Monday, October 3, 2011

Comic Books in English Class?

by David Fitzsimmons

Award-winning comic book author and illustrator Jay Hosler visited the AU English Department on September 15th, speaking to my Literature for Adolescents class. Dr. Hosler’s work includes Clan Apis and The Sandwalk Adventures, Optical Allusions, and Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth.

Dr. Hosler is also an assistant professor of biology at Juniata College. His science-based graphic novels make learning about bees, evolution, and other complex topics fun and interesting.  What better way to learn about social insects than following the soap opera-like life of a unsure, sometimes whiny, highly excitable bee like Nyuki (Clan Apis)?

Besides his engaging and hilarious comics, Hosler’s most recent article, "Are Comic Books an Effective Way to Engage Nonmajors?" (CBE—Life Sciences Education Vol. 10, Fall 2011), offers data indicating that visual texts may play key roles "in engaging and shaping student attitudes" toward science "in a positive way."

Jay Hosler's visit was co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, The Department of English, and the Department of Art.

To see more of Jay Hosler’s, please visit

And check out his uproarious blog, “Drawing Flies.”