Get Real Comics - 25 Sets of Four - Classroom Set

The Get Real Comics is an award-winning series that helps kids (ages 8-14) explore issues of gender, sexuality, self-esteem, race, violence, friendship, and family.

Issue #1 includes:
  • The Dream Team
  • Emiliano in Steppin' Out
  • The Baby and the Babe
Issue #2 includes:
  • Glad to Be Mad
  • Earth to Mom
  • Nothin' But Net: A Romance
Issue #3 includes:
  • Flip-Flop at the Flap
  • Hallie in The Hard Truth
  • Dutch Treat
Issue #4 includes:
  • Danger Zone
  • Fan Art
  • Apple of His Eye
  • Reading, Writing, and Reality

“My students were spellbound.” —Jennifer Smallwood, Teacher

“This multicultural comic book is ideal for teens. The characters stem from a variety of races and ethnicities, yet their differences are not the primary focus.” —Black Parenting Today


YEAR: 1997

Click here to get an individual set for $2.


Sherri Grasmuck, Temple University, has a mission to share sociological ideas with the public. She writes often for the popular press and now has penetrated a new genre: the comic book. Get Real Comics is a project she launched with Debbie Rogow, to address gender stereotypes and help children develop reading skills. After a year of intensive focus groups with pre-teens, they gathered real-life stories that became comic book tales ­from being shunned by a friend, to worrying about weight gain, to being a confident athlete. The stories do not preach only one way to look at these struggles, but rather suggest pre-teens have options and can think critically for themselves.

The comic books have been used in schools and particularly in ESL programs to develop reading skills, increase literacy.  

For example, one guide asks students to interview an adult (with an interview guide provided) on a dream that person once had. How much of the dream did the person achieve? What made the dream more or less difficult to achieve? After completing the interview, the students look for patterns as they share their responses, such as how such factors as motivation, education, gender, race, talent, or family support affect people's achievements.

In another exercise, called "Nothin' But Net," teens are asked to write about the social expectations that make them most upset. The anonymous responses are sorted by gender, and boys read the girls' responses and vice versa. Each same-sex group reports on what the issues are and what are possible solutions.

"Earth to Mom" describes Emiliano's adjustment to his mother's new relationship. After reading the comic, students are asked to form small groups, define the word "family" and to describe families they know. Then they are asked to discuss the fundamental elements of families and how family structure can differ. This and many of the exercises could be adapted to high school and college classrooms.

Even if the comics are not used in a classroom or youth group setting, they are fun to read, just funny enough to be "comic," and yet to convey a serious message. The authors are very committed to multi-racial characters, reduction of stereotypes, and no "cheap shots." The series attempts to engage kids with issues affecting their emotional wellbeing. In a review prepared for the World Bank, the Population Council selected the series as one of ten innovative projects worldwide promoting the wellbeing of girls.

Sociologists know that comics and other elements of popular culture reflect social norms. Now a sociologist has used comics as a vehicle to challenge gender and racial stereotypes for those critical pre-teen years.

-- by Carla B. Howery, reprinted from the American Sociological Association Footnotes newsletter



Price: $12.00