Lately I’ve been looking into how I can implement comics into my ELA classes. I’ve learned that students may be overwhelmed by large novels, even if they’re on their level, but hand them a comic and they’ll read multiple in one sitting. Some educators may not think students can get much out these but I disagree. Consider the lessons we can take from the Marvel shows and movies created over the past year. These shows are based on comics, therefore one can infer that we can learn similar lessons from the original source.
Star Wars recently came out with a new Obi Wan comic that provides us a deeper look into Obi Wan, his time on Tatooine and his past as an active Jedi. I ordered and read #1 and found it very enjoyable. I haven’t read comics for years but I found my idea that these can be used in an ELA class to be completely validated. In this comic I found 3 tips for creative writing.
- Use flashbacks
- This story begins with an older Obi Wan, similar to what we see in A New Hope, looking back on his time as a Jedi. We’re provided a flashback that takes up the majority of the comic. Flashbacks are useful tools when used correctly. They can help provide background information while continuing the action of the story instead of giving the reader information overload. And in this case the flashback introduced the conflict of the story.
- Introduce conflict as soon as possible
- A story’s conflict is what keeps the reader reading. It’s what gives the story its plot. If there wasn’t conflict Frodo wouldn’t have had to return the ring, Harry wouldn’t have to keep fighting for his life every year at school, and Katniss wouldn’t have had to volunteer as tribute. Without conflict there is no story, therefore the quicker you introduce the conflict the better.
- Choose the right ending
- It’s your story you get to choose the ending, or sometimes the ending chooses you. In the case of the comic in question since this is #1, it tells us that there will be more, and therefore the ending needed to provide a conclusion but also leave a little unresolved issues. Obi Wan’s flashback wraps up that part of the story, but as we return to a much older, battered, Obi Wan on Tatooine, we’re given an unresolved ending. An unresolved ending is one where the reader is left on a cliff hanger, filled with questions that have yet to be answered. And in this comic we’re left to wonder how Obi Wan knew what was coming for him, and what else happened to him in the Jedi Temple that we didn’t see in the films? When writing a story you have to make sure that you choose the right ending for your story. In my novel A Royal Mind I made sure to give it an unresolved ending because I knew I’d be writing multiple books in the series, but I did make sure to wrap up Aster’s story in order give the book itself a conclusion to satisfy readers yet keep them hooked to find out what happens in the overall story of the Legend of Ignis.
I’m excited to read the rest of this series! Kenobi is my favorite Jedi and so far the Disney Plus show is AMAZING. I hope that you enjoyed this little lesson from a comic, and I hope to provide more of these!
Comment below if you enjoy comics!