In the “Shit My Students Say” comics by Joel Christian Gill, we get a glimpse of what it is like for the cartoonist and educator interacting with the students in his class, often to outrageous and hilarious results.
Gill is the author of Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence as well as the Strange Fruits books, a series of illustrated story collections that chronicle the narratives of uncelebrated Black historical figures. In addition to this work, Gill works as a educator.
When he appeared on the SDCC20 panel “Inspired: Personal Stories in Graphic Novels,” Gill mentioned that he enjoys a singular relationship with his students, one that often involves them learning more about him over the course of the semester as they uncover his online presence and manage to track down his books (to the students that have found this article: hey kids, read more comics!).
Gill chronicles some of the most ridiculous interactions he’s had with students in his class, including somewhat awkward remarks about race and gender as well as some shocking outbursts – you know, classroom stuff! Gill also includes comics about Halloween costumes and receiving text messages from students while he’s visiting the beach, offering a year-round glimpse of life as an teacher.
In one particularly hilarious comic, Gill is forced to write a list of the topics that are not allowed to be included in an upcoming comic assignment, including “Voltron Themed Cocaine Parties” (which, in defense of the students, does sound like a pretty entertaining comic).
You’ll want to be sure and follow Gill on Twitter so you can keep up with the all the excellent art he posts, like this picture of Angela Davis:
— Joel Christian Gill wears a mask (@jcg007) August 23, 2020
And you can find more about his work (including links to buy his books) through his website!