"I wonder why..."
"...there is writing in picture books?"
A very good question pasted up on the outside wall of a portable classroom at my sons' school.
I'm on the road this week with a bunch of old Australian comics from the State Library's collection. Also with Heath and Adele (who are young) who work at the State Library. Tonight we're at the Ballarat Library, then we visit schools in Ballarat, Ararat and Horsham. We'll be talking about Australian comics old (Heath), new (me) and the range of graphic novels that students might like to read (Adele).
In the workshops at schools, I bet I will be saying: '"With comics, drawing IS writing." Well, okay Bernard, then what's the writing? The 'correct' answer is that it is drawing, because of course lettering in comics is not typeset (at least it shouldn't be, but let's not get sidetracked by that debate). Which describes it but does not answer what it IS.
Here's a page from MONGREL 4:
(David, in the black coat, and Clive, in the white coat, are the characters in the British Libary issue that we are working out now.)
I think maybe that there is writing in comics (a form of picture books, surely) to slow us readers down. To focus our attention on the real writing, that is the pictures.
What do you think?