Published in 2010, The Comic Book Curriculum was my first published work combining philosophy, psychology, and pop-culture into a format that can be utilized in an educational setting. It is, without a doubt, the precursor to the P3 course currently offered at NFA. Library Media Connection endorsed the book with the following statement: “This author knows his comics, and his connections to real life will be useful for teachers who would like to use comics in their classes to spark interest, as well as bridging the gap between comics and traditional literature. Recommended.” I like the line, “This author knows his comics” because it neatly summarizes how I became a reader! Bring on the comic books!
As I aged comics remained an interest and helped me understand literature in high school better than I might have. Big Brother in 1984 didn’t make complete sense to me, but Dr. Doom running a nation via manipulation and double speak…got it! As comics helped me make sense of some material in both junior high and high school I sincerely hope they can assist others to inspire imagination, story telling, and the love of reading. To borrow a phrase from the great Stan Lee, “Excelsior!”
“…a superbly written and presented compendium that is especially recommended for teachers seeking to develop effective supplemental materials for their classroom curriculums.” – Midwest Book Review
“This author knows his comics, and his connections to real life will be useful for teachers who would like to use comics in their classes to spark interest, as well as bridging the gap between comics and traditional literature. Recommended.” – Library Media Connection
“James Rourke has written a masterful work that develops questions and insights about the virtues, personal identity, justice, and the meaning of life, by way of engaging the many characters and plots of the Comic Book. This is a delightful, brilliant work for students and general readers who wish to think philosophically about the worlds of Superman, Batman, and other superheroes.” (Dr. Charles Taliaferro, Professor of Philosophy, St. Olaf College)
“James Rourke does an excellent good job of showing how major superheroes and their stories raise some of the deepest and most important ethical and psychological questions we all need to ask and answer. This book will be a major help in the classroom and beyond, and will help introduce many readers into the world of classic literature through a new doorway.” (Tom Morris, author of If Harry Potter Ran General Electric and Philosophy for Dummies, and Editor of Superheroes and Philosophy)
“In this fabulous and timely book, Rourke combines a fan’s love of comics with an educator’s zeal for knowledge. Comic books have always been rich with human emotion, morality, and conflict, and in this book Rourke shows, with a wealth of examples and practical advice for teachers, how to present this to high school students as a supplement–not a replacement–for traditional literature.” (Mark D. White, professor, co-editor of Batman and Philosophy: The Dark Knight of the Soul, and editor of Watchmen and Philosophy: A Rorschach Test and Iron Man and Philosophy: Facing the Stark Reality)