David F Walker Talks Black Panther Party GN For Comic-Con@Home Panel

One of the first panels to go live at Comic-Con@Home was the Teaching and Learning with Comics panel from Comics Pedagogy, a regular at San Diego Comic-Con, with Peter Carlson of Green Dot Public Schools, Susan Kirtley of Portland State University, and Antero Garcia of Stanford University. They were joined by Nick Sousanis of Unflattening, Ebony Flowers of Hot Comb, and David F. Walker and Brian Michael Bendis of Naomi, talking about the creation of comics, the learning of comics and how the production of comic books can be a factor in the study of them.

You can watch the whole panel above, but I did want to highlight what David F. Walker said when asked about how current news comes through to the comic books he creates, and handily he was able to talk about a graphic novel he is writing and Marcus Kwame Anderson is drawing, The Black Panther Party, to be published by Ten Speed Press in January. He said,

Well I can tell you a few weeks ago as I was watching the news and it was the first night of the protests in Minneapolis after the murder of George Floyd and then progressively we watched city after city start to burn and people protesting and the entire time I was watching that I was thinking well I knew this was coming and part of the reason I knew this was coming because I'd read the Kerner Commission's report as part of research for graphic novel that I just finished writing on the Black Panther Party and so I started talking to people and explaining to them what you're seeing in the news right now is nothing new, it's happened before and it was foretold in 1968 and in six months there's going to be a comic book, a graphic novel that's going to come out and you're going to learn more than you ever thought you would know about the history of police brutality and history of organized resistance and I think about that all the time, I think about everything that comics gave me when I was a kid.

He talked about how he read Classic Illustrated comic books when he was a kid and found that he knew more about classical literature than his classmates, simply because he read the comics, even at a time when he was placed in remedial classes because he was a visual reader and wasn't minded to read prose. It was a very visceral reminder of the power of comic books to educate, and this may another example of that.

David F Walker Talks Black Panther Party For Comic-Con@Home
David F Walker Talks Black Panther Party For Comic-Con@Home

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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