Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Finally the Secret Invasion is Here! So I ask: Is Deaf Character Echo a Skrull?

I really enjoy all of this skrull business because it reminds me of my childhood and watching classics such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) that was based on the Jack Finney novel (1955). So if some of y'all are going to keep getting uptight about David Mack and his art, perhaps you should consider the larger picture: pod people vs. skrulls; mass hysteria vs mass hysteria; loved ones accusing loved ones of being impostors vs. (opening scene) Wolverine saying, "I ain't a skrull, Maya". Hmmm, yep, you're right... there are no similarities!

You guessed it. The New Avengers #39 finally came out today. And if you haven't read the issue, you might want to stop reading here.
****I promise not to give way TOO MUCH in ****SPOILERS**** but I do plan to discuss the issue.***
If you were confused before... well, I hope this will confuse you some more.
Can an echo have an echo?....or better yet, Can Echo have an Echo?
I didn't see that happening but that Bendis is clever. And don't we all fight ourselves just a bit? I guess we don't usually end up with so many bandages but then again we don't live in Marvel's Universe. And WHAT? Daredevil is in this issue???? Or is he?

So in Marvel's preview, they asked: Have the Skrulls infiltrated the Avengers? Readers still won't know after this issue but we sort of know who is not a skrull....sort of, maybe?;
Is Maya Lopez the only one with proof? Well, no because someone was with her... but then again maybe that individual is a skrull;
Will she live to tell the tale? sort of;
All this and a major Avengers hook up! We didn't see that one coming.... or did we? I kind of like the connection. One deaf character... one sort of (used to be?) deaf character. Clint Barton aka Hawkeye was deaf and used to wear a hearing aid.... (but then there is something about his hearing getting restored in a later issue).
Ahh, the issue was an enigma but Mr. Mack was correct, I did enjoy it. Can't wait until next month to read: Skrulls SECRET INVASION TIE-IN!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Upcoming Events for Adolescent Literature Enthusiasts

Just because I am not blogging daily doesn't mean I'm slacking! I'm certainly reading, writing lesson plans and I'm currently preparing for a few conferences. I just finished reading Frey & Fisher's (eds) Teaching Visual Literacy: Using Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Anime, Cartoons, and More to Develop Comprehension and Thinking Skills. In the 21st Century, students must become critical readers and visual literacy is an essential part of literacy development. As teachers we must address this in our classrooms. I tried out one of the lessons in Rocco Versaci's chapter, "'Literary Literacy' and the Role of the Comic Book". The focus was the analysis of panel layouts in comic books. The lesson worked so well that I was actually disappointed that we weren't being observed. The last chapter by Paula Kluth addresses the need for visual supports for students with disabilities who are visual learners. She directly address the needs of deaf students.

Below are some upcoming events for adolescent literature enthusiasts. Not all of the conferences have presentations focused on Deaf Characters but I do try to branch out a little AND the more involved we are in these organizations, the more others realize that there is a unique genre that is often underrepresented.
March 14- 27, 2008: Pulse Blogfest. Over 110 authors have committed to this project. Each day of the blogfest will be devoted to one question submitted by a teen. For information, visit The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents: ALAN

April 2-5, 2008: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Convention, Worlds of TESOL: Building Communities of Practice, Inquiry, Creativity held in New York City. For information, visit: I'll be presenting my research on Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature on Thursday, April 3 and then leading a discussion group on analyzing Deaf Characters on Friday, April 4.

April 17-19, 2008: "Young Adults and Their Literature: An Inquiry-Based Forum" in conjunction with the 30th Youngstown State University English Festival in Ohio. Featured speakers include Joan Bauer, Chris Crutcher, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Christopher Paul Curtis, as well as Scott Dikkers, editor and co-founder of The Onion. For information,

May 7, 2008: International Reading Association's Special Interest Group for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Readers Presentation by Myron Uhlberg For information,

June 12-15, 2008: "ReImagining Normal," Illinois State University is hosting the 2008 Children's Literature Association Conference at the Chateau Hotel and Conference Center in Bloomington, Illinois. For information about the conference, visit

November 7-9, 2008: YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association, the fastest-growing division of ALA) will have its first Literature Symposium on the topic "How We Read Now," in Nashville, TN. For information,

Saturday, March 15, 2008

CODA Author, Myron Uhlberg, will Present at International Reading Association in May

Will I see you at the International Reading Association's Special Interest Group presentation by author Myron Uhlberg in May?

DAD, JACKIE, AND ME: Deaf, Black, and Hearing: What's the Connection? The Stories Behind the Story
Presenter: Myron Uhlberg
Topic: Using Literature and Providing Access to Books
Award-winning author Myron Uhlberg will discuss his latest book, DAD, JACKIE, and ME (winner of the American Library Association 2006 Schneider Family Award). Using old family photographs and archival materials, the author will show and explain the personal and historical background for his story that connects the experience of deafness, disabilities, and race in American history.

May 7, 2008 2-3:15PM
Georgia World Congress Center
For more information, visit:

Uhlberg's books draw heavily from his experience as the first-born hearing son of deaf parents in a Jewish home in Brooklyn. Dad, Jackie And Me is based on the summer of 1947 when he and his father cheered Jackie Robinson from the bleachers at Ebbets Field. The Printer, is loosely based on his father's life and is about a deaf printer's courage and a young boy's respect for his father.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Voting for Marlee Matlin on Dancing With the Stars

This message is used with permission.
From David Tossman, Gallaudet University Office of Public Relations:

Hi, I am contacting you on behalf of Marlee Matlin, who is currently the first Deaf person to perform on Dancing with the Stars. In addition to her upcoming movie, "Sweet Nothing in My Ear," Marlee also makes time to serve on the Gallaudet Board of Trustees. We are asking and encouraging the Deaf and hard of hearing community to be part of this exciting event by voting for Marlee at the end of each show.

