Saturday, October 28, 2006

Trick-or-treat alternative

In the comments for my last post I was encouraged by D.B.Echo to tell the world what it is that I give out for Halloween. At least that's what I got from the comment so if I'm wrong sorry. It actually has something to do with writing so I guess I will share it with everyone.

When kids come trick-or-treating to my door I give them candy but I also give them comic books. I spend a few days going around town finding cheap, kid friendly comic books and even steal a few from my personal collection. (If you are considering doing this tell the store why you want the books. They help you find kid appropriate ones and may give you a better deal. One store gave me a great deal if I let them put the store sticker in the front cover).

I do this for a few reasons. Everyone gives candy so I like to give a little something different. Also I love comic books and if someone would have given me one instead of candy I would have loved it.
The bigger reason I give out comic books is to promote reading and art appreciation. Maybe it's not the finest literature or art you are going to find but for kids it's a start. More and more kids and adults rely on T.V. and videos games. I love these things too but I worry that eventually few people will care about reading because they can just watch it. Then they will miss the beauty of things like the inner monologue, the suspense that fills you when you just can't read fast enough and how much more grand things are when imagined rather than shoved in your face. And I worry that few people will ever stop to appreciate the time and effort it takes to draw images that look like they could reach out and touch you and maybe no one will realize that if you take the time to think about it one beautifully detailed scene says so much more than a movie can.
I know that most people don't see comic books that deeply but they can be a start for children. Obviously not just comics either. If you can find children's books or give out Play-Doh or crayons, anything that encourages a child to think and imagine, then hand those out.
I don't think I need to explain why we should encourage children to create and appreciate. I just thought I'd mention it in case anyone was looking for an alternative to candy this Halloween.
I've done this for the past three years and the kids seem to love it.

BTW: I updated my sidebar with my NaNoWriMo page and this time it's my own page not just the home page for the site(Oops!). I also added my MySpace page although I don't spend much time there so it's not that exciting.

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