COMICS are supremely democratic.
Anyone can create a comic. Generations of schoolkids have known that it’s easy to create comics with paper and a few simple supplies: pencils, pens and maybe crayons. Today, kids can produce sophisticated audio and video with their hand-held digital devices—but countless kids still are inspired by their comic heroes to sketch their own tales of adventure on scraps of paper. Often, they do it during class!
Looked at another way: Comics are democratic in their values, as well. In Part 1 of this series, we looked at how Little Orphan Annie embodies all 10 of Dr. Wayne Baker’s list of 10 American core values.
And from another perspective: Comics are democratic because they spring up everywhere and slip past cultural gatekeepers. That’s why the parade of American comics, across the past century, reflects the good, the bad and the ugly of American attitudes toward ourselves and the world.
Finally, proof that comics are democratic can be seen in the huge grassroots community that has formed around our collective love of comics. Just take a look at the dozens of Comic Cons indexed via Wikipedia. And Comic Con is just one form of comic gathering!
One of the comic creators who has fully embraced this democratic medium is Kurt Kolka, the creator of the Cardinal superhero and the organizer of the Bullying Is No Laughing Matter project.
Did you ever sketch a comic?
What comics appeal to you? Why?
Start a conversation …
That’s the purpose of the OurValues project. We encourage civil discussion on important topics of the day. You are free to print out, repost and share these columns with friends. You can use them in your small group or class. Enjoy this week’s series!