Study Indicates Comic Books Are Good for Kids

Study Indicates Comic Books Are Good for Kids

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The comic book, once thought of as a devil worshiping tool, may not be so terrible for the nation's youth after all.

Professor Carol L. Tilley from the University of Illinois has determined through research that comic books are "just as sophisticated as other forms of reading ... [and] that children benefit from reading them at least as much as they do from reading other kinds of books." Score one for the good guys. Time to trot out the nation's youth to their local comic shops, assuming that they're actually lucky enough to have any nearby that are still in business.

Though details of Tilley's study were not given, she apparently had children read comic books and discovered that their vocabularies increased along with their love of reading. Though some criticize comic books as being a simplified form of actual books, Tilley believes: "If you really consider how the pictures and words work together in consonance to tell a story, you can make the case that comics are just as complex as any other kind of literature."

The word "comic" itself could be part of the reason comic books are criticized, giving the medium a child-like connotation. Comic books are anything but, especially these days with the average comic book marketed more towards adults than children. Manga could be an exception, though many series have mature content not meant for kids.

Many 21st century comic books are immensely more sophisticated than what the general public probably thinks of when they hear the word "comic." Even high profile writers such as Stephen King — with The Dark Tower and The Stand — and Phillip K. Dick &mdash with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? — have had their works adapted into comic book form. Please, just don't ever show Tilley a copy of The Boys.

Back to the main point of this article: comic books are actually good for children! I myself could be living proof of this, having read tons of comic books as a youth, from Superman to Punisher 2099 to Alf to The Hugga Bunch. I even still own a prized copy of the Kool-Aid man comic. I was always an above average reader, and had an above average vocabulary as tested; could this have been due to all the comic books I read? The answer is yes, so if you have kids I recommend that you go get them hooked on The Walking Dead, Blackest Night, or Dark Reign right away. Or, find something more appropriate for their age group, if you really need to.

Source: Telegraph via Slashdot

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Not to mention comics which are not adaptations of books which convey the same depth of meaning: V for Vendetta, Watchmen, the Sandman series and Hellblazer are some examples.

I'n not shocked. Still though, most people knew this.

Hell i already knew this that's why am trying get into the comic business because of my love of "reading"

I'm wondering how you managed to omit Maus. Also known as "Exhibit A" in any argument as to the suitability of comic books as a medium for mature subjects. That elitist nitpick aside, I'd just like to say "no DUH". I was never into Marvel or DC comics, but I've always found the medium to be eminently suited for dealing with any topic or genre.

yeah I have an excuse to read my monthly transformers now

This comes as absolutely no surprise to me. As a child I hated reading, hated it with a burning fiery passion. I saw no point to it, it was forced upon me by me school which I'm sad to say had a very shitty selection of library books. Then something happened, I discovered comic books, my first one was the death of Superman(I still have it on my shelf today) I was utterly enthralled by it. I was lucky though, at first my mother discourage me from reading them but then was told by one of my teachers how if I was unwilling to read "real" books then it was better for me to be reading comics than nothing at all.

I was in the phase where I needed to graduate from simple picture books to their more sophisticated cousins, comics gave me the stepping stone I required to gain a love for reading something with a complex plot line. Today I still don't read very much, I'm somewhat picky about what I enjoy, but give me a book that really interests me and I can kiss any free time I had for the next day or so goodbye. Comics cultivated a love of literature in me, and that's something I intend to pass down to my children when their time comes.

Frederic Wertham is turning in his grave. So much the better---fuck him.

And you didn't mention Terry Pratchett's Discworld graphic novels? For shame.

But I agree. I mean, nerds are generally associated with a love for comics, and they're called 'nerds' for a reason.

Tom Goldman:

The word "comic" itself could be part of the reason comic books are criticized, giving the medium a child-like connotation. Comic books are anything but, especially these days with the average comic book marketed more towards adults than children. Manga could be an exception, though many series have mature content not meant for kids.

As someone who has actually studied Manga I can tell you that Manga specifically is NOT an exception. In fact, from it's sheer origin Manga tends to be a lot more about philosophical, psychological and even metaphysical concepts. You have authors that study these things extensively just for the sake of writing their stories, while western comics have a history of relying much more on the boyish "white knight"/power fantasy.

That said, it's always a gross over-generalization to say "manga>comic" or "comic>manga". It depends a lot on authors. Alan Moore is a god amongst writers everywhere, but so is Yoshiyuki Sadamoto creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion. At the same time you can find copious amounts of crap on the west and east alike.

Long story short, don't discount Manga, you'd be surprised.

Damn straight, Spider-Man has had more of an effect on my sense of right and wrong than anyone!

on a side note...still no girlfriend.

Except there's one problem.

As of now, there's probably like six or so comics that could be considered remotely childfriendly.

lostclause:
Not to mention comics which are not adaptations of books which convey the same depth of meaning: V for Vendetta, Watchmen, the Sandman series and Hellblazer are some examples.

Probably not good to show to kids though, are they? :)

I started back on the Disney Comics; way, way back in history before moving on through Topper, Whizzer and Chips, Beano, Dandy, Eagle, 2000AD, Spidey all the way up to Maus.