Here is how people can vote: Votes can be done via calling, SMS (to the phone line), text (AT&T only), or online.

So, most might choose the online voting option. Here's an explanation of the voting:

Also, Marlee updates her MySpace site relatively regularly. That might be of interest to the voting community.

Sweet Nothing in my Ear on CBS scheduled for Sunday April 20th at 9/8c

Sweet Nothing in My Ear
Playwright Stephen Sachs has adapted his play Sweet Nothing In My Ear for a Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie set to air on CBS on April 20th at 9pm/ 8pmCentral.

In Sweet Nothing in My Ear, Laura, who is deaf, and Dan, who is hearing, are a young couple who have been happily married for nine years. Their son Adam was born hearing, but by age six has also become deaf. When Dan decides to pursue the possibility of a cochlear implant for his boy a divisive wedge is driven between husband and wife that threatens to shatter their marriage.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Insider Tips about Deaf Character Echo in New Avengers #39

(Note: I've included this Daredevil picture of Echo because she is holding her head and nearly covering her eyes. That is the way I'm feeling over Issue #39)

On Friday, I emailed David Mack explaining that I know he is a super busy guy but that I just wanted to share the excitement my students, some blog readers and I are all experiencing over the release of The New Avengers Issue #39. While we're all freaking out in anticipation and in fear that Echo may be a skrull, this experience is creating quite a dialogue between readers. As an English professor, I can't ask for anything more. So rather our fears are warranted or not, I just wanted to thank him.... this is what literature (and I do consider Comics and Graphic Novels a part of the new canon of literature) is all about.

Below is the email response from him. Okay, I don't REALLY have any insider tips but I always feel pretty cool when authors, including the talented David Mack reply to my emails.

In an email from Friday, David Mack wrote:

"I did try to post, but for some reason it is not working (probably my ancient laptop). I'll try to post from another computer when I get a chance. In the meantime, feel welcome to post my regards, and that I think they will enjoy this issue:)

Please give them my thanks for reading. There are skrulls in the issue, but I can't say who :) But I think the students will enjoy Echo and the Avengers in this story."

Here is my close analysis of the email.
Premise: David writes that he believes that we will enjoy the issue and he particularly states that we will enjoy Echo in this issue.
Premise: Hmmm, I don't think I would enjoy it at all if Echo becomes a hearing skrull
Conclusion: Echo won't be a skrull...

Okay, that isn't my finest Critical Thinking analysis and I don't really have any insider tips but the good news is that in just three more days, we'll know.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Deaf Character in Comics: Echo in New Avengers #39... released in 6 days

Here is an alternative cover for New Avengers issue #39 featuring Deaf Character Echo. I've been talking about this issue for a few months now. In 6 days, our wait will be over.
Eeeekkkk! My big concern is that Echo/Maya Lopez will be a Skrull and end up hearing (a very uncool ending for such a cool character)... but because David Mack is on board this project and I believe that he has a great deal of respect for Echo (considering he created her and all), I don't think that will happen.

Marlee Matlin Video on Access

Access Extended: Marlee Matlin's 'Dancing' Rehearsal

Nancy O'Dell catches up with Marlee to find out why she choose to do "Dancing With the Stars" and how she will be dealing with the challenge of dancing while not being able to hear the music.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Deaf Character in Jericho

It's probably obvious that I like to analyze (perhaps over-analyze) the portrayals of Deaf Characters... but my Dad is just happy to have someone with whom he can talk about one of his favorite shows, Jericho. He was so excited that he "found" a Deaf Character before I did. I'd like to note for the record that I continuously admit to receiving tons of leads about Deaf Characters in books, in movies, in the media, etc. and am certainly not clairvoyant about Deaf Character appearances.... although at times it does feel a bit uncanny.

Dad isn't very happy about the possible cancellation of this show but he also wasn't so thrilled with last night's episode.

In last night's episode, Deaf Character Bonnie, played by Shoshanna Stern, got to end things in a bang (pun intended) and I'll leave it at that. Will there be another season? Who knows. For an episode recap, visit CBS's website.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Deaf Author Featured on News

Thanks to Karen for announcing that Deaf Author Antoinette Abbamonte of the children's book Tree Wise was featured on ABC News. The video is captioned.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Deaf Character books & comics (release dates for March)....and events

March is a busy month! Since I often post release dates months in advance, here are some reminders:

March 1: A Touch of Grace (Daughters of Blessing #3) by Lauraine Snelling is released today! ((I'm reading this now and really enjoying it. Look forward to an interview with the author in the next few weeks))

March 3: Read Captions Across America™ for Read Across America Day

March 12 :Marvel Comics' The New Avengers issue will focus on Deaf Character, Echo ((I'm seriously holding my breath...have been for months now. Follow the link to more information about the character and my interview with artist/creator David Mack))

March 13: My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger released ((Follow the link to my interview with Steve Kluger. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did))

March 17: Check out Deaf Character author Marlee Matlin on Dancing with the Stars ((Put down your copies of Leading Ladies and check out Matlin on this season's Dancing with the Stars))