Tag Archives: icebreakers

Icebreakers: Mindy Wara Mackiolek Introduces Comic Books in the Classroom

19 Feb


Mindy started collecting comic books with her husband as a hobby they both could share with the DC New 52 relaunch, but recently she has started getting into more indie and digital comics as well. She is 26 and grew up in Wisconsin, but currently lives in Saskatchewan. Mindy graduated with a degree in English and Theatre Education and Creative Writing. Most of the time she can be found reading, knitting, drawing, watching New Girl, listening the the Talking Comics podcasts, or spending time with her husband and two cats. Her favorite super heroine is tied between Batwoman and Barbara Gordon as Oracle and Batgirl.



I love comic books for so many reasons. They are not only pieces of literature, but pieces of art as well. Because of my literature and education background I tend to focus on the same things I focus on when reading a full text book – women’s issues and/or how this might translate in a classroom setting. I used Maus to teach about the Holocaust during my student teaching and the kids loved it. I have also done a lot of research on character origins and general comic book history (in case I ever get the opportunity to teach a class on comic books). Comics are a less intimidating form of reading with the added challenge of interpreting pictorial representations – what more could you want in a book?



Find out more about Mindy! 

Read her blog here: 

Or find even more information about Mindy and comics in the classroom at these URLs:
Follow me on twitter @comicsonice

Icebreakers: Leah Rae Miller Talks About Comics and How She Became a Nerd

12 Feb


I had a hard time trying to figure out what to talk about in this post, and after many different thoughts, the one that kept sticking out was, “Geez Louise, I love comics so much.” And isn’t that what it boils down to for all of us. The characters, the stories, the art, etc., all these things culminate to create one of the best forms of storytelling ever.

My love of comics started at a very young age. My brother used them (specifically X-Factor) to teach me how to read. I’d read the girl parts and he’d read the boys’. It wasn’t long before I was daydreaming about being a superhero, about what type of powers are the best to have (that would be telekinesis and telepathy, just so you know). I like to think comics shaped my view of women and what we can do. Sure, I have a very strong mother who cemented my belief that women are not the weaker sex by any means, but this blog is about comics not how awesome my mom is.


Seeing Jean Grey and all the other X-ladies be strong and smart definitely had an impact on the six-year-old me and the now thirty-year-old me. I didn’t graduate from college, I have two kids, and I decided I could write a book because if Jean Grey can come back from the grave a million times, well, I can write a novel.

Not only did these characters help build my confidence in being a woman, they also inspired me. In fact, I can say with all honesty that if I wasn’t a comic book lover, my first novel, a young adult romantic comedy entitled THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD, wouldn’t even exist. It’s about a girl who is secretly a huge comic fan. The guy behind the counter at the local comic shop finds out and hilarity ensues.

So, yeah, I guess you could say I owe a lot to comic books and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Born and raised in northern Louisiana, Leah Rae Miller still lives there on a windy hill with her husband and kids. She loves comic books, lava lamps, fuzzy socks, and Cherry Coke. She spends most of her days reading things she likes and writing things she hopes other people will like. Her YA novel, THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD, releases May 7, 2013, from Entangled Teen

Find out more about Leah’s book THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD, or pre-order your copy here:



Follow Leah on Twitter @LeahR_Miller or follow me @comicsonice

If you are interested in becoming next week’s Icebreaker, please contact me at comicsonice@gmail.com

Until next week; keep chiseling!

Icebreakers: Blair Wade Writes About Feminist Themes In Wonder Woman

5 Feb

This week’s Icebreaker is Blair Wade


About Blair

My name is Blair Wade and I am a second year political science student in Alberta, Canada, with a fascination with all things feminist and superhero Gail Simone and Barbara Gordon are 100% my biggest feminist inspirations.


An excerpt from her essay: 

The Wonder Woman Complex: 

How The Most Iconic Super-Heroine in the DC Universe Demonstrates The Positive Impacts of Radical Feminism

Created from the imagination of William Marston in 1941, Wonder Woman emerged as a fierce super-heroine in the overwhelmingly male-dominated sphere of comics. Described by Robert Greenberger as a “cultural juggernaut”5 she proved herself from her origin as a resilient competitor, equal, if not superior, to her male rivals. Using her astounding physical and mental strength to fight for truth and justice, she took on the mission to help alleviate oppression around the world. Consequently she became an empowering figure for her audience. Greenberger fervently argues that she “espoused the equality of women in every aspect of society”6 as heroine, career woman, and romantic companion. Just as soon as she entered the DC Universe, she became symbolic in popular culture of the entire feminist movement; she was even used by prominent feminist figure Gloria Steinem in her campaigns. In the recent re-boot of her character by Brian Azzarello in The New 52, Wonder Woman and her fellow characters continue to encapsulate both explicit and implicit feminist messages. The series and its iconic heroine demonstrate how radical feminism has the power to end female oppression by overthrowing patriarchal society, redefining reproductive roles, liberating female sexuality, and ending sexual violence.

Please read more of her thorough and thoughtful essay by clicking here.


Follow Blair on Twitter @CeremonialStars & follow me @comicsonice

Keep the great contributions coming, cannot wait to hear more from all of you!

Again my email address is comicsonice@gmail.com and any media goes for this project.  Until next week, keep chiseling – Sam


5 Feb

First of all I want to talk about what I have planned for the blog. Every week I will pick a new series to explore. I’ll try to provide some food for thought, maybe even make a point or two, no promises.


This week, I have chosen to write about the Image Comics series Revival by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton, I should have at least one more post coming up on the topic.

On Wednesdays I will review some new books that came out that week.

There’s another piece in the plan though, I want to start including contributions from women and girls who read, write, draw, or otherwise touch the comicsphere, I am calling the series ‘Icebreakers,’ because I aim to gain support for the idea that there are fangirls out there too; to ‘break down,’ the assumption that the world of comic books belongs to boys.


So starting now, right now, this instant; I am accepting emails at comicsonice@gmail.com, or tweets @comicsonice, or carrier pigeons carrying words from women who love comics. Write an essay, a poem, draw something, video an interpretive dance, anything goes! Get creative, tell the world about what comics mean to you, why you love them, and how they inspire you. I really look forward to seeing what you create. Grab an ice pick and start chiseling your way out of the fridge.

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