The Ninth Art Versus The Tenth Art: Visualizing Conflicting Worldviews Between Comics and Screens

  • Julian Lawrence


In this article, we argue that deficient and declining opportunities for art in schools coupled with initiatives to incorporate computer literacy, coding and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) as priorities forecast a dire future for the comics medium as pedagogical tool. Additionally, one result of the medium’s historical debasement is that most educators are unfamiliar with ways to use comics and cartooning; thus classroom opportunities for students to engage in a medium they love are rare. In this study, I investigate integrating the language of comics into classroom learning strategies and research some of the ways writing/cartooning can help students negotiate conceptions of identity. I wrote a lesson plan that weaved connections between making comics and teaching curriculum, and taught the twenty-five participants sequential narratives through freehand cartooning. This study investigates some of the ways drawing fictional comics can support students’ learning and negotiations of identity in the classroom.