Children’s Comics: Classroom Resources (paperback) – Wendy Helsby

68pp   £22.50   ISBN: 1903663210   2007


A definitive resource pack for an under-appreciated medium.

Distinct from ‘magazines’, children’s comics are a discreet and fascinating medium, superficially familiar to us all, yet rarely the subject of study in Media Studies. But comics have been with us in their current form for over a hundred years and they remain hugely popular with their audience and very lucrative for their owners.

Beginning with A Short History of Comics, the Teacher’s Guide explores every area of the subject likely to be of relevance to the Media teacher:

  • Comic Language – comic ‘codes’, and how to read them;
  • Industries and Institutions – from conglomerates to cults and cross-media synergy;
  • Censorship – the history of comic book regulation in the USA and the UK;
  • Audiences – who reads children’s comics? And are they bad for them?
  • Representation – comics and gender, race and nationality;
  • Superheroes and Naughty Kids – the history, and appeal, of Superman, Batman and … Dennis the Menace.

The accompanying Classroom Resources contains numerous suggestions for student exploration of children’s comics. They are designed to open up the topic by asking students about their own comic/magazine reading through which they can explore such topics as representation and censorship. The tasks have been designed for differentiation of ability. The Resources also contains a week-by-week suggested lesson plan.

Wendy Helsby is a highly experienced teacher of Media and Film at GCSE, Advanced and under-graduate level and has been an examiner at GCSE and A level. She is the author of Teaching TV Advertising (Auteur, 2004).


Introduction / Comics, Graphic Novels, Manga and Magazines / Let’s Research Comics / Comic Archetypes / A New Kid on the Block / Genre and Narrative
Comic Language / History of Comics / Comic Cuts / Comic Debate / Comics and Magazines / Representation / Superheroes / GRRR… Naughty Kids and Others / Making Comics  / Making Comics 2 / Making Comics 3 / Textual Analysis and Key Concepts / Discussion Topics / A Sample Controlled Test / Appendix – A Term’s Lesson Outline

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