Part 4 of 5: Comparing 4 Graphic Novels and 2 Webcomics Zombie Style

September 29, 2007 at 5:19 pm (Comics and Graphic Novels, lesson plan) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

“A Fair(y) Use Tale,” created by Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University

From the Stanford Law School Blog: “Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University created this humorous, yet informative, review of copyright principles delivered through the words of the very folks we can thank for nearly endless copyright terms.”

From Boing Boing: “A Fair(y) Use Tale” cuts together thousands of extremely short clips from dozens of Disney cartoons, lifting indivudal (sic) words and short phrases to spell out an articulate, funny, and thoroughly educational lesson on how copyright works. This is the most subversive and hilarious use of Disney material I’ve ever seen — and there’s even a really smart chapter about why Faden used Disney material to make his film.”

Watch “A Fair(y) Use Tale” at YouTube

Preview and Objectives:

Students will reflect on and discuss the process of creating the minicomics in Part 3 or this series. Students will be introduced to additional website resources on the theme of zombies. Students will be introduced to the program, Comic Life, which will be used to create zombie comics consisting of at least 8 panels.

The issue of copyright will be discussed and stressed within the context of using Comic Life to capture pictures from the internet for use in their comics. Specifically, Professor Eric Faden’s Video, “A Fair(y) Use Tale” will be used to further demonstrate the issue of copyright and fair use.

Class Time Needed:

  • 3 to 4-50 Minute Class Sessions

National Standards for Arts Education Addressed:

  • Content Standard: 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
  • Content Standard 2: Using knowledge of structures and functions
  • Content Standard 3: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
  • Content Standard 5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
  • Content Standard 6: Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

National Standards for English Addressed:

  • Content Standard 1: Reading for Perspective
  • Content Standard 2: Reading for Understanding
  • Content Standard 3: Evaluation Strategies
  • Content Standard 4: Communication Skills
  • Content Standard 5: Communication Strategies
  • Content Standard 6: Applying Knowledge
  • Content Standard 8: Developing Research Skills
  • Content Standard 12: Applying Language Skills

The Reading Material for this Series:

PART 4 of 5:

A. Discussion of Minicomics: Suggested Questions:

1. What was the most challenging thing that you experienced while creating your minicomic?

  • Why was this?

2. Did you enjoy anything in particular about the process of creating your minicomic?

3. What mood or tone did you try to set?

  • Why did you choose this mood or tone?
  • How did you go about establishing this mood or tone?

4. Would you do anything differently?

  • Why or why not?

5. Would anyone like to share his/her minicomic with the class?

B. Further Explorations:

1. Have the students explore The Zombie Survival Guide official website, including the links, for 15 minutes.

2 . Have the students explore the Survival Planning Section of the Zombie Survival and Defense Wiki for 10 minutes.

C. Learning About Copyright & Using Comic Life to Create a Zombie Comic:

1. Introduce ComicLife by having the students view the digital comic “Reagan’s and Clinton’s Policies,” which is an iMovie of the comic that was created by an 11th grader for an AP History project.

2. Give each student a copy of the Comic_Life_Tutorial_by_Leslie_Stark.pdf handout and direct students to bookmark the ComicLife Links provided by the Arlington Heights School District 25 website.

3. Explain to the students that the next project will be to create a digital zombie comic by using ComicLife. Go through the “Comic Life in the Lab and Classroom” handout with the students.

4. Demonstrate how to drag and drop images from the internet into ComicLife. Introduce the importance of locating pictures from the internet without infringing on copyright law.

5. Direct students to bookmark this link to internet sites that provide free images and media resources, some of which are in the public domain.

6. In addition, watch the “A Fair(y) Use Tale” (see top of page) at YouTube. Discuss any comments or questions the students may have regarding fair use.

7. Provide 30 minutes for students to explore ComicLife features and to ask questions as they arise.

8. Provide an additional 20 minutes for students to explore websites providing media in the public domain and/or for free, directing them to review information on gaining permission to use images and to complete the Permission and Documentation worksheet for any images they may wish to save to create their zombie comic.

9. Give each student a copy of the Comic Strip Planning Sheet provided by (Instruct the students to disregard the “options” at the bottom of the page.)

10. Invite the students to explore the Reading Materials for this series for ideas and inspiration.

11. Working individually, students will create a comic strip comprised of no less than 8 panels. Students should plan out their comic using the planning sheet.

  • The storyline should involve zombies to some extent.
  • The tone can be serious or humorous.
  • Images can be created by the students by using ComicLife and/or other graphics software.
  • Images may also be from the internet once permission is granted, if necessary.

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