It does make me thing that there are some scientists specifically working for us. Perhaps Tilley's research assistants are a teenager called Calvin, his girlfriend Suzie and a guy she never quite sees calls Hobbes.

And this is why I'll read Watchmen to my kids.

More seriously, I've always thought the word-picture combination of comics was beneficial.

Caliostro:

Tom Goldman:

The word "comic" itself could be part of the reason comic books are criticized, giving the medium a child-like connotation. Comic books are anything but, especially these days with the average comic book marketed more towards adults than children. Manga could be an exception, though many series have mature content not meant for kids.

As someone who has actually studied Manga I can tell you that Manga specifically is NOT an exception. In fact, from it's sheer origin Manga tends to be a lot more about philosophical, psychological and even metaphysical concepts. You have authors that study these things extensively just for the sake of writing their stories, while western comics have a history of relying much more on the boyish "white knight"/power fantasy.

That said, it's always a gross over-generalization to say "manga>comic" or "comic>manga". It depends a lot on authors. Alan Moore is a god amongst writers everywhere, but so is Yoshiyuki Sadamoto creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion. At the same time you can find copious amounts of crap on the west and east alike.

Long story short, don't discount Manga, you'd be surprised.

Thank you for realizing that not all manga is Naruto or Dragonball. And yes, a good bit of it really is aimed at more mature audiences (if someone makes a tentacle/hentai joke I'll punch them over the internet).

Finally comics have received their rightful place among educative literature, huzzah for the ninth art!

Please, just don't ever show Tilley a copy of The Boys.

Ain't that the truth

...Putting the image of Love Sausage aside a moment, Comics are pretty much the perfect medium for getting children reading. They're books with pictures in them...it's a no brainer. If your kids having trouble reading, give him a copy of Mini Marvels or Ultimate Spiderman. I wouldn't advise the Boys to any child though, unless you want him running around in red tights with a hotdog shoved down his y-fronts.

The Boys is epic, its by the team behind Preacher I believe, at least the writer, Garth Ennis, and one of the artists anyways, and is a great spin on superhero stuff. The basic concept is that superheros do exist and are real, but they're essentially human in mind and soul, and therefore as stupid, unthinking, selfish, lustful, lazy, etc as anyone else, not the paragon of virtue that you might see in Superman, say.

'The Boys' are a group who keep an eye on them and make a move when they need reminding they have responsibilities to go along with their powers.

As for Preacher, it is still one of my favourite books, damned if I'll just say comic books, for me it's one of the finest tales ever told.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOO! Wonder what parents will think when they read this? lol

SenseOfTumour:
The Boys is epic, its by the team behind Preacher I believe, at least the writer, Garth Ennis, and one of the artists anyways, and is a great spin on superhero stuff. The basic concept is that superheros do exist and are real, but they're essentially human in mind and soul, and therefore as stupid, unthinking, selfish, lustful, lazy, etc as anyone else, not the paragon of virtue that you might see in Superman, say.

'The Boys' are a group who keep an eye on them and make a move when they need reminding they have responsibilities to go along with their powers.

As for Preacher, it is still one of my favourite books, damned if I'll just say comic books, for me it's one of the finest tales ever told.

They're certainly both brilliant. While Preacher doesn't quite reach the epicness of the Sandman, it's still one of my faviourite comics do date.

As for the Boys well...it's just fucking hilarious.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Probably not good to show to kids though, are they? :)

I started back on the Disney Comics; way, way back in history before moving on through Topper, Whizzer and Chips, Beano, Dandy, Eagle, 2000AD, Spidey all the way up to Maus.

It does make me thing that there are some scientists specifically working for us. Perhaps Tilley's research assistants are a teenager called Calvin, his girlfriend Suzie and a guy she never quite sees calls Hobbes.

You know how it is when you begin reading, you go from simple stuff to things that have a little more depth (Orwell's animal farm is a fairly good example of an easy to read classic).

I remember Eagle, one of the things that was very annoying for me was the fact that I almost never got a continuous story, the comic had gone out of print by the time I'd discovered it (about ten years ago now).

lostclause:

I remember Eagle, one of the things that was very annoying for me was the fact that I almost never got a continuous story, the comic had gone out of print by the time I'd discovered it (about ten years ago now).

There are a couple that are around.

Max/The Thirteenth Floor I've seen around.
Doomlord had 4 seasons!
The Collector only had one.
Dan Dare actually bored me. Kinda hard to take the Mekon seriously.

The_root_of_all_evil:
There are a couple that are around.

Max/The Thirteenth Floor I've seen around.
Doomlord had 4 seasons!
The Collector only had one.
Dan Dare actually bored me. Kinda hard to take the Mekon seriously.

I quite liked Doomlord and Max, though my favourite probably was Charle's War. Anyway, I'll keep my eye out for those ones.

Yeah, I must have bought at least a thousand 2000ads when I was collecting it. They have a cunning way of keeping you locked in by ending all the various strips at different times, so if you're following more than one, you can't quit.

2000ad and to a lesser extent the comic page in the newspapers got me into it, it's a good stepping stone I think.

