I have always love comic books. I can still remember the first one that I ever got, a random copy of Excalibur. (a kind of combination avengers and x-men set in England. They had Nightcrawler and Shadow Cat on the team.) Ever since then I’ve been hooked. As Ive grown, my tastes have changed. I still enjoy the conventional super hero books, but I’ve also expanded into more adult themed areas My personal favorite collections are Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Preacher by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, and Y: The Last May by Brian K Vaughn and Pia Gurerra. One of the things that I have been looking forward to is teaching graphic novels in the classroom. Thanks to technology there are a variety of ways to read a graphic novel beyond the traditional paper draft. Of all the “written” mediums the comic book is generally credited with being uniquely American. the first was published back in the 1930’s and was a collection of newspaper comics. Since then the genre has grown to include every type of story imigianable. Early books focused on western and “true crime” stories. Later the stories expanded to include science fiction and horror. Eventually the superhero came along and changed comics and pop culture forever. Even if you have never read a comic book, everyone knows who Spiderman, Batman, and Superman are. Sadly, most of the popular superhero stuff is owned by active companies who charge to view their product. However, if you are interested in reading some of the old out of circulation stuff an excellent place to start is The Digital Comic Museum. This is a site that has collected a lot of the golden age comics (1935-1967) that have gone out of print. They did a simple scan/picture of each page and uploaded them for you to view, TOTALLY FREE!!! There are thousands of comics to view and the stories contain anything that you might be wanting to read. What the Digital Comic Museum has done is the simplest way of digitizing comics. It is the most common form out there. The pages are simply digitized in some way and put out there for you to read. If you are looking for digital versions of more recent comics, the three main publishers, Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse have web pages where you can download their material. Some of it is offered for free, but a lot will cost you some money. (usually less than it would to obtain a physical copy though) Another great place to get digital versions of graphic novels is on Amazon. You can just by a kindle version and download it to whatever you want and take it anywhere you go. Another way that graphic novels have been presented in a digital way is through motion comics. Motion comics are kind of like if comic books and cartoons had a baby. These consist of starting with the original comic art and adding motion, usually by using subtle camera moves to revel the whole picture. The action is usually contained to what is on the drawn page and is not shown in the conventional “cartoon” way. An good example of motion comics that I found is a motion comic made from the Watchmen Graphic novel. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Watchmen came out in 1986 and was written by Alan Moore and drawn by Dave Gibbons. Released in 12 monthly installments, Watchmen is regarded as one of the most important graphic novels ever written. It has crossed over and is listed on the top lists including Time magazine’s 2005 list of the top 100 best novels of all time. To coincide with the release of the movie adaptation a motion comic was also released. It uses the original art and text in telling the story. The motion comic is not perfect, all the voices are preformed by one person, but it offers up a great example of how graphic novels have been adapted to a digital medium. Here is the first chapter of the book. All 12 are available on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLdqKIj3-A0 There are a variety of motion comics on YouTube that anyone can watch for free. Many of them are from the superhero genre, but that does not make them any less interesting. For my taste, nothing can compare to hold the traditional print version of my graphic novels. But, with the advances in technology, we now have new ways to present this material to our students in digital ways that they can relate to, and build meaning from.