So February 11th, I’m giving this talk to a local group of librarians and teachers–the Raleigh-Wake Council of the International Reading Association. It’s a pretty big group–apparently they’ve got 150 members or thereabouts–I mean, I don’t think they’ll all show UP or anything, but still–and while it’s partly to present Nurk and hint at Dragonbreath, I think I mostly want to talk about comics, and the power and sheer awesomeness of comics in getting kids to read.

Writing speeches is bloody hard. I feel like I’m writing dialog for a character that happens to talk exactly like me, and getting her to shut up and not ramble is hard. My tendency is rampant improvisation and relying heavily on my feckless enthusiasm for random things, but the downside is that frequently ends with me drawing impaled horse-and-rider tableaux from Scythian burial rites on the whiteboard–don’t ask WHY, but I default to Scythian burials for some strange reason, which is probably something I should seek professional help about one of these days–and I’m not sure if there’s going to be whiteboard, or if the group would appreciate my departure from "How to get kids to read" into "How to put a guy and a horse on a stick for your tomb."

My question is this. I have a LOT of librarians in my readership, I know, so let me just ask–y’all are hardcore, right? I mean, I can talk about how I get through my copyedits by working for twenty minutes and then playing Resident Evil for twenty minutes and they won’t throw me out on my ear, right? I don’t want to milquetoast this up–I’m already petrified that I’ll start swearing out of nerves–but I’d like a reasonably friendly crowd as well…

ETA: While I’m thinking of it, can any of you suggest good comics–webcomics especially!–for kids?

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