The Value of Comic Books and Graphic Novels for Reluctant Readers

National Comic Book Day is coming up next month on September 25th, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about how much we love comics! Comic books and graphic novels can be effective tools to spark an interest in reading, especially for kids reluctant to pick up a novel.

The visuals help the story come to life. Some students have trouble connecting words on the page to mental imagery (what the writer describes isn’t being deciphered). Students who struggle with the reading process may be so focused on decoding or interpreting the words themselves that comprehension of the material itself is lacking. Due to the convenient format of comic books and graphic novels, readers always have a visual reference for the events that are taking place in each scene. In addition, comics and graphic novels often rely heavily on character dialogue and visual storytelling rather than descriptive text, which can be highly beneficial for younger students experiencing difficulties with reading comprehension.

They’re easy to get into. As it turns out, many popular movies, television shows, video games, and animated series are originally based on graphic novels! This makes them a convenient entry point for kids who already enjoy other similar media. This transition also works the other way around – several popular movies and shows have been adapted into graphic novels and comics, often extending the lore and universe of a series far beyond what the films could accomplish. If your child is a fan of a particular movie, television show, or cartoon, see if there’s a graphic novel or comic series available to go along with it!

Comics and graphic novels inspire creativity. Comics and graphic novels are quite literally works of art, and this style of storytelling has inspired countless writers and artists alike. Comics can be a great resource for aspiring artists to learn how to draw in different art styles. The same can be said for budding writers that want to create their own stories. Whether your child is interested in writing a graphic novel themselves or learning how to draw, comics are an excellent place to start letting their imagination run wild.

They encourage continuity. Comics and graphic novels are often smaller parts of a series, meaning there’s more issues available! Fans of a graphic novel series often collect volumes to make up a set, and currently produced comics give readers something to look forward to in the next issue. This is especially helpful for reluctant readers because if they find a series or subject they really enjoy, it shouldn’t be difficult to find more content!