Comic books will be used to promote literacy at a kid-friendly version of Iowa’s largest comic book convention this weekend. Organizer Kathleen Scott says I-Con 2008 will feature a Word Power Kid Zone and a host of activities targeting young readers in preschool through 5th grade.
Scott says events during the day will include a Spelling Smackdown, a game show called "Name That Word," and a game called "So You Want To Be A Superhero" with the twist you have to know your letters or spelling words to be a superhero. Guests include Word Girl and Dan Wardell, the host of Iowa Public Television’s "Kid’s Club."
While literature lovers might look down their noses at comic books, Scott says this medium can be a boon for literacy. She says, "Comics can be a really great way to get kids interested in reading. They’re bright, they’re colorful. They can go in, look at the words, look at the lines. It’s just kind of a fun thing that’s a little different than looking at a book and it can be a very useful tool in helping children learn how to read."
Scott cautions parents to check with their comic book dealer first to make sure their kids are getting age-appropriate comics, as they’re not all for children. She says older comic book lovers will also have plenty to check out at I-Con, including a Batmobile, a brigade of Star Wars stormtroopers and several nationally-recognized comic book artists and writers.
Scott says the featured guests include: John Ostrander, writer of "Star Wars Legacy;" Mike Baron, the creator of "Nexus;" Greg Larocque, the artist for "Flash" and "The Legion of Super Heroes;" and Matthew Clark, a "Wonder Woman" artist.
More than 30 local and Midwest comic artists and writers will also be there. I-Con is Saturday in the 4-H Building of the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. For more information, visit the I-Con website .