Create a Comic Project

The Create a Comic Project (CCP) is a youth literacy program and webcomic created by John Baird. The program uses comics, many taken from the Internet, to encourage children to write their own narratives. The program began in November 2006 at the main branch of the New Haven Free Public Library as an after-school program. The project has since worked with several other groups, including the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Braddock Carnegie Library, and the Pittsburgh YMCA. Baird has presented the results of his work on the project at several conventions and conferences, including South by Southwest Interactive.

The webcomic side of the project posts comics made by the children. The website was launched January 4, 2007. Archives of the Taiwan comics, labeled "Create a Comic Project ROC" or "CCP Version 1.0," go from July 9, 2005 through November 28, 2006. Comics generated in America, labeled "CCP Version 2.0," were first posted November 29, 2006 to present.

Project background
The Create a Comic Project was first conceived in the Republic of China while Baird was teaching English at Hess Educational Organization. He used it as an ESL activity in class. A version of the project was eventually published as part Hess's official curriculum materials in their Student Activities Booklet, which is currently used in both the ROC and Singapore. One of Baird's inspirations was the Penny Arcade Remix Project.

After going to New Haven graduate school at Yale University, Baird remade the project as a stand-alone activity for the New Haven Public Library. Library staffers called the program "wonderful" and that it had "encouraged children to willingly express their creativity." In Pittsburgh, Baird hosted a number of workshops in the city before entering into a year-long collaboration with the Greater Pittsburgh YMCA's summer camp and after-school programs. While attending Teachers College, Columbia University, Baird brought the project into several area schools in the city, including LaGuardia High School and The School at Columbia University. The project is currently based in Houston, Texas, where Baird has given workshops to employees at the University of Texas Charter School and been invited to give workshops at the Conference for the Advancement of Math Teaching in 2011.

The program hosts regular comic tournaments at the New Haven library, which are funded by grant awards from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. The CCP is the single largest multi-webcomic collaborative project of its kind. It was the only comic-based children's program of its type in New Haven and Pittsburgh.

In 2009, Baird and other webcomic creators held a panel and two project-based workshops at Otakon. The project has also hosted panels and workshops at Tekkoshocon in 2009 and 2010.

Erin Ptah (And Shine Heaven Now, Emeralds: Hearts in Oz) has created art for the project's official materials.

Contributing comics
Various comic creators allow Baird to use their work for the Create a Comic Project. The first webcomic ever used was Okashina Okashi - Strange Candy,with others following later. They include (in alphabetical order):

    Pete Abrams - Sluggy Freelance
    Gene Ambaum - Unshelved
    Christopher Baldwin - Little Dee
    Gina Biggs - Red String
    Jennie Breeden - The Devil's Panties, Geebas on Parade
    T Campbell - Fans, Penny & Aggie, Cool Cat Studios, Sketchies, Rip & Teri
    Maritza Campos - College Roomies from Hell!!!, Doomies
    Jorge Cham - Piled Higher and Deeper
    Brian Clevinger - 8-Bit Theater
    D. J. Coffman - Hero By Night, Flo Bots
    Chris Cracknell - Ghastly's Ghastly Comic
    Karen Ellis - Planet Karen
    Phil Foglio - Girl Genius
    Shaenon Garrity - Narbonic, Skin Horse, Smithson, Lil' Mell and Sergio
    Meredith Gran - Octopus Pie
    Shawn Handyside - Staccato
    Mohammad Haque - Applegeeks
    Akira Hasegawa - Tsunami Channel
    Chris Hastings - The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
    Faith Erin Hicks - Demonology 101, Ice
    Bill Holbrook - Kevin and Kell
    Jeph Jacques - Questionable Content
    Kazu Kibuishi - Copper, Flight
    Kittyhawk - Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki
    Jenn Manley Lee - Dicebox
    Erin Lindsey - Venus Envy
    Nina Matsumoto - Saturnalia
    Ian McConville - Mac Hall, Three Panel Soul
    Randall Munroe - xkcd
    Vincent "Bleedman" Ngo - Sugar Bits, Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, Grim Tales From Down Below
    Michael Poe - Errant Story, Exploitation Now
    Erin Ptah - And Shine Heaven Now
    Scott Christian Sava - The Dreamland Chronicles
    Emily Snodgrass - Okashina Okashi - Strange Candy
    Kean Soo - Jellaby
    David Stanworth - Snafu Comics, Tin
    Richard Stevens - Diesel Sweeties
    Michael Terracciano - Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire
    Charlie "Spike" Trotman - Templar, Arizona
    Tycho and Gabe - Penny Arcade
    Zach Weiner - Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
    David Willis - Shortpacked!, It's Walky!, Roomies!

Awards
    In 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 the project won grants from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven to support its tournament activity at the New Haven Public Library.
    In 2008, the project won a "This is Public Health" campaign award from the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH).
    In 2009, the project won a "Star of Distinction" from the University of Pittsburgh for its work in improving literacy among urban youths in Pittsburgh. It is the first and only youth literacy program in the city to have received this award.
 

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