by Glen Downey, Comics in Education, www.comicsineducation.com
I've talked about the importance of establishing that visual narrative is a tradition--one that arguably dates back to a period that predates either the oral or written traditions as we know them. However, not everyone is convinced that cave art, Egyptian hieroglyphics, or something like William Hogarth's "A Rake's Progress" is an ancestor of contemporary comics and graphic novels unless they've been fortunate enough to read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. However, as I was shown by Laura McRae from Havergal College at the 2014 CITE Conference, it's pretty hard to argue against the Bayuex Tapestry being such an ancestor!
Take a look at the fantastic animated video Laura showed me that was originally created as a student project at Goldsmiths College. If you can't see the connection between the Bayeux Tapestry and contemporary comics after watching it, I might never be able to convince you that visual narrative has a long and proud tradition.
Thanks for showing me this, Laura!
Dr. Glen Downey is an award-winning children's author, educator, and academic from Oakville, Ontario. He works as a children's writer for Rubicon Publishing, a reviewer for PW Comics World, an editor for the Sequart Organization, and serves as the Chair of English and Drama at The York School in Toronto.
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