I made my return to con life this year, culminating in the full four days of New York Comic Con, where I helped staff the Reading with Pictures booth. There was a great group of people promoting RWP this year – founder and president Josh Elder was there, as was artist Dean Trippe and super-intern Aliza. Rounding out the RWP group were volunteers Piera and Avery, and we had a great group of people dedicated to getting comic books into classrooms!
We set up on Thursday morning, bright and early. We were located in The Block; considered by some to be a con- within-the-con, The Block bridges the gap between the usual toys and comics that we’ve come to know and love from NYCC and art and new ideas that are rapidly growing out of the traditional comic ideas. RWP had found our home!
Con was MASSIVE in terms of population this year – there was heavy foot traffic every single day, which was great for us. Dean Trippe was at our booth, signing and selling copies of his amazing work, “You’ll Be Safe Here”, and attracted a lot of people to the booth, and Josh’s presence on two panels brought educators, parents, and librarians to the booth, hoping to hear more about Reading with Pictures and to get a sneak peek at the Graphic Textbook and teachers’ guide, which we had running on our tablets.
The Graphic Textbook received great response, particularly since the lessons are all in line with the Common Core Learning Standards, making teachers’ lives and their justifications for using it a great deal easier! I met one
teacher who had been using the RWP website and could not wait until the Textbook’s publication, especially after I showed him the Probamon lesson – a lesson on probability, using a Pokemon-type of game, which led to a
great discussion on using collectible card games in the classroom to teach basic Mathematics concepts (Magic: The Gathering helped my son with math skills and deductive reasoning).
Josh was in high demand, with panels, meetings and drop-ins all throughout Con. It was great to see RWP generating such excitement. Also generating excitement and interest was the Reading with Pictures Common Core Graphic Texts List for Elementary Grades – our suggested selection of the best graphic texts for Common Core instruction, curated by curriculum developer Tracy Edmunds, M.A., librarian Kat Kan, teacher Chris Wilson, Dr. Katie Monnin, and myself, a newly-minted children’s librarian. Everyone we spoke to was excited about the website’s resources.
One of my Con highlights? Dean Trippe, having a Magic: The Gathering tournament with my son, with Josh acting as his personal advisor. They attracted some booth traffic of their own, but they were undeterred and pressed on in battle, which Aliza was kind enough to narrate via Twitter. Hanging out with Mom at Con? Sure, that’s cool. Playing Magic: The Gathering against a comic book artist and being advised by the guy telling teachers to use comic books in the classroom? THAT’S the magic of Comic Con.
Four days later, it was time to say good-bye to the Javits Center. We took down the booth, loaded up the minivan, and said our goodbyes. All in all, it was a great con.