April 28 is National Superhero Day!
Marvel marked the day by celebrating the heroes on all our minds and thoughts these days – nurses, doctors, EMT’s, first responders, medical researchers, grocery store workers, restaurant workers offering curb-side and delivered meals, long-haulers and delivery drivers, production workers, and all the thousands of others who risk their lives daily by going to work so that the rest of us can shelter in place.
So why don’t we celebrate our favorite superheroes on their day?
To learn about some of the more famous classic superheroes, we can take a look at their biographies at Superhero Stuff and Ducksters. Info about the Marvel characters can be found here. And then there is the Superhero Database, with its own massive index of comic book characters.
While on the Marvel site, there are games just for kids, separated from the rest of the options on the official games page. There’s also a video guide for those wanting to learn how to draw Captain Marvel.
Which leads me to some activity ideas. How about celebrating the day by creating a super hero of your very own. Once you have a hero, you need a super villain, of course. Then you’ll have these two (or more) great characters on your mind, so you may as well create a story plot…and once you’ve done that, you’re most of the way there, so why not write your very own comic book? It doesn’t have to be very long, but why not take your time…
Here’s a pattern for creating a mini book:
If you’d like to create a larger version of your own comic book, complete with speech bubbles and multi-sized cells, check out these downloads I found on Picklebums website:
Extras (speech bubbles to cut out and glue on)
You can also draw your own as you create your story.
To learn more about comics and comic book history, you might want to start with meeting Stan Lee, a name synonymous with superheroes and comic books. He was the writer for Marvel Comics who created many of the characters who come first to our minds when we imagine a super hero or comic book, and who played a pivotal role in the survival and growth of the art form throughout the 20th century. A more detailed history of this American art form can be found on the Encyclopaedia Britannica website under superhero, super villain, and comic book. For those who would like to learn a bit more, there is also an article on the comic’s most recent evolution into the graphic novel. A decade by decade history, from the 1920’s until today, is offered by The Artifice.
Need something to read to get you started? Try out these comics and graphic novels available online:
I am continuing to collect online resources for learning, teaching, explaining, experimenting, virtually touring….and so on. I am currently in the process of transforming it from a simple list of site names and addresses into a more useful Google spreadsheet offering subjects, age/grade ranges, online and/or printables, register/anonymous use, etc. I will post a link to the document at the end of every post I write for the foreseeable future. If you have comments/suggestions/corrections, please let me know.