November 27, 2022

Save the Net Books

Blogazine on Books, Arts, and Music

Ideas for running a comic club in your school library

4 min read

In the 2022 school year, I decided to run a comic book club in the school library I run. I’ve been running a manga club there for 9 years and decided to start a comic book club to focus on the huge popularity of the comics and graphic novels that we have on the shelves. I’ve already talked about the huge popularity of our annual ComiCon, this is one of our most requested programs. I felt it would be very popular to have our own weekly comic club.

There are many different activities to choose from and many approaches with a comic book club, and there is no right or wrong way to go about it. You just have to see if there’s a need, then jump in and give it a try.

I cater our comic book club to 11+, it usually attracts 11-13 year olds and I’ve found I need to bring extra tables and chairs – great to see! Our comic club has been very popular from the start and it was really great to see the students participating so enthusiastically. Here are some activities and events I’m doing this year.

give them control

I started by simply giving participants a giant sheet of paper from our flip chart and asking them to write down ideas for what the comic book club should be called. The group chose the Comics Are Awesome Club, which sounded good to me. This was a fun, easy, and quick activity to get them started on their first session. They loved having a voice in deciding the name of their comic book club.

Photo courtesy of Lucas Maxwell

Use YouTube

YouTube is great for finding awesome how to draw videos. There are really simple ones, and sometimes I just set up the screen and show a couple of them over lunch and the students really enjoy them. They often get lost in their own thing, but you can find videos out there for all sorts of tastes. I find these work better for the younger crowd but are worth checking out if you have access to screens. All club-goers need are tables, pens and pencils, and you’re all set!

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Finish this comic

Jarrett Lerner has some really easy and effective comic based activities on his website. These are free to print and distribute, and I always like to give him credit on social media when I post pictures of our students’ work. Essentially, Jarrett starts a comic panel and asks kids to complete the panels for him. They love doing this and will ask for the sheets even if comic club isn’t happening. This is an easy option when you need something quick to provide a fun activity for students.

Book an illustrator

I know that not everyone can do this because money is tight. However, if you can find the dough somewhere, booking an illustrator would be an amazing event. I can’t tell you how much our students love it when illustrators come into the library. My goal this year is to bring the comic book club to our ComiCon and have an illustrator visit it that day. I think it will make it very special for them.

Collection for drawing comics. Photo courtesy of Lucas Maxwell

Read and review comics

The comic book club isn’t just about drawing, as not everyone likes to draw unless they feel comfortable with it. My goal this year is to get more students to read comics and write reviews for other students to see. I want to raise awareness about comics at school, to break the stereotype that they aren’t real books or aren’t meant to be read (which is mostly said by adults). Comic book circulation is the highest ever at our school and I hope it can continue to grow as we can promote comics in a positive and fun way.

I lead our comic club program at lunch each week. It takes about 45 minutes and is a lot of fun. It’s chaotic, loud and boisterous, but I really enjoy it. The students who come all have one thing in common: they love all the different comics we have to offer. My advice is not to stress yourself out with complicated crafts or activities. We play Pictionary, we draw, we talk comics, we have fun and I really love it.

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