The potential of the comic trajectory

The potential of the comic trajectory

A position for bringing comics to the classroom, told by one student in a contemporary comics history course:

Starting in elementary school, children are already learning to associate images with words to put together how to tell a story. After all comics are, at their most basic, pictorial storytelling. Utilizing comics in a classroom of emerging readers can really connect with them on several different levels. The children will be learning new ways for storytelling and narrative to work cohesively with imagery. Not only that, but when you teach children to read with a variety of books, odds are they will find something they really like.

Over in The Evolutionary Review, Brian Boyd tells the full evolution of comics this week, in “On the Origin of Comics:”

Comics tapped deep-rooted cognitive capacities and appealed to deep-rooted cognitive preferences as they discovered a whole series of ways to lower comprehension costs and raise the benefits of even a moment of reading time. They appeal to our craving for story, humor and surprise, for high-quality information in sight and speech, and for likely payoff at low cost. They prefocus expectations, reducing search and comprehension time through genre (comic strip funnies), series (Garfield), and therefore familiar characters (brazenly egotistical cat, blithely hapless owner, self-duping dog) and narrative contours (cat satisfies greed), so that hundreds of millions of readers can reach with minimum effort the promised hit of humor, the surprise of just where that comic trajectory will land today.

The story itself, in irony, is a bit text-heavy, but wonderfully crafted.