The Value of Comics

I recently came across a friend’s Facebook post stating that she was ecstatic her son with dyslexia was reading…unprompted…on his own…for fun. Although not a personal fan of the post-apocalyptic genre herself, she could not help but be thrilled and feel proud when she witnessed him voluntarily reading a Walking Dead graphic novel with enthusiasm. As long as comics have existed, parents have been concerned about their literary value, but this breakthrough moment in this dear mother’s life awakened a newfound understanding for us both. According to the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity, comics can strengthen an individual’s reading identity, among other benefits. You can read more about that by clicking this link: http://dyslexia.yale.edu/EDU_GraphicNovels.html

After learning this, out of curiosity I decided to see if any audio versions of comics exist for folks such as myself who prefer this format. I was pleased to discover a described audio version of my second favorite superhero DareDevil. The artists themselves act out each scene vividly and excitedly. It is free through the National Library Service to boot! I also came across an article (http://nerdist.com/meet-worlds-first-comic-book-superhero-with-down-syndrome-superb-lion-forge/ ) announcing the launching of a new Lion Forge comic featuring a superhero who will be the first one ever with Down Syndrome. This should be a well-presented character because the National Down Syndrome Society collaborated as a full partner on this project which will be released in July 2017. I hope the next audio described comic will be of my favorite superhero Wonder Woman!

Whether you are new to the world of comics as I am, or the parent of a seasoned graphic novel lover, rest assured that there are sound reasons for people with disabilities to explore this form of literature.

Contributor: April Meredith, IL & Advocacy Specialist