Scene #2 – The Adventures of Future Hearing Man!
After writing the origin story for Future Hearing Man, guest artist, Jenna Oakley, needed to show the growth of her character as he came to understand the possibilities and limitations of his new “future hearing” powers. (Notice Jenna casted her hero as a university student — a life she knows well as a graduate of fine arts — so she could have the best chance of adding age-relevant, real life social interactions in her comic. Children and youth should be encouraged to “write what the know” and choose a character of similar age to themselves.) To help her with her hero’s growing pains Jenna followed the Life Outside the Box comic slam worksheet: Life Outside the Box Comic Slam “Fail, fail, fail, save-the-day!” I gave this comic slam activity the nickname “Goldilocks challenge) because it involves the hero having to deal with too little, too much and just right amounts of super power — an exercise in learning super power self-regulation. his comic slam has four sections:
A) Big idea: GRIT – firmness of mind or spirit; courage in the face of hardship or danger; able to deal with hard times
B) Method: It’s time to give your character some Super Power lessons. Learning to control super powers and those annoying unfortunate side effects can be challenging, dangerous — and sometimes embarrassing. You need to give your hero some grit! Step 1. Imagine a scene in which your beginner-hero first accidentally discovers her or his super power. What happened? Who was affected? Step 2. Imagine what would happen if your beginner-hero was trying to “save the day” and she or he did not yet know how to turn on the super power. What happened? Who was affected? Step 3. Imagine what would happen if your beginner-hero was trying to “save the day” and used too much super power. What happened? Who was affected?
C) Comic: Draw a comic strip in which your hero’s super power lessons get off to a rough start — first, there is “too little” power; second, “too much” power, and third — hurray! — your Hero’s super power is “just right” and helps to get the job done.
D) Rules 1) To build up your beginner- hero’s grit and strength, you must make your hero go through some failures before the ultimate win. 2) Your hero must go undergo a super power learning process. 3) Just like Goldilocks, your beginner-hero must learn about: “too little,” “too much,” and “just right” when controlling super powers and unfortunate side effects.
Jenna’s hero struggles to bring on his future hearing power. At first it does not come; then it is waaay too sensitive and he picks up too many sounds; then he wonders, “Maybe if I just relax …” After successfully learning to regulate his super power, Future Hearing Man decides he needs to dress like a super hero and shows us he also has super skills with a sewing machine.