Create Your Own Comix Strips at Make Beliefs ComixFall 2009 Website
Site creator Bill Zimmerman is an author and journalist with a background in pioneering interactive web features for kids to compliment the newspaper for which he worked. However, he grew up with a passion for collecting comic books, and all of those elements come together to make MakeBeliefsComix.com as site with as much educational value as entertainment value. There are story prompts to help kids' creativity kick in, and a respectable list of suggestions for using the site in the classroom, and comics can be created in 6 different languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Latin and Portuguese. Thanks to its very nature, though, any kid using the site informally will end up applying lots of creativity, writing, reading, and imagination. Graphics are simple, bright and eye-catching; and in the section that invites users to choose a character, choices are diverse in age, gender, and ethnicity (some are even animal/human morphs) and one character is in a wheelchair. Users then get to choose from a variety of emotions, e.g. angry, sad, curious, etc., for the characters, and all of it is sensitively illustrated. There's nothing negative in the choices themselves, however, children supply the text to go with the pictures so parents will want to keep an eye on the stories kids create and make sure it all stays constructive and fun. Although the site does not currently store the comics users create, there is an option to print them; and users also can email comics, which offers a very original and personal way for kids to send an email greeting card to family and friends.