Assistant Professor of English Education at the University of Texas
James Bucky Carter
The article "Going Graphic" by James Bucky Carter sets out to show how graphic novels and comics should be integrated into existing curricula and libraries to benefit both reluctant readers and students who are already motivated readers. By discussing how some teachers believe that graphic novels are too risky to bring into class, how others resist any form of new literacy, and finally how many think that comics are only useful for remedial readers the author concludes that there is a lot of misinformation concerning the potential of graphic novels. The message is clearly understood and it is an interesting read.
The author successfully introduces some clever bits of information about the long history of the form when he says that: "sequential art narratives date back to the earliest cave paintings." He also brings in the observations of librarians who noticed "drastic increases in circulation" once comics and graphic novels were introduced to their
libraries. Finally he deals with the misconception that comic books are for children only by reminding teachers who make that assumption to read every single panel before they decide to bring them in the classroom.
I am in general agreement with all the author's stated positions and I believe that this article would be very useful for many teachers who just like me are looking for ways of motivating their students. Overall I would rate it as a great read.