Last year, I blogged here about our own Christy (DAMNATION OF CHARLIE WORMWOOD) Blanch’s “Comics Through Gender” MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). At no cost, anyone with an internet connection could listen to Christy, an anthropology professor by trade, interview some of the best and most outspoken creators in comics about how they approach gender roles in their work. Terry (STRANGERS IN PARADISE) Moore spoke at great length about feminism. Matt (HAWKEYE) Fraction and Kelly Sue (PRETTY DEADLY) DeConnick talked about how having a daughter changed their perspective on how they viewed sexism in comics. Jonathan Hickman, Dan Slott, and others talked about who they considered to be the most masculine and feminine characters in mainstream comics today. Really, truly, it was fascinating. And free. All students had to do was sign up for the course online, then view the lectures and participate in the resultant discussions, do a little reading. It was a huge success.
Christy’s back at it again, with an online course that’s even wider-ranging and more fascinating: Exploring Social Issues Through Comic Books. As before, she’s got a crazy-impressive lineup of guest speakers and interviewees, including Denny O’Neil, Jason Aaron, Jonathan Hickman, Shaenon Garrity, Gene Luen Yang, and many others. They’ll be talking about how comics have, over the years, dealt with issues that are big parts of our lives today. The debate over immigration. Government v. privacy. Social inequality. Addiction. Whether you’re a fan of comics or a non-comics reader interested in sociology, it’s going to be a fascinating course. You can read more about it here and here, or you can just cut to the chase and sign up here. Again, it’s a free course open to anyone who has internet access. Time is of the essence, however–the course begins next week! Go!