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Blog: This Man, This Teacher

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On Tuesday afternoon I took a step towards fulfilling my MANIFEST DESTINY i.e. becoming some sort of TEACHER. My NAN was a teacher and all my life people have said "Have you ever thought about becoming a teacher?" I like to think this is because of my INNATE WISDOWM and COMMUNICATION SKILLZ, tho I must face the fact that it MAY be because I am basically incapable of existing in COMMERCE. Also, I do wear CORDOUROY rather well.

Anyway, this first step was a TALK what I was giving to a bunch of undergraduates doing a module on "Graphic Narratives" (i.e. COMICS) at the London College Of Communication. The person running the course was getting VARIOUS of my fellow Comics Studies students in to talk about our PhD proposals as a way of showing The Kids different ways of approaching this kind of research. I was VERY happy to take part, not JUST because I am always happy to have an audience (especially one who are not allowed to leave halfway through), but also because I need to do something similar anyway. At my first Supervisory Meeting last month my Supervisors and I got a bit over-excited about the various ways I could DO The Bronze Age Of Marvel Comics as a research topic, even getting to the point where it could be nothing to DO with Marvel and became an "exploration of collaboration", so we agreed that for our next meeting I'd do a PRESENTATION on all the different ways i COULD do it, then try and work a PLAN out from there. THUS doing the LCC talk would hopefully be a GRATE way of getting my THORTS together and, who knows, even getting some NEW ideas from The Kidz?

I arrived at LCC to find that, like at St Martins, modern ART students wear black, white or, if they're feeling KRAZY, GREY at all times. I know that my generation of students did pretty much the same, but that was because we washed everything at the same time so our clothes TURNED grey, this lot seem to be doing it on purpose!

I met with my COLLEAGUE Tobias who was also doing a talk, and we were taken upstairs to a room full of YOUNG PEOPLE. Tobias went first, and his talk was PROPER Academic - examples, history, consideration, all that sort of thing. It made me a bit worried about how mine would go, as it was basically predicated on my LEAPING AROUND getting EXCITED.

Luckily it went FINE, especially once I'd reminded myself that this WAS a lecture session, NOT a gig, so everyone was extremely sober and thus a RIPPLE OF GIGGLE was equivalent to a BIG LARF. It was dead good fun - I stampeded through an explanation of "Bronze Age", "Shared World" and "Transmedia", then presented a whole string of different METHODOLOGIES. I had to do this bit at high speed because, to be honest, I have only recently found out about most of them myself so could well have done it wrong if I'd had to go into any depth!

The BEST bit was at the end when we had questions, and we entered into a long discussion of how I could AUTOETHNOGRAPHICALLY "BECOME" a superhero and experience the INHERENTLY PERFORMATIVE aspects thereof. It was GRATE! Also, unfortunately, for some reason I decided to tell everyone about Man Of Steel, Woman Of Kleenex so I fear that the MAIN thing everyone will remember from my bit is, as everyone gleefully shouted later, "SUPER SPERM!"

At the end was a QUIZ, which was illuminating as one of the questions was "Which three comics did Mark particularly push as ones you should read?" I didn't have a clue - I hadn't really been listening - but it turns out these were "The Fantastic Four" (the John Byrne run, OBVS, as a Classic Of The Bronze Age), "Watchmen" (none of them had read it! MADNESS!) and "The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl" (because it is GRATE). Turns out I have GOOD TASTE!

When all was done I had some time to spare so popped into the Imperial War Museum, where I watched a short film about the D-Day landings and felt SAD, then saw another about the rise of Hitler and felt REALLY sad. Still, it's a good job none of THAT could possibly happen again, right?

Luckily for me there was cheering up on hand in the form of The Artist Tom Smith AKA my baby brother, who I had a meeting in the PUB with. We went to The Seven Stars, which is ACE, and had a LENGTHY discussion about a COLLABORATIVE TALK we could give together next year. Why, it's almost as if it is DESTINY calling once again!

posted 18/11/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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