February 2009 Archives



I’ve got a piece in this weekend’s New York Times Book Review, on Omega the Unknown, All Star Superman and Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes 1936-41. And I’m in San Francisco for the weekend, for WonderCon. Say hi if you see me.

Gave a lecture (about the history and ideology of new wave) and writing workshop on Thursday up at Evergreen College in Olympia. I really, really like talking to students, and they’ve got some terrific ones.

and I'd been doing so well


…with the entry-almost-every-day thing, too. But then I went out of town. Oh well. New York was splendid and overwhelming, as always; I pushed myself hard there, as I usually do, and now I’m in recuperation mode and listening to a Maxine Brown LP, and working on a new little web project that’s slightly too early to announce (because it might not happen at all), and reading through a pile of old Strange Adventures comics that I picked up at New York Comic-Con.

Thanks to the panelists on the coming-of-age and character-design panels, all of whom had mighty interesting things to say, and to Bryan Lee O’Malley, who is awesome and hilarious but you knew that. Special thanks for above-and-beyond to Christine Norrie.

Also! I’ll be in the Bay Area Feb. 27-Mar. 2 for WonderCon; hope to see some of you there.

come see me at NYCC!


I’ll be at New York Comic-Con all this weekend. Here’s my schedule:


6-7 PM: “Her Face Was an Open Book: The Art of Character Design,” with Carla Speed McNeil, Christine Norrie and Thom Zahler


noon-1 PM: signing at Table 6 in the autographing area


11 AM-noon: “Coming of Age in Comics” with Jeff Parker, Raina Telgemeier, Jason Little and Mariko Tamaki

1:30 PM-2:30 PM: “Scott Pilgrim vs. the Panel!” with Bryan Lee O’Malley

Come say hi!

uses & endorses


This one’s for the benefit of the other parents with young children who read this blog; others can skip it.

A few months ago, a friend of mine recommended Siegfried Engelmann’s “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” to me, so I got it for our three-year-old. I enthusiastically endorse it. We’re a couple of months into the program now, and it’s a big hit with him—to the point where one of the most effective rewards for good behavior we can offer him is “an extra reading lesson tonight.” More to the point, it’s working—he’s reading everything in sight and figuring out how to sound out unfamiliar words.

He’s also said that when we’ve finished the reading lessons, he wants math lessons, and when we finish the math lessons, he wants Spider-Man lessons. So a few days ago I took another of my friend’s suggestions and got copies of the first two Singapore Math workbooks. (My son promptly grabbed the first one and started reading it.)

So: he’s got this ravenous desire to learn right now, and I’m happy to fuel it. But when you start looking into educational techniques to be used at home, particularly with preschoolers, you start falling down a couple of rabbit-holes. The cover of “Teach Your Child to Read” mentions another book by Engelmann, called “Give Your Child a Superior Mind,” which was published in 1966 and now usually goes for relatively dizzying prices. I just found one for a relatively non-dizzying price, and… yeah, it hasn’t aged terribly well, although it has a few ideas I might try with my kid. And now, looking into Engelmann’s own story, I’m finding stuff like this National Review piece, which includes the memorable sentence “Engelmann is a pariah in educational circles not because he grooms like a biker, dresses like a farmer, and curses like a sailor, though all those things are true.”

It’s very interesting where I am right now, but it does smell like rabbits.

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