Bartlett students celebrate Comic Book Day as part of event to highlight literacy

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:32 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Students at Bartlett High School in Anchorage got a break from the classroom Thursday to enjoy free comic books. The event, which included guest lecturers from the comic book world, was part of a monthlong celebration of literacy at the school.

Erik Boutte, Bartlett’s media specialist, said students had an opportunity to “buy” their way out of class and attend the event by donating a dollar or two to the school’s library fund.

“Essentially, miss class and celebrate Comic Book Day with us,” he said, adding the money will be used to buy more books for the library.

Bosco’s Comic Shop owner John Weddleton donated the comic books for students to keep. He said comic books have come a long way from what many adults remember as kids.

“It’s an incredible time to be a comic reader because the variety and the quality is so good,” he said.

Weddleton said comics and graphic novels cover all sorts of subjects beside super heroes, including nonfiction and biographies, as well as classic novels adapted into graphic form.

“Thirty years ago, schools would not have had comics in them because (people thought) they’re for people who can’t read ‘good’ and they want real books,” he said. “And now they realize, and they have for a decade or more, that comics are just a different form of literature.”

Cindy Holderith, the school’s librarian, would agree. Holderith said the school’s collection of graphic novels and Japanese comics, called manga, are some of the library’s most popular items. And she doesn’t mind that at all.

“It makes reading fun, and we want reading to be fun and engaging, because it is such a powerful tool for your entire life,” she said.

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