Graphic novel author gives classics a new look

Gareth Hinds Skypes in with Humanities classes

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Graphic novel author gives classics a new look

Humanities classes look on as author Gareth Hinds Skypes in as part of a lesson analyzing Hinds' art and his interpretation of the classic novel Beowulf.

Humanities classes look on as author Gareth Hinds Skypes in as part of a lesson analyzing Hinds' art and his interpretation of the classic novel Beowulf.

Sarah Wiseman

Humanities classes look on as author Gareth Hinds Skypes in as part of a lesson analyzing Hinds' art and his interpretation of the classic novel Beowulf.

Sarah Wiseman

Sarah Wiseman

Humanities classes look on as author Gareth Hinds Skypes in as part of a lesson analyzing Hinds' art and his interpretation of the classic novel Beowulf.

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Romeo and Juliet, The Odyssey, Beowulf are just three of the classics given the graphic novel treatment by author Gareth Hinds, and Monday morning he Skyped in with the school’s Humanities classes as part of a virtual field trip.

Having the visual support and seeing it in this form, I hope, will excite people about this sort of stuff, ”

— author Gareth Hinds

“The idea initially came from Ms. Chetty two years ago,” Humanities teacher Sarah Wiseman said. “We had a great time two years ago when he Skyped, we felt he talks a lot about his writing process and creative process in a way that’s important for the students. We wanted students to have the same experience again this year.”

Hinds is well known for his graphic novel interpretations of classic stories that include the Odyssey and works by Shakespeare.

“I think they’re amazing stories and is the reason why they become classics,” Hinds said via Skype. “I’m aware for some students that it’s not a positive experience to be presented with the original text and all of its density. Having the visual support and seeing it in this form, I hope, will excite people about this sort of stuff.”

His works allow students to interpret the content of classic stories while simultaneously analyzing art.

“I think that just by giving you a vision of what’s going on, it not only helps you understand what’s happening it helps you understand the second level of emotional content, some of the themes, [and] the symbolism that is now in fact visual symbolism, so that’s more accessible,” Hinds said via Skype. “I’m just hoping that it allows you to get deeper into the content of the text and what’s cool about it.”

The Skype call precedes an essay that Humanities students will write on Wednesday in which they must analyze the art in his interpretation of Beowulf.

It helped us connect with the book that we are reading in more depth, ”

— sophomore Vivan Shah

“It [the call] helped us connect with the book that we are reading in more depth, and that allowed us to get a better look at the actual context of the book and to get a professional look at the classic story,” sophomore Vivan Shah said. “One interesting point was when he described his process of making the book and his other works and how it influences the current book we’re reading.”

Monday’s call was commonplace for Hinds who frequently speaks with students about his books and life as an illustrator.

“I do Skype visits and also in-person school visits, and that is both an opportunity for me to plug my books and talk about why classics are cool,” Hinds said via Skype. “I find that teachers want to bring me into these things because it gives you an interesting look into the process and as to not only what this career is like, but also what happens with different media and how one story told in a different medium has different implications.”