For some people, comic books are a mode of passing time while getting entertained and for some, it is the need of their well-being. Many readers prefer comic books over novels as they connect better when it is reading a story with pictures. Comic books draw the interest and makes people read as the language used is easy to understand, the narration is smooth, and the imagination receives illustrations. Agreed, the classic novels are generally harder to read as it is filled with literature and hard expressions. But, comic books can be an excellent source of intellectual stimulation, inspiration, and hope. When absorbing a story, the imagination is so strong due to the illustrations that the imaginative world comes to life. It becomes more natural to get inspired when the story starts to feel real. Comic books often appeal to readers who find other material too challenging or uninteresting. One can even say that reading comic books can make the readers smarter than ever. Not that reading any book will not make the readers smart, but comic books have an equal share in this credibility. It’s a wild perception that comic books are just for fun and entertainment and leaves no learning behind. Comic books are extremely fictional and the mindset is fixed to the fact that it can only bring some light awareness in the minds of the readers. Truth be told, there is too much to learn from comic book stories, and too many chances to become smart. For children, the comic book’s fantasy world provides fuel to their imagination and for adults; comic books provide opportunities to exercise their imagination. With the intense visuals and focus on a plot and characters, comic books are more engaging than other literary media, such as novels or short stories.
In earlier years, people believed comic books were meant for children and immature adults who found entertainment through short liners and drawings. Considering the presentation of any comic book which is thin and colourful, there came the thinking that it is childish to read. Only a few broke that mindset and indulged into reading their favourite comic stories. Others simply never touched comic books and preferred watching comic book movies when they were released and playing comic book games when they were produced. In those days, some strongly believed that comic books were a bad influence that undermined ‘real reading’ i.e. reading knowledge-filled books. During researches which were conducted with an intention to find out whether comic books were equally beneficial as the novels, it was made clear that both the mediums enhanced the language and improved vocabulary of the readers as they were exposed to complicated terms. If read, one can easily make out that comic books use rare and difficult words, thus challenging the language used in children’s literature. Comic books are not just for children, but for adults as well. Also, some comic books are not appropriate for children reading, the same is stated very clearly before its launch.
Readers, who are struggling to improve their reading skills, can also benefit from the visual format of comic books. Comic books teach the readers that despite the odds the protagonists of the stories may face, good always wins over evil. In a superhero comic story, the protagonists are not only incredibly a good human being but also very intelligent. Their alter egos are individuals who are well-studied with a background in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and this influences readers in the right way. Isn’t it a moral duty of everyone to educate others the importance of schooling and studying to become an influencer themselves? Various popular figures from the comic book industry has quoted in favour of the comic books.
David Chester Gibbons, an English comic artist and writer, had quoted, “Comics are all about making it believable and helping people to get completely lost in a fictional world.”
Stan Lee, an American comic-book writer, editor, film executive producer, actor, and publisher, had quoted, “There’s just something that feels nice about holding a comic book!”
James Steranko, an American graphic artist, comic book writer/artist, comics historian, magician, publisher and film production illustrator, has quoted, “Comic book companies are like comic book villains; they keep coming back after they die.”
Brian Keller Vaughan, an American comic book and television writer, had quoted, “Obviously, I love superheroes; I love comic book characters, but I guess I’ve had a lifelong affection for comics, and while I love the characters so much, I also love the medium.”
Those who read comic books and have favourites will know how much they have been influenced by the characters. Not only there are motivational and inspirational thoughts in the dialogues from the comics, there are lessons learned from the story as well. Some popular lines delivered by the protagonists which spread a meaningful message to the world:
Batman: “You only have your thoughts and dreams ahead of you. You are someone. You mean something.”
Spider-Man: “We’re not just our failures. As much as they hurt, we learn from them. Then we go out there and do our best to make up for them– Even though we never will. We save people. We save as many as we can to make up for the ones we couldn’t. That’s all we do.”
Aquaman: “True happiness is found along a middle road. There lies the balance and the harmony—with reason and emotion, not at war but hand in hand”
Green Lantern: “Sooner or later you have to turn and face it—you made a mistake! Welcome to the human race, pal. It’s your choice. If you let it, it will destroy you. But if you do let it, remember you had a choice… you just picked the easiest way. You didn’t fall into that bottle. You crawled in and pulled the cork in after you!”
Iron Man: “I can create a world without war. I can make a world without alcohol or drugs. Without hate or jealousy. But then it wouldn’t be the world we live in. Nothing would be learned, nothing would be gained. We wouldn’t advance as species”
Doctor Strange: “A true Defender never raises arms against an innocent, no matter how they threaten you”
Hence, a true reader should also read comic books and encourage others to do so too. Don’t let the comic books fade away with the passing time. Continue reading them for the good of both. Explore everything the world of comic books has to offer. Even availing the other benefit: escape from day’s daily stressors.