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Howtoons, comics for young makers


Making a Robot with paper and sticky tape is not impossible. Movies taught us that you need electronic brains and advanced technologies, but in fact you just paste a model engine onto an origami and get a spectacular effect. The GamiBot idea comes from a site that is really worth a look: Howtoons. When you mix comics for young people and pure DIY you will get something truly amazing.

Oddly enough, drawing simple objects is not easy: you only have a few frames and a whole world to tell. Among Howtoons’ ideas you’ll find a pneumatic exoskeleton, a ghost wheel, an arsenal of water balloons and a host of other things. There is no danger of getting bored, that’s for sure.

Putting comic book ideas for boys and girls on paper (or rather, on the web) requires a small creative team. Behind Howtoons are cartoonists Nick Dragotta, Saul Griffith (the inventor that participated in Hangout at the White House together with other makers), Ingrid Dragotta and Joost Bonsen. You get “tools of mass construction” (weapons of mass construction) to face the world.

There is nothing bizarre about this because creative inspiration is often found in everyday objects. You just need to know it. Everything can be disassembled, reassembled and reused elsewhere. These concepts are intuitive, but often the relationship with today’s technology is completely different as devices become sealed enclosures, black boxes inside which you may not look.

First you need to work with your own hands and get young people to like DIY. The following steps are more complex, because they involve the entire society. Fortunately, there are many projects that aim to reverse this “sealed” trend and make technology more readily available: one of these, as we have said, is Howtoons. On a larger scale, however, we found MENTOR, which aims to increase maker spaces to 1,000 schools in the U.S. The revolution advances…

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