Our youth contributor Lorna Bonnell brought this article from Geek and Sundry to our attention to share. Thanks Lorna!
Evidence and research is stacking up to prove that comic books make their readers smarter. Comics make you want to read, and they use complex language which improves verbal intelligence. Like steroids for the mind, comics can even take struggling readers and make them stronger!
THE OLD LIE
Society at large has long frowned upon comics. During the 1950s, they were slandered as base entertainment for children and immature adults which would turn readers intohoodlums and degenerates or communists.
And while that has all changed and comics have risen to become the string section in the symphony of our culture, with a select few titles (Sandman, Watchmen, and Maus) even praised as high art, there still lurks the suspicion that comics are in some way an intellectually inferior endeavor. They’re so thin, so colorful, and just so enjoyable, the thinking goes that they can’t be good for you.
Put a copy of Watchmen on a table next to War & Peace, and one cannot but help be struck by the look of the two of them. The great Russian novel is so thick with authority that it could crush Alan Moore’s superhero opus with just its footnotes. War & Peace burgeons with abstruse references to early 19th century Russian Freemasonry and long digressions on the events of the year 1812. Only the most patient and persistent of readers complete it.Watchmen, with its capes, conspiracies, fantastic drawings, and modern setting seems to ask less of the reader. But Watchmen is such a compelling book that in 2008 alone, it likely sold over one million copies.