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Artpod: The power of comics

Working a six-panel story
Kyle Norris
Working a six-panel story

On today's podcast, we hear about a group of Michigan cartoonists who think comics can be an educational and valuable tool for kids.

As Michigan Radio's Kyle Norris explains, cartoonist Jerzy Drozd has picked 21 rural and urban towns in Michigan where he knows people are having a tough time making ends meet. Drozd has been visiting those towns and offering comic-drawing workshops, free of charge, to the kids in those areas. 


Comic writer Dan Mishkin is involved with the Kids Read Comicsproject. He says creating comics can help kids having a rough time because it gives them a sense of control and power over their own stories, as opposed to doing something like bullying other kids.

7th grader Clare Ramsden cracks open a thick sketchbook filled with page after page of her artwork.  She says she creates a new character every two days. Ramsden’s latest invention has magical powers, and is named “Scream.”

“She’s mainly quiet she never shows her eyes or hands she’s just kind of back there in the background.”

Ramsden says she’s proud of the stuff she draws and Jerzy Drozd says that’s what his workshop is all about, helping kids realize they can tell their stories, quite elegantly, with pictures.

Jennifer is a reporter for Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, which looks at kids from low-income families and what it takes to get them ahead. She previously covered arts and culture for the station, and was one of the lead reporters on the award-winning education series Rebuilding Detroit Schools. Prior to working at Michigan Radio, Jennifer lived in New York where she was a producer at WFUV, an NPR station in the Bronx.
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