Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Josh Elder

I met Josh Elder at the Superman Celebration in Illinois a few years ago. He got me addicted to golden oreos and then agreed to let me interview him for my book. During our conversation, he told me about a story he had written called "Dear Superman." DC was interested in publishing it, but these things can take forever. I'm excited to say that "Dear Superman" was published online last November (as #28 of the digital Adventures of Superman series) and will be available in print next Wednesday (2/26) as part of Adventures of Superman #10.

In stores next week.

"Dear Superman" is a tremendous story. It's got action and drama, but above all it's a story about the role Superman can play in the lives of individuals. It's not about rescuing people from danger; it's about making life worth living. I actually devote a lot of space in Chapter 3 of my own book (which some day you might even get to read) to this story.

It's also an outstanding example of an economy of storytelling. Josh and artist Victor Ibanez work together to pack an unbelievable amount of material into a very short story. In this age of decompressed comics, it's out of the ordinary to find this sort of storytelling.

Josh created the comic Mail Order Ninja, released by Tokyopop.

Good title.

He also wrote The Batman Strikes for DC.

He got to write Superman into #44.

He has also been working on the Scribblenauts Unmasked comic.

My kids love these comics.

In 2009, Josh started Reading with Pictures, and organization dedicated to promoting the educational value of comic books. Here's their mission statement:

Reading With Pictures is a nonprofit organization that advocates the use of comics in the classroom to promote literacy and improve educational outcomes for all students. We work with academics to cultivate groundbreaking research into the proper role of comics in education. We collaborate with cartoonists to produce exceptional graphic novel content for scholastic use. Most importantly, we partner with educators to develop a system of best practices for integrating comics into their curriculum. At Reading With Pictures, we get comics into schools and get schools into comics.

They're putting out The Graphic Textbook in August of this year.

Is that Abe Lincoln riding a tyrannosaurus?

As if all that weren't enough for one man, earlier this year Josh traveled to Belarus for the US State Department as Comics Ambassador. Yes, you read that right. Comics ambassador.

So check out his work. He's working to make the world a better place, through comics.

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