Comic Vine News


Comic Book Literacy Trailer, Yes Comics Can Be Used To Learn

We all know comics are important. Let's make sure the world does too.

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I've always felt that comics were more than just a bunch of pretty pictures with stories about people fighting while wearing tights.  Being literate is an amazing ability.  Once you are able to read and write, you often take it for granted.  The sad truth is there are so many individuals that are not literate.  Why not use comics to help with this problem?  
Some of you may know that I was a high school math teacher for a while before the existence of Comic Vine.  While I did teach math, I spent a lot of time dealing with literacy as well.  I made my students read the textbook (a strange concept for some, reading a math book).  There were also the dreaded "word problems."  My students were required to answer those with a complete sentence.  Simply answering with a numeric answer want not enough for full credit, even if that number was the correct answer.  To help with the "newcomer" population, I had a stack of comic books in the back of my classroom.  Students were allowed to look at them if they finished their work or test early. They were also allowed to borrow them if they wanted.
What is "Comic Book Literacy"? 

Comic Book Literacy" is an independent documentary film that showcases the utilization of comic books to promote literacy and education.  Throughout the film educators, researchers, writers and artists give commentary in both an historic and contemporary context on a variety of subjects related to the topic.

Check out the trailer.  See how many creators you can name.
There was also an article published last week in the UK Telegraph that I've been meaning to mention.  In the article, researchers believe comic books are good for children's learning.  Again, this is something we've all known for some time.  Scientists from my home state, at the University of Illinois, claim that "reading any work successfully, including comics, requires more than just absorbing text."
Professor Carol Tilley from the department of library and information science said the following:

 A lot of the criticism of comics and comic books come from people who think that kids are just looking at the pictures and not putting them together with the words.

Some kids, yes. But you could easily make some of the same criticisms of picture books – that kids are just looking at pictures, and not at the words. 

You can read more about the research HERE.
What can you do about this?  If you ever have comics or books you don't want, see if you can donate them to a local school, library or hospital.  If you have any younger siblings, try giving them a child-friendly comic and read it with them.  My daughter learned to read earlier than most of her classmates.  While we didn't just sit and look at comics, she did love those moments and quickly felt the desire to try to read on her own.
For more information about the independent film, Comic Book Literacy, check out their website:  Next time someone gives you a hard time about reading comics, now you have something to tell them.