Scaffolding for narratives — the power of the gutter

In college, my friend Josh spent hours with comics. Ten years later, his time investment hasn’t changed. But how he’s investing that time has.

Josh (Elder) runs Reading with Pictures, a nonprofit using comics for building literacy. His arguments for such education are persuasive and innovative, so much so that he was among the speakers at this year’s Cusp Conference. The conference in Chicago, as I’ve noted before in this blog, is the most awesome conference I can’t afford to attend.

Here in his Cusp presentation, Josh makes some great points about learning “in the gutter” — the space in between a comic’s panels — and about visuals providing “narrative scaffolding” for a story’s text.

As much as I enjoyed the ideas in Slate’s “21st Century Classroom” crowdsourcing this fall, what Josh offers here feels just as valuable.

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