Nancy Silberkleit, Co-CEO and Publisher of Archie Comics (and GJRA Member), is using the power of comics to open a dialogue on gun violence.
The recently published See Something, Say Something is an eight-page comic book that tells the story of a teen who is new at a school and is shunned and bullied by a group of students. He struggles with the turmoil and cannot find inner peace, which causes him to bring disharmony to the school. He tells another student of his plan to get even, which involves violence to others.
“I began working on this project at the beginning of this year,” said Silberkleit, whose Rise Above Social Issues Foundation has published comics on bullying and self-esteem. “After the horrific shooting in a church in South Carolina, United States last winter, I put the project on fast-track. Never could I have thought I would be suggesting that our educators present the unthinkable issue of ‘gun violence’ for classroom instruction. The story underscores the need to take action to bring about change, in this case to educate young people about dealing with anger and the need to say something if you see or hear something that could portend a problem.”
See Something, Say Something was scripted by noted US educational consultant and scriptwriter Peter Gutierrez, with pencil illustrations by Loyiso Mkize from Cape Town, South Africa. The story has a five page teaching guide, free for teachers who purchase the digital comic.
Silberkleit, a former teacher, said the new book is designed to provide teachers with a platform to spark discussion among young people on the issue of keeping their educational environment safe. “Like all of us, teens are looking for ways to explain and understand episodes of mass violence that too often capture the headlines,” she said. “The text and rich graphics of the comic create a stage for students to think creatively, internalize feelings and share them through open discussions in a classroom setting.”
Copies of See Something, Say Something are available digitally for $1.99. To order contact Nancy Silberkleit at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (+1) 914 450 9880.
Follow Nancy Silberkleit on Twitter @NancyEduSpeaker