The Benefits of Comic Books
Published on 17th August 2020
Comic books aren't just about superheroes and villains. And they're certainly not just for boys. Comic books and graphic novels are spread across many different genres, including comedy, drama, sci‑fi and fantasy, and there is bound to be something to suit all tastes, ages and reading levels.
For a long time comic books got a pretty bad press. They were the forbidden distraction that schoolchildren slipped inside the pages of real books. One of the best and most obvious benefits of comic books is that they can be more fun and easier to read than regular books. This can be extremely appealing to young children who would otherwise have little interest in reading traditional forms of books. Many children who think they hate reading respond particularly well to comic books that are based on movies or television shows they enjoy, such as Spider-Man and Fantastic Four.
Comic books don't intimidate struggling readers with an overwhelming page of text. They usually offer short and easy-to-read sentences, alongside other visual and text cues (e.g. character sighs, door slams etc.) for context. They're also helpful for children with learning difficulties; children with autism can learn a lot about identifying emotions through the images in a comic book. Children with dyslexia, who may find it frustrating to finish a page in a traditional book, often feel a sense of accomplishment when they complete a page in a comic book.
Therefore, they give struggling readers confidence for context. They're also helpful for children with learning difficulties; children with autism can learn a lot about identifying emotions through the images in a comic book.
Inference refers to figuring out something based on evidence and reasoning. It's an important component of successful comprehension and a valuable life skill for all young children to develop. Comic books can increase inference in young children by encouraging them to “read between the lines” and infer meaning from the images. Children who read comics often need to infer what is not written by the narrator, which is a complex reading strategy.
Comic books that explore or touch on historical events, classic tales, wildlife, nature, positive relationships and more can provide a valuable supplement to other areas of learning. For example, if your child is learning about the ancient Egyptians, a comic book story set in ancient Egypt may use pictures to explain important period details, such as clothing, food, rituals, farming. By taking in a combination of words and illustrations, many children obtain the big picture easier than they would from using textbooks alone.