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Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:51 am UTC
by joshuahwang
So I just read the first issue of the Action Philosophers. It's a wonderful little graphic novel that describes the lives and works of some great thinkers throughout history. (If you are interested, I even reviewed it on my site.)

I was wondering if you knew of any other graphic novels/comics with a nice mixture of information and entertainment. Bonus points if someone famous is depicted as a wrestler.

(I'm going to be saying "PLATO SMASH!" at every opportunity.)

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:58 am UTC
by JayDee
I noticed a series of "Astro Boy meets ..." at my local shop not long ago, but I haven't checked it out. They had "Astro Boy meets Albert Einstien" and "Astro Boy meets Helen Keller" (which I keep meaning to pick up) there.

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:43 pm UTC
by Thadlerian
A nice, educational webcomic: Freefall (http://freefall.purrsia.com/grayff.htm)

Treats lots of scientific and philosophical matters - in space!

Bonus: Sweet, family-friendly humour all the way.

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:26 pm UTC
by Endless Mike
There's a graphic novel adaptation of the 9/11 Commission's report that's supposed to be pretty good. The creators did another one about the war in Iraq, I believe.

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:30 am UTC
by KOSMOSX7
I actually bought two autographed copies of the 3 vol. set of Action Philosophers directly from the creators themselves. I picked up the first set at NYC's MoCCA Art Fest. And the second at NY Comic-Con.

The creators' next step was to do a comics series on US presidents (ugh), but they got the brighter idea of making a comic about the *history of comics* instead (thank god for that). I've been meaning to take a look at it, but I'm waiting for it to go to trade.

As far as suggestions go, I'm surprised no one has mentioned Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics, which are basically visual treatises into the sequential art medium. And just to throw it out there, two of my friends run a blog where they review non-fiction comics at, well, Non-Fiction Comics.

Some of the books they review overlap with the educational category. They also occasionally stumble across stuff that you'd only find online, like that comic manual of Google Chrome (also done by Scott McCloud) or stuff on the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, instead of just on paper.

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 6:40 am UTC
by Zohar
Hmmm, I see no one has mentioned Maus, so you should read that.

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:18 pm UTC
by Chfan
Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe and Cartoon History of the Modern World. These were the books that got me interested in history in the first place.

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:35 am UTC
by KOSMOSX7
Zohar wrote:Hmmm, I see no one has mentioned Maus, so you should read that.

I wouldn't drop Maus into this thread, since it's an illustrated memoir. (Though truth be told, I've never read Maus, nor do I have any desire to.)

I'd rather get around to Will Eisner's The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which is instructive, and similar to an illustrated documentary.

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:09 am UTC
by steewi
KOSMOSX7 wrote:
Zohar wrote:Hmmm, I see no one has mentioned Maus, so you should read that.

I wouldn't drop Maus into this thread, since it's an illustrated memoir. (Though truth be told, I've never read Maus, nor do I have any desire to.)


I wouldn't discount the educational value of an illustrated memoir. I learnt a lot about the history of Iran/Persia from reading Persepolis.

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:12 am UTC
by KOSMOSX7
steewi wrote:
KOSMOSX7 wrote:
Zohar wrote:Hmmm, I see no one has mentioned Maus, so you should read that.

I wouldn't drop Maus into this thread, since it's an illustrated memoir. (Though truth be told, I've never read Maus, nor do I have any desire to.)


I wouldn't discount the educational value of an illustrated memoir. I learnt a lot about the history of Iran/Persia from reading Persepolis.

I read Persepolis too, and saw the film.

No one is discounting the "educational value" of Maus; it's just not educative comics. You may have missed the point... though after some thought, I'll just assume that you're taking the term "educational" subjectively, while I see it as a market category. (And I'm willing to bet good money you probably have no experience within the publishing industry.)

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:02 pm UTC
by Jesse
Nice and condescending as usual KOSMOS.

"(And I'm willing to bet good money you probably have no experience within the publishing industry.)"

Surprisingly, I doubt the OP is either, so it's probably not the most useful thing. Especially since his actual statement was:

"I was wondering if you knew of any other graphic novels/comics with a nice mixture of information and entertainment."

I'd say Maus has a decent mixture of information and entertainment and was thus a good suggestion. But, y'know, how about we let the OP decide for himself, eh?

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2009 11:34 pm UTC
by KOSMOSX7
Heh. No one's stopping him.

And what kind of self-purported, cultured reviewer would the OP be, if he's never heard of Maus? (Hey, *you* suggested it.)

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:46 am UTC
by steewi
You're right. I have no experience in the publishing industry. Should I have before entering a thread?
/snark

Yes. We were working under different definitions of "educational". I understood educational in a more general sense of "I can learn something of educational value and generally trust the information contained therein". With the different definition, what I said makes less sense.

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:32 pm UTC
by smw543
If I may be so obnoxious, I'll point out that Maus definitely does fit the standard definition of educational. The confusion may have come from the fact that it seems too good to be educational.

My Western Civ. professor actually made it assigned reading to supplement the WWII/Holocaust part of the class. The ratio of information gained for time spent reading is a bit low, but if you're interested in the topic you'll still learn quite a bit (it was actually the source of a good chunk of the questions on the final, all of which were fact based, e.g.: what was the largest concentration camp called, what kind of gas did they use, who were the kapos, etc.)

Insta-EDIT: I guess I am that obnoxious; I misread what KOSMOS said about differing definitions. It's probably safe to assume that Maus wasn't made to inform people about the Holocaust.

Insta-EDIT2: Although I would like to flex my nerd muscles by pointing out that Spiegelman says on several occasions (both within the story and in real life) that he wants everything to be accurate in order to set things straight, such as regarding French involvement in the Holocaust. And the book has maps![/irrelevant]

Re: Educational Graphic Novel Suggestions

Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:15 am UTC
by KOSMOSX7
steewi wrote:You're right. I have no experience in the publishing industry. Should I have before entering a thread?
/snark

Not at all.

I was thinking like an elitist prick of professional, packaged paper-pushing. Lo siento, seƱor.