Really, anything that helps get kids reading has to be a good thing, people who get wildly over the top about fantasy violence obviously never ran around with their friends as a 5 year old pointing their finger and shouting BANG.

With a Masters degree in Education, I have to admit that I have seen more good come from comics than not. Comic book readers may otherwise not read at all, so this is a way to expand their boundaries. Comics are written in a style similar to myths, which emphasizes the main points. This adds to a strong sense of values - something dearly lacking in much of our culture these days. Comic books give their readers archetypal heroes to venerate. And finally, due to the brevity, the brain fills in the missing detail, thus strengthening the creative thought processes. See http://comiczonelinda.blogspot.com/2009/11/comic-books-good-for-learning.html

Caliostro:

Tom Goldman:

The word "comic" itself could be part of the reason comic books are criticized, giving the medium a child-like connotation. Comic books are anything but, especially these days with the average comic book marketed more towards adults than children. Manga could be an exception, though many series have mature content not meant for kids.

As someone who has actually studied Manga I can tell you that Manga specifically is NOT an exception. In fact, from it's sheer origin Manga tends to be a lot more about philosophical, psychological and even metaphysical concepts. You have authors that study these things extensively just for the sake of writing their stories, while western comics have a history of relying much more on the boyish "white knight"/power fantasy.

That said, it's always a gross over-generalization to say "manga>comic" or "comic>manga". It depends a lot on authors. Alan Moore is a god amongst writers everywhere, but so is Yoshiyuki Sadamoto creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion. At the same time you can find copious amounts of crap on the west and east alike.

Long story short, don't discount Manga, you'd be surprised.

Didn't intend to discount manga, but when you write these short news posts I guess the intent of certain sentences doesn't get across. I was talking about how manga is marketed, specifically in North America, which is generally towards kids. For example, N.A.'s Shonen Jump, though some kids may have been surprised to see how evil Yu-Gi really is. Some manga/anime I've read/seen has extremely intelligent and emotion-wrenching content that I have not experienced from other art forms ... which is why I hate the stigma that animation and comics are inferior or for children only.

games are pretty much where comics where 50 years ago they thought it was bad for kids so who knows

Tom Goldman:

Caliostro:

Tom Goldman:

The word "comic" itself could be part of the reason comic books are criticized, giving the medium a child-like connotation. Comic books are anything but, especially these days with the average comic book marketed more towards adults than children. Manga could be an exception, though many series have mature content not meant for kids.

As someone who has actually studied Manga I can tell you that Manga specifically is NOT an exception. In fact, from it's sheer origin Manga tends to be a lot more about philosophical, psychological and even metaphysical concepts. You have authors that study these things extensively just for the sake of writing their stories, while western comics have a history of relying much more on the boyish "white knight"/power fantasy.

That said, it's always a gross over-generalization to say "manga>comic" or "comic>manga". It depends a lot on authors. Alan Moore is a god amongst writers everywhere, but so is Yoshiyuki Sadamoto creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion. At the same time you can find copious amounts of crap on the west and east alike.

Long story short, don't discount Manga, you'd be surprised.

Didn't intend to discount manga, but when you write these short news posts I guess the intent of certain sentences doesn't get across. I was talking about how manga is marketed, specifically in North America, which is generally towards kids. For example, N.A.'s Shonen Jump, though some kids may have been surprised to see how evil Yu-Gi really is. Some manga/anime I've read/seen has extremely intelligent and emotion-wrenching content that I have not experienced from other art forms ... which is why I hate the stigma that animation and comics are inferior or for children only.

Note: Apollo's Song by Osamu Tezuka is not suitable as children's manga. The man created Astro Boy but would YOU want your kids reading about Shogo the Sex Offender who strangles doves because he can't stand to see animals being loving to each other?

On the other hand you've got the problem that many comics in the Western form are no longer kiddy ghetto and now there's too many adult comics and not enough children's comics for children to be introduced to the artform with. There's Archie Comics, but that's about it.

I have one, ONE Archie comic. A double digest filled with Archie stories. I treasure it because in Australia singular comics are hard to get hold of. I also have a stack of 1960s British comics from a magazine called Fantastic! I found in a thrift shop. The irony is the first comics I read weren't manga, they were Superman comics. I liked Superman but everybody else I knew liked Batman instead. I felt like somebody from another planet minus the super strength so I could relate to Supes's emo years.

I grew up reading Batman and Spider-Man etc. and I used to love drawing them and playing with toys acting out the stories in the books. I gave up when I was about 12 and took up reading them when I was 22 after spotting the paperback Walking Dead vol. 1-4.

Since then I have got everything from Sandman, Preacher, Transmet and yes even the horribly funny "The Boys" but I have to say the highlights on my shelf are Jeff Smith's Bone, Maus, Persepolis and a few Will Eisners dramas.
Now I don't know if they would be kid friendly exactly, but any of them should be on the school curriculum. If I ever get slapped with a paternity suit I'm making damn sure my kid learns morality from Frank Castle, honor from Lone Wolf and cub, religion from Jessie Custer and most importantly how to be a bastard from Spider Jerusalem.

 

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