In the above panels, I have used the same words and lettering for two different images. So, whilst the words remain the same, the images infer different meanings behind the words – this is an example of how a multimodal text works.
It’s this unique chemistry that makes comics so engaging and exciting! They require the reader to deeply engage with them, sometimes in ways that they may not even be conscious of, as well as utilise a sophisticated set of skills to interpret them.
And research is starting to back up the fact that reading comics is incredibly beneficial for children, showing that comics contain more complex words than even adult prose books and also increase library usage and reading comprehension. In short, it’s why I think that all children should have access to comics and be encouraged to read them. And we are still only in the early days of studying the benefits of reading comics.
If your child is curious about reading graphic novels, or is already a big fan of them, it’s a love I cannot encourage you enough to foster. Like prose, they will discover new worlds in the pages, wonderful new characters and discover things about themselves, all in addition to learning complex new ways of understanding texts.
In summary: graphic novels are amazing!