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Magical Kingdom of Learning

Published 9/6/16 on The Huffington Post

By Paul Wisenthal

Eleven-year old Joe struggled with temper tantrums. His anxieties drove him to physical violence and numerous school suspensions in Wales, United Kingdom. A year ago his uncontrolled outbursts were tempered after James McKeon, a school psychological counselor, began working with him using, one of the world’s most popular educational comic websites.

The troubled teenager learned to channel his anxieties and fears into storytelling using the comics. Working one-on-one twice a week, they tapped into two resources offered by the free site.

Read more >> teaches English through comics

Published 10/30/14 on Graphic Novel Reporter

By Matthew Burbridge

Let's Make Believe and Have Fun Together!

Bill Zimmerman has created something wonderful —, a website with a clear message: nurture children's creativity through family fun.

Zimmerman's mission is to ensure that anyone coming across this site has something fun to do, and here, the fun to be had is in comics! Zimmerman, accompanied by cartoonist Tom Bloom, has created a series of written prompts where children and children-at-heart can create their very own comics and comics stories utilizing illustrations and characters by Bloom. His latest work? A free interactive digital comic book for students enrolled in literacy and English Language Learner programs.



Creative Comic Interview with Bill Zimmerman of MakeBeliefsComix

Published 2/26/14 on The WizIQ Blog

By Sylvia Guinan

As she interviewed Bill, Sylvia thought she was in a comic herself ...

It was a great pleasure to interview Bill Zimmerman for last week’s webinar on Creative Comic Collaboration For Fun Fluency development.

Bill is the mind, heart and soul behind

I’ve been exploring comics websites and creating all kinds of different comic lesson plans for the last few years. This year I’m going into comic-style educational publishing. My children are writing their own comic stories and I’m planning my own educational comics for language learners.



Comics Aid Family Healing

Published 7/1/09 in AARP Bulletin

By Paul Wisenthal

As a child, Bill Zimmerman relished the armload of Sunday newspapers packed with colorful comic sections that his father would bring home. “To me the comics were paradise,” he says. “This is how I learned to read and write.”

That love of the funny papers grew to be a passion for Zimmerman.So much so that he is now helping the young and old connect, one comic at a time.


References & Resources:

Published June 2008 in Essential Teacher magazine

By Tamara Kirson

Imagine a computer lab full of adult ESOLstudents where not a word is heard, where every head is bent in concentration, where smiles erupt spontaneously, and where fingers are clicking away on the keyboards. This is precisely what occurs when my students work with journalist and author Bill Zimmerman’s Web site,

The Web site allows students to create their own comics, and it is easy to navigate for language students who want to express their ideas in a novel way. From the moment they open the Web site and discover the tools, the students begin to explore. Minimal instruction is needed because the tools are self-explanatory (with language or visuals), and students feel comfortable experimenting with them. Students readily learn to choose among different characters, select facial expressions to reflect emotions, move the characters in the panels, scale their size, write text in talk and thought balloons, and even add background colors.

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Nifty comic-creation tool offers positive, upbeat messages.

Published on Common Sense Media

Common Sense Rating: 4 out of 5 star rating

Teacher Rating: 4 out of 5 star rating among teacher reviewers

age 8+

Parents need to know that Make Beliefs Comix is a website and app where kids can create their own positive comics using a charming cast of predrawn characters. Kids don't have to register to use the site, and, because it doesn't let users post comics, it provides a safe experience (kids get a reminder to either print or email their creations to themselves or a friend). Generally, content is controversy-free. The Printables section features a few religious references; an activity encourages kids to create a prayer for someone they love, a parental-advice section briefly mentions God's plan, and another item refers to past lives. However, the nondenominational references don't encourage kids to believe or support any particular religion, and the comic creator itself doesn't include any religious overtones.

The troubled teenager learned to channel his anxieties and fears into storytelling using the comics. Working one-on-one twice a week, they tapped into two resources offered by the free site.