Today marks the 10th anniversary of a superhero you may never have heard of in the UK, but he's one of the greatest heroes of all because his comics help kids in the real world. He's Grammarman, who makes learning good fun, and he's the creation of cartoonist and teacher Brian Boyd.
Here's Brian to reveal the Grammarman story....
"Grammarman is the result of my combined interests in comics, writing, drawing, computers, puzzles and teaching English. My main job is teaching English as a second language (ESL). I work in Bangkok, where Japanese manga are very popular. As I've loved comics since I was a kid, I started hatching an idea for a comic that would exploit the medium's popularity and bring a fun element to the classroom.
On August 23nd 2005, I floated the idea of Grammarman to my teaching colleague, Thom Kiddle over a pint of beer.
The concept: a tongue-in-cheek superhero strip where the hero battles crimes against the English language in his adopted metropolis, Verbo City. Grammarman's roster of villains includes Sammy Colon (punctuation villain), Anna Gramme (a mixed up lady), Uncle Uncountable, King Wrong, Butch Clausidy and The Sentence Kid, Auxilla, The Wizard of Was and many, many more. Grammarman is aided in his quest by Alpha-bot (a genius android) and Syntax (an alien visitor from a distant galaxy).
Each episode of Grammarman is also a puzzle, similar to Buster comic's Mastermind. At the end of each story, Grammarman breaks the fourth wall, turning to address the reader and ask for assistance in solving a problem, finding clues or identifying the criminal. This makes the comics suitable for supplementing a grammar lesson.
Thom was very enthusiastic and encouraged me to create some sample strips to send to publishers. When I got home that evening, I started doodling and scribbling on scrap paper and by about 4am I had a pile of ideas for characters and stories.
Within six months, the comic was in print and I had started www.grammarmancomic.com
Now, Grammarman has appeared in magazines and newspapers in China, Russia, Argentina, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei and Canada. It has also featured in the main ESL magazines and on MacMillan Publishing's onestopenglish.com
You can find out more at: http://grammarmancomic.com/about/ "
Grammarman comic has featured in:
Thanks for the info, Brian. What a great concept, and one that obviously has proven to be very successful over the last decade. Congratulations on ten years of Grammarman. An achievement to be proud of!