So Much More than Superheroes

So Much More than Superheroes

May 2, 2020, is Free Comic Book Day, typically celebrated with local giveaways of free comic books and  creator autograph events to those collecting their comics. In past years, SJCPLS has also participated in this annual celebration. However, as I write this column, our libraries remain closed to the public. That does not mean  comics are not available to our patrons.

People have used drawings to tell stories for a very long time. From cave walls to pictographs, visual storytelling has always been an integral part of human culture. Comics and graphic novels are newer, important examples of this style of writing. Comics serve as a unique way to tell a story, allowing the writer to balance images and prose in a way that sends a clear, specific message to the reader.

Comics and graphic novels play an important part in literacy in the modern world. According to the Resilient Educator website, some of the benefits include:

  • Developing visual literacy skills
  • Engaging reluctant readers and English Language learners
  • Improving vocabulary
  • Learning about difficult topics in a safe environment
  • Showcasing marginalized people
  • Providing an introduction to art and illustration

During this time at home with the family, reading comic books is a great way to share the joy of reading with your child. Explore the large number of comic and graphic books available through the library’s OverDrive eBook collection. It is a great way to strengthen your bond and encourage a love of reading in your children.

SJCPLS has embraced these popular materials as part of our library collections. From the newspaper funny pages to graphic novels, comics can be a constant source of your literary entertainment and joy. There is something for everyone within these collections.

Debra Rhodes Gibson

Library System Director, St. Johns County Public Library System