One of the things that those of us at GrayHaven have tried to accomplish since our inception is to help the comic book industry thrive by reaching out to potential new readers, including those at a very young age. We have our HEY KIDS line and our upcoming YOU ARE NOT ALONE special may have been borne from the tragedies at Sandy Hook and Aurora, but the goal has always been to reach out to younger readers.
On Sunday, August 25th, GrayHaven continued this tradition by conducting the first of its kind CREATE A NATURE SUPERHERO DAY event hosted by the Briar Bush Nature Reserve in Abington, PA. Organized by Lori Schreiber, one of the Abington Commissioners, the event featured GrayHaven Editor (and Abington resident) Marc Lombardi as he helped a group of nearly three dozen children of various ages in creating their own nature themed superheroes and learn about the positive aspects of respecting nature and keeping the environment clean.
The day began with a brief introduction of Marc and what he does for GrayHaven but then quickly turned into an interactive teaching exercise that used comic books as a learning tool and a bridge to making learning about nature fun and relatable. Each child in attendance (and some of the parents) used a ready-made “origin” sheet to come up with the names of their nature-based heroes, their secret identities and various other points of information to help build the basis for their characters. Then each child was provided with supplies to draw their heroes. Upon completion of their origins and artwork, the kids all met their characters’ new nemesis…The Litter Bug, a villain that was created by Marc just for the event.
Near the end of the event, each child was given a superhero mask that they could design, color and wear. Since the children were encouraged to attend the event in costume or wearing shirts featuring their favorite superheroes, this last piece was the finishing touch to their day. Due to the success of the event (for both GrayHaven and the Briar Bush Nature Center) other similar events are already in the planning stages, including a Fire-Safety Superhero Day at an area fire station.
If you are in the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware area and would like to host a similar event, please contact Marc Lombardi at GrayHaven at firstname.lastname@example.org.