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Michael Novang reads a comic book
Michael Novang is looking forward to the first Comic Book Club meeting. Photo illustration by Aileen Chhen.

Comic Book Club forming at FHS to encourage enjoyment of comics

Reading comic books has become a favorite pastime for many of today's youth. Whether you are accompanying Superman on his never-ending quest to defend Metropolis or lurking in the shadows with Batman in Gotham, comic books have become much more than just a source of entertainment – they have become a rising culture.

To honor this culture and encourage more students to enjoy the fun of comics, Foothill High School is forming a Comic Book Club. The first meeting is scheduled for February 6 during lunch in the library.

Whether you have never opened a comic book or you are the fanatic who has every issue of Captain America, everyone is encouraged to join. After all, there is no harm in trying something new.

Comic book enthusiast Michael Novang expressed his reasons for joining Comic Book Club.

"I hope Comic Book Club gives me more chances to read comics and connect with other fans with similar interests," said Novang.

The idea of forming the Comic Book Club emerged when Ms. Joanne Ligamari (teacher librarian) and Ms. Shannon Pegar (library technician) attended the California Schools Library Conference in November of 2012. The workshop introduced teenagers to exploring graphic novels and comic books as literary and visual works of art.

Foothill High School's Comic Book Club will be assisted by a "comic book expert", a representative from the Sacramento Public Library. The unique titles students will be reading are separated by themes and include:

Beyond the Screen
   • Astro Boy, Volume 6 by Osamu Tezuka
   • Simpsorama by Matt Groening
   • Full Metal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa
Heroes and Journeys
   • Pedro & Me by Judd Winick
   • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
   • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Everyday Life
   • Death: The High Cost of Living by Neil Gaiman
   • Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon
   • Runaways by Brian K.Vaughan, Adrian Alphona & Takeshi Miyazawa
   • Mars, Volume 1 by Fuyumi Soryo

Today, comics are extremely effective in their form of expression and serve many purposes, including conveying political beliefs, utilizing market strategies, or story-telling. Since the 1960s, two majors publishers – Marvel and Detective Comics (DC) - have dominated the comic book industry and left thousands entranced by superhero adventures.

Many fans will identify the first "real" comic strip as Richard Felton Outcault's The Yellow Kid (1895), which served as a marketing purpose to increase the sales of the newspaper. The Yellow Kid is also widely recognized because it was the first comic strip to use balloons to signify character dialogue.

According to Peter Coogan, a graphic novel reporter, comic book fans often separate comic book history into a sequence of "ages", each age recognized for its individual styles of art and writing, subject concerns, and story-telling techniques. These ages are approximated as: Golden (1938-1956), Silver (1956-1971), Bronze (1971-1980), Iron (1980-1987), and Modern (1987–present).



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