Yes, I am indeed a comic book geek but I am a proud geek at that. As a parent, I think we all hope that our children will come to enjoy the same things that we enjoy. To have a son or daughter you can share your hobby with is a fantasy most parents have, whether that hobby is sports, a favorite team, movies, music or in my case, comic books. I grew up with comic books, they have fueled my passion for reading and have kept my imagination active.
Instilling a Love of Reading
We try very hard to instill a love of reading into our children. Every night when we put them to bed, we read them 1 – 2 books each and we encourage them to spend time with their books on their own. They are always getting new books on their birthdays and Christmas, from friends and relatives whose children have outgrown their books, from the library and from Goodwill when we can spare a couple of bucks. They love it and I hope it continues.
One of the things I started incorporating into their reading just this week is comic books. Comics can be a bit edgy and most are no longer written for kids, they are written for adults. The content is typically too mature for young kids. However, there are a few publishers that make comic books specifically for children. DC Comics puts out a few featuring their stable of heroes as does BOOM (who bought the rights to make Disney comic books). Both are putting out quality books every month for younger audiences.
Both of my kids know who Batman is and both like him so for our first month I got them Batman Brave and the Bold from DC Comics. So far, they have requested that comic as one of their nightly books every night this week. It’s been really nice to see their excitement and interest. They are still a little young for it but they love it nonetheless.
Comic Books Can Be Educational
I believe comic books can be an educational experience for children and an economical choice for parents. On average, comics cost $2.99 each. That is actually a bit steep when you are an adult and you are getting 20 – 30 titles each month. As adult collectors, we buy them, read them and then generally stick them in a back with a backer board and save them as part of our collection. Children get significantly more use out of them. They aren’t concerned with saving them forever now are they worried about keeping them in good condition. Even though they can’t read them yet, they pour through them and look at the pictures, they come up with their own stories and they exercise their imagination. It gives them exposure to a new art form that they may not have ever experienced before. It helps them develop their imagination and most important of all, it is a fun activity for Daddy to share with his boys.
If you don’t have a comic book shop near you, there are plenty of online comic book stores. When I was buying comic books for myself every month I used to use Discount Comic Book Service, now I just go and get 1 or 2 titles per month at my local comic book store.
What are your thoughts on using comic books as a reading tool?