Comics In School

by Matt Russell - Posted 1 month ago

Hey Vigilantes, welcome to the intersection of both my worlds. As some of you know, I am a teacher as well as your Editor-In-Chief here at Crypto Comics. I have a very unusual topic for all of you today; should comics be allowed in school?


We all know that in school the typical vocabulary words are “anecdote”, “anonymous”, “extenuating”, “florid”, “querulous”, or “rancorous”. Words like Bam! Pow! and Wham! don’t seem to fit the typical mold.

Girl reading a comic used for Editorial Purposes only

Teachers have been pushing away from comics for much more than the onomatopeias (yep, there is another great vocab word for you).

Professor Carol L. Tilley at the University of Illinois said "A lot of the criticism of comics and comic books comes 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."

The general perception of comics is that they are all “Superhero” types or all made for kids. I believe that the word that was used was juvenile. I hated that.

Comics are even banned from some literary awards: World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story (but more on that unfair controversy for another blog post).

The Truth

Let’s take a look at all the help that comics can really provide. I am one of the many people that learned to read from comics. I learned to read because I was so desperate to find out what happened to Batman. I spent hours with my parents going over all the letters in the alphabet and the sounds they make.

I’m not the only one. This day-in-age many people not only learn to read through comics but those that are trying to learn English as a second language often turn to the medium for help.

The first major comics created by Rodolphe Töpffer were used in a school setting to teach the English Language.

Rodolphe Töpffer used for Editorial Purposes Only

Educational Comics

I recently found a Marvel Publishing imprint called “Marvel Illustrated.” I had to run and show them to our English Teacher. They are great! Not only do they have dialog from the actual books. The drawings make it easier to comprehend the author’s original intent.

Marvel, way back when, set out to try to increase the vocabulary of their readers. Under Stan Lee’s tutelage, he added more complex words into their books. With both pictures as context as well as a layman’s term definition added to the bottom of the page, you couldn’t go wrong.

The Overall Answer

With all of my research, I have to say that the answer is an astounding YES! There is still a negative stigma concerning comics. I am setting out to make it a point to change this...someday.

In the end, if you hate to pick up a book, but still enjoy reading, grab a comic. There is a huge plethora of comics to choose from. Log on, grab a comic, enjoy!

Cadence Russell 1 week ago
Hey this article was entertaining.
Lindsey 2 weeks ago
Matt, I've seen a big rise in the popularity of graphic novels for kids. How do you differentiate between comics and graphic novels?