NEW! Having Fun with Comics A Way to Draw Families Closer Together
Deploying Comix to Help Develop Character: A Sampler
When we originally were planning creation of the MakeBeliefsComix web site, our first goal was to develop a digital vehicle to draw families closer through the activity of making comic strips together – whether it was brothers and sisters, parents and children or grandparents and grandchildren. Our thinking was that the family that PLAYS together stays together; comics help provide the ‘’glue.’’
You see there is a common bond among people when it comes to the funnies. Who among us doesn’t love to look at the colorful Sunday comix and visit places where characters can fly, where they go on fantastic adventures and often say outrageous things? Everything is possible in a comic, from flying in space to saying funny, witty, even serious things through the talk balloons. And the good thing about comics is that they say a lot without too many words.
As you explore this website you will find a wide range of activities listed below:
1. CREATE YOUR OWN COMICS!
The key working page of MakeBeliefsComix is the Create Comix! Page. There you’ll find blank comix templates which you can fill with characters, talk and thought balloons, background, and objects. Your job is simply to use your rich imagination to fill in the blank panels. After they are completed by you, they can be printed for a family portfolio of art or emailed to relatives and friends.
The Create Comix! Page is a safe place to express all the wonderful ideas and thoughts within you. We encourage family members to sit down together in building a comic story, with each person contributing some words and ideas to make the story flow. You’ll find yourself laughing and expressing delight at what you create together.
2. GET IDEAS AT COMIC STARTERS:
If you need some ideas as to what kinds of stories to create, just look at our Comic Starters page which will help begin a comic strip that you can then complete. A parent or child can create their own comic starters by coming up with a comic for the first comic panel, with the other person continuing the comic in the second panel, and on and on up to 18 panels.
- Documenting your family’s adventures and special moments
- Highlighting key family traditions and rituals
- Autobiographical comics of family members (pick a character to represent you and talk about your life story)
- A family vacation adventure
- Family recipes for your favorite dishes
- A comic strip about things for which you are grateful
- Comics to celebrate important family occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or graduations
- Hopes and dreams of family members
- A comic strip to illustrate a family problem and possible solutions
- A daily comic diary, with each day’s comic strip created by a different family member. To help you with this, go to our DAILY COMIC DIARY page. Maybe the comic illustrates something funny or special that happened at school or work or something new that you learned or thought of today.
- A comic about family sayings that have been handed down over the generations
- A comic about home remedies
- Family superstitions
- How do we prepare for and celebrate special holidays, such as Christmas, Chanukah, Ester, Three Kings Day, Ramadan, Passover; what special foods do we eat, or do we fast?
Comic strips about any of the subjects mentioned above can be printed and placed in a portfolio of family comic strips which you can place next to your important books, such as your family bible or photo album. You will treasure these home-made comics in the years ahead for capturing moments of time in your lives and share with new members of your family. In effect, they narrate your lives and who you are.
In addition, there is a Story Ideas page which will set fire to your imaginations.
4.GREETING CARDS AND STATIONERY:
With our Greeting Cards and Stationery You can write a special message on the pages and email to friends or relatives. Go to the Create Comix page choose a greeting card and add your message in the same panel or add another panel to extend your message along with your greeting card.
STATIONERY TO SEND NOTES AND MESSAGES
6. CELEBRATE YOUR FAMILY HISTORY AND MEMORIES :
On this special page you will find ideas on how to record your family history and interview family members to hear their life stories. This is a wonderful intergeneration activity. We also offer a free e-book to show you how to do this, titled How to Create Instant Oral Biographies. Our family history page also will teach you how to create a paper memory quilt highlighting the important events in your life. You can find panels for our paper quilt here.
7. SEND AN E-HUG COMIC TO SOMEONE YOU LOVE :
Sending a comic E-Hug from MakeBeliefsComix is a wonderful way to keep in touch with friends and relatives scattered around the world as well as a way for parents, grandparents, and children to send loving messages to each other. There also are templates on this page for you to create your own E-Hugs. Many grandparents keep in touch with their grandchildren with the E-Hugs or by creating their own comic messages.
Also, for more ideas about writing to children, check out our free e-book, Laptop Letters: Writing Wise & Loving Messages to Young People in Your Life or our special page ‘’Writing to Children.’’
8. WANT A GIGGLE? TALK TO YOUR PET THROUGH OUR PET TALKS COMIC FEATURE:
Which of us doesn’t wish she or he could read the minds of the creatures we love? Our interactive Pet Talks feature will allow you to converse through comics with the pet of your choice. It’s just plain fun!
9. ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILDREN AND YOU TO DO MORE WRITING:
- Lots of Writing Prompts Printables to choose from.
- Our writing blog, Somethingtowriteabout.com encourages creative writing.
- Tell-A-Story Comic Starters...get creative in response to various subjects.
- Have family members take turns writing about and sharing the blessings in their lives with help from our free e-book, A Sweet, Kind Book Filled with Blessings and Good Thoughts.
10. COMMON SENSE MEDIA REVIEW FOR PARENTS & TEACHERS:
So, now you have a picture of how comic-making with MakeBeliefsComix can provide fun and constructive activities for families and draw members closer to each other. After you try some of the many activities suggested here, please let us know how things went, as well as your suggestions and ideas to improve what we offer. We’d like to learn from your own playful ideas in using comics as a family activity. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and please share our web site with your friends, relatives and colleagues. That is so helpful to us as we work to build a community of users for our educational family resource. Thank you.
Bill Zimmerman, Creator
P.S. If you like and use what we offer to your family, please consider participating in our GO FUND ME campaign to help raise additional funds, enabling us to keep developing and improving MakeBeliefsComix. And, share our campaign with your own friends and community.