FESTIBA panels illustrate comics as literature

FESTIBA Comics Day

EDINBURG — When one thinks of resources to improve literacy, comics might not immediately come to mind. There is more to literacy, however, than classic novels. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is on to that.

On day two of the 12th annual FESTIBA celebration, six academic sessions discussing comics as literature and art were hosted inside the Shary Room in the University Library on the Edinburg campus.

Jean Braithwaite, an associate professor of creative writing, presented a Powerpoint presentation titled “Sneak Preview of Jean’s groundbreaking research,” during the fifth forum of the day on “Point of View in Comics.”

After relocating to Texas from Arizona in 2006, Braithwaite helped introduce a creative writing program at the university. She then pushed to have comics courses added to the curriculum and had her wish granted.

Her presentation was filled with “top secret insights” of the narratology and cognitive science of literary comics. It also featured a case study on Chris Ware’s comics, whom she proclaimed to be her hero.

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