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Marshak: Make Your Own Comic Book Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

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Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
3/ 5


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We liked?


Really gets kids using their creative talents.

Not so much?


Not a lot to offer in the story portion.


Final Fiendish Findings?

If you’re looking for a fun summer project while the kids are off school, look no further.

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Posted July 3, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

A different kind of comic book.images

Creativity is such an important thing to foster in your children. Whether they are budding Picassos by nature, or need a little nudge to get expressing themselves, art can be an invaluable outlet, an entertaining pastime, and educational tool. Few things capture the hearts of children (and adults!) more than a great comic book. Marshak: Make Your Own Comic book seeks to blend a love of comic books with an interest in the arts by making kids the illustrators of their very own comic book.

Marshak, as pictured on the cover of the book, is a friendly green alien with one eye and a mountain of possibilities. But don’t get too used to having the visuals handed to you; as you open the book, you’ll realize that this is a very unique comic book. Sure, there are all kinds of comic panels of various sizes, and text boxes giving you Marshak’s story. But there are no illustrations at all – no backgrounds, no characters, nothing. Each story panel is a blank slate that gives readers the opportunity to create their own story, one drawing at a time. As my nine year old noted as we discussed the book, kids can make things their own way, just how they want them to be. The story tells you what is going on, but you get to decide how that looks.

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The story itself is somewhat nonsensical, and I’m a little bit torn as to how I feel about that. On the one hand, the odd phrases that make up each story panel are really designed well to get kids thinking outside the box. After all, drawing an alien mother making her son sweep the floor from outer space or a dog that looks like a lemon really makes kids stop and think about what that might look like. On the other hand, as a story, there really isn’t a whole lot there. Between the beginning, where Marshak lands his spaceship in the backyard, to the ending where he gets stuck in a maze, there is really nothing more than some random facts about Marshak and his spaceship, nothing that would really seem to pique interest in the character beyond something to draw.

That being said, I had both my seven year old daughter and nine year old son read the story, and both really liked it. They loved the idea of coloring their own comic book, and they thought the silly facts about Marshak were a lot of fun. Marshak: Make Your Own Comic Book is a really interesting idea, and one that my kids loved. If you’re looking for a fun summer project while the kids are off school, look no further.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)