Marjorie Wilson Information

Marjorie Wilson


In the mid-1970s, Penn State art education professors Marj and Brent Wilson started studying American kids who drew for hours and hours nearly every day. Of course they discovered that most of the kids were drawing stories filled with characters borrowed from comics. When the Wilsons began to publish research about the fantastic graphic narratives kids drew to please themselves, other art educators were highly displeased. Art teachers' prevailing belief was that borrowing from comics destroyed kids' creativity. The Wilsons responded to their critics by publishing more research showing that kids' self initiated graphic narratives were generally more imaginative than the stuff kids were asked to do in art classes. In the 1980s the Wilsons asked Japanese kids to draw stories. Wow! The kids' manga influenced narratives were amazing-and far more advanced than anything American kids were doing at the time. This discovery led Brent Wilson to Japan (three times) where, with his colleague Masami Toku, he attended the Tokyo Comic Market, interviewed and wrote about the market organizers, famous manga artists, manga editors, manga school directors, and publishers. Wilson has also attended comic markets in Taiwan, and Hong Kong and interviewed Asian kids who form themselves into groups to publish their own dojinshi manga.

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