The Return of the Comic Book and the Super Girls
Tucson, AZ- Everyone has a favorite comic book character from their youth-from action superstars like Batman, Captain America, Spiderman, and Wolverine to our female heroines Wonderwoman and Catwoman. These superheroes lead extraordinary lives, fight crime, and defend all that is good in the world.
While these superheroes are in fact all super, they may want to proceed with caution as a new class of superheroes is ready to enter the scene. These superheroes do not have the power of invisibility, cannot fly, and do not have super strength. What these superheroes do have is courage, confidence, and character. They stand up for what is right and help make the world a better place one action at a time. They also look a lot like you and me and their favorite color happens to be green. Who are these superheroes? They are the Everyday Heroes featured in the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona’s Comic Book series to be debuted at the Festival of Books, the region’s largest celebration of reading and literary, on March 10th and 11th.
The comic book, Girl Scouts in Space, is the brainchild of Kristi Pallack, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona’s Mission to Market Coordinator. Pallack, a comic book aficionado, was looking to find a series featuring strong women and healthy messages that she could share with her six year old daughter. Time and again, however, most of the storylines were built around the male character and the female character, if any, played a trivial role. Channeling the superhero within, “Super Kristi,” decided to take action and create a Girl Scout comic book that would feature everyday girl heroes. Pallack shopped her idea around and local authors Eric M. Esquivel and Henry Barajas and artist Ernest Romero enthusiastically signed on the project and produced the first book in the series.
The series is truly novel as the content will primarily be girl-led, just as in Girl Scouting. Notes Pallack proudly, “After the comic is introduced, our book will utilize real stories from real girls who have done something extraordinary in their lives. By doing this in a comic book fashion, we can give more girls the chance to be “Super Girls” who have the power to stand up for truth, justice, and sisterhood and make the world a better place.”
The comic book also ties in with organization’s Health and Wellness Initiative. By being an active part of the development process, the Girl Scouts will ensure healthy messages and active lifestyles are communicated through the series. “While comic books are fun, they also are an educational tool. Comic books can breakdown complex issues and explain things in a kid-friendly manner. Even for younger kids who cannot yet read, comic books give them a way to track a story and predict the story line.” The use of comic books to engage children is indeed drawing more interest than ever. The University of Cincinnati in a 2011 childhood obesity research project recently challenged seventy one 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to create their own comic books with healthy messages in mind. Accordingly to Dr. Paul Branscum, the project head, results indicated children were blending healthy behaviors into their comic book creations and their own lifestyles as well.
If you are a fan of superheroes and would like to try your hand at designing your own comic book, visit the Girl Scouts tent at the 4th annual Festival of Books. Super Kristi will be on hand along with creators Eric Esquivel, Henry Barajas and Ernest Romero who will unveil the comic book and help visitors create their own. Free copies of the book will be given out at the Festival and will be made available for purchase after at the Girl Scout shop, 4300 East Broadway Boulevard, and select local retailers.
The Festival of Books will take place at the University of Arizona Campus March 10th and 11th. Admission is free. For more information visit: tucsonfestivalofbooks.org/
For more information on the Girl Scouts’ work and initiatives visit: GirlScoutsSoAz.org