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FH Miller PS student shortlisted for international comic book contest

FH Miller PS student shortlisted for international comic book contest

Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

An 11 year old student at FH Miller PS was shortlisted for an international comic book competition. Debis B created his own comic on an iPad using the app Book Creator, first storyboarding his idea, then collecting props and costumes and working with teachers and students to come up with the finished project. His work, titled Please Play Debis!, was selected as a top ten finalist, and was one of only three chosen to represent Canada.

The piece is very much based on the author’s own personal experiences. It is the story of a boy who does everything in his power to get his brother off the sofa and out to the park, with mayhem ensuing. “It was a bit of a struggle (to come up with the idea) but after thinking and thinking, my mom said ‘Think about stuff you do in real life.’” 

Storytelling comes naturally to the grade 6 student. He loves to read, confessing to an affinity for Big Nate comics and Captain Underpants in particular, and has met authors such as Barbara Reid, Ruth Ohi, Julie Kraulis, and Alex A.  “I ask them how they get their book ideas and how to write the characters in the books,” said Debis. 

“We are so proud of him for all the extra work he put in at recess, lunch and at home,” said teacher-librarian Mira Campbell of her student. She added that Debis is highly creative and loves to act. “We used green screen technology for the entire comic and included some videos to showcase his acting.” 

Campbell is a Digital Lead Learner for the TDSB and believes that technology can provide students a choice of how to demonstrate their learning in ways that were not previously possible. “When I saw this competition I thought this would be a great chance for [Debis] to showcase his abilities,” she said. “With technology he was able to create an imaginary world and bring it all to life in this digital comic that has sound effects as well as his voice and expression. A paper and pencil comic would not have accurately captured all of his talent.” 

Debis was recently honoured at a school assembly for his work. As a finalist in the Book Creator contest, he had his work evaluated by writer, artist, and co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman.

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