On Comics

My parents rented a cottage once, when I was a kid. True confession time: I was a nerd. So I was really excited when I found some books in a back room. One of them was an Illustrated Classic. Of what, I don’t recall, but it helped whittle away the hours of what I recall as a particularly drizzly summer. I guess those are now called ‘graphic novels‘, snob appeal to raise them over my usual diet of Archies and Jugheads (…look, I took what I could get. It’s not like there’re any bookstores in this county!)

I’ve seen a couple of articles recently on the value of comics for fostering literacy (one of which is here). This stands to reason; don’t we all learn to read by first looking at the pictures, and only later graduate to all-text works? Even at University, many (if not all) Latin classes use the Cambridge books, where ‘Quintus hic puer est’ and the drawings make us feel like we really can learn the blasted language…

So comics are good for literacy, be that in English or in Latin. Where else are they turning up in academia?

Colleen has some fantastic comics for archaeological outreach. A few years ago, I remember reading about a fellow who made archaeological comics the focus of his dissertation (I would love to get my hands on a copy, if this rings any bells with anyone). And this morning I came across some comics regarding Roman History, which is what prompted this post in the first place. I’d appreciate links to any other examples, and feedback on their effectiveness.