I Just Keep Breaking the Law
There is a law carved in stone somewhere. It’s probably chiseled into a huge monument at a comic museum. The law reads, “COMICS ARE TO BE WRITTEN IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.” I know the law. I actually think comics look cooler when they’re in all capital letters. I used to print everything I wrote in all capital letters. Between college computer programming classes and my desire to be a cartoonist, I was 100% on board with all capitals all the time.
I’ll be posting a 9-year-old valentine, which I gave my husband, as proof of my former writing habits. It’s written in all capital letters. I drew this shortly before I started writing Domino Park Comics.
So what happened to me? I’ll tell you what happened. I homeschooled my twin boys from the second through the eighth grade. I thought teaching them to read would be really easy; we would just read comic books! Any kid will try twice as hard to read something if it’s in a comic bubble. Then, I found out why teachers don’t use comic books in the class room. It’s the capital letters. Kids need to learn to read using proper sentence structure with upper and lower case letters.
Also, I was struck hard when I realized that one of my sons had a bad case of the dreaded “b and d confusion.” Our reading time had to be spent on books written in upper and lower-case text. Comic books were no longer an option for my class room. Believe me, I took it harder than the kids did!
I was also running into trouble trying to teach them to write. I’m left-handed, and they‘re not. I have a horrible back slant, which I didn’t want them to try to copy. I couldn’t physically show them how to write the letters correctly. So, they had to learn to write from the information provided in the work books.
Eventually, they learned reading and writing. If you haven’t taught these skills to a child, believe me, it takes years. It’s frustrating. They keep forgetting everything. You end up teaching the same things over and over again. Then, eventually, they start reading real books without any pictures just for fun. When that happens, you feel like you’ve scaled Mount Everest.
Six years into homeschooling, I thought I had it all figured out. Then, I watched my right-handed son drawing left-handed check marks. When did that happen? Of course, it was my “b and d confusion” kid. Well, he certainly had seen a lot of backwards check marks all over his papers for six solid years. A check mark is just a quick flick of the wrist. It’s so obvious. Why had I never explained this? The boys have graduated from high school now, but I believe one of them still has to think about it when he writes a check mark.
Now, my comics are written in upper and lower case letters for the kids, their teachers and their parents. I make a huge effort to keep my books, and this blog family-friendly and suitable for a fourth-grade class-room, although my fan base is proving to be much older than the fourth-grade. I believe that teachers can benefit from having comic books written in upper and lower case text available to them. So, I break the law, and I will continue to break it. Even though I would prefer to see my work in all capitals and know it would look cool, I just can’t do it. Please, forgive me.
Posts tagged ‘rules for comic strips’
I Just Keep Breaking the Law