reason of justice, or if it is for the cause of justice will take an "ends justify the means" stance. Their actions are motivated by their own personal desires, such as revenge.
In my teaching (and as a parent) I have found that kids do like heroes. They like heroes such as Harry Potter .... but, they also enjoy villains.
But by age 12, I think something happens, young adults today, in my experience, actually are drifting more towards the anti-heroes. The Twilight characters, Hunger Games, are full of anti-heroes. Furthermore we love Spidy and Batman who are vigilates - who take punishing crime into their own hands and have no qualms about murdering 'the bad guys' without trial by jury. For further thought and discussion, please leave your opinions in the comments and go watch Joe Kelly's Superman vs. The Elite which addresses this question with grace and humor, action and reflection.
Joe Kelly's Superman vs. The Elite, which came out last month and is available on Blue Ray and streaming on the web. It puts the question of hero vs. anti-hero out in the open for full question and evaluation. He empowers Superman to wrestle with his goody-two-shoes image and enables him to rise as a more modern but true-to-self hero.
To whet your taste buds, here's a super interview with Joe Kelly - a truly AWESOME superhero in my humble opinion - who claims his work is dark, while I find it wonderfully empowering and uplifting:
And, a trailer...
As a leaning optimist, I'd like to think Superman and true-blooded "good" heroes are not dead. And, while some flaws are essential to make them real, I believe that not only is there a place for these role models, there is a vital need for them. I find so many of us floundering in lives of cynicism, frustrated with our leaders, with politics and economics and need the larger-than-life fluffy role models to aspire to.... That's my take...what's yours?
Both the interview and the film are well worth the visits and views and I'd love to hear what you think about them and the changing role of today's super-heroes. Please leave your views and takes on this subject (and tell us who your favorite heroes/anti-heroes are) in the comments.
Thanks for the visit, please come again!