A picture is worth a thousand words

TL;DR: This past week, I was on vacation in northern lower Michigan and found myself without anything to read.  In my rush to pack after the step-son’s wedding, I forgot to grab the last few volumes of the comic book series I’ve been working my way through over the past few years.  A local comic book store turned me on to another ongoing series, and after reading the first 2 volumes, I’m totally hooked on the world of comic books.  I’ve decided to document my experiences and research as I navigate my way through the massive world of narrative art.  So, I’ve created a new category called Comic Book Adventures.

Please bear with me, I’m very new to this world and it is a very particular world.  It has its own language and terminology that I’m quickly learning, but still don’t completely comprehend.  But I’m terribly intrigued and want to become an expert.


All my life, I’ve had trouble with reading.  In elementary school, I hated reading and never really learned to love it like so many others.  I always did terribly on the reading comprenhension part of standardized testing and rarely, if ever, read for pleasure.

In college, my sister introduced me to a couple of authors who’s writing style seemed to work for me and I’ve since read most of their works, some more than once.  However, I still struggle with most books I try to read because I have trouble with comprehension and often have to re-read sentences over and over again, making book reading a long and frustrating process.  I can devour audiobooks while driving (having a long commute is great for this) or at home, while knitting or doing dishes – which has been great for taking in some fantastic sci-fi books – as well as some non-fiction and other just great stuff.

A few years ago, our friend Jessica introduced Nick and I to a comic book series – Y:The Last Man, introducing me to the world of comic books.   I’d never read a comic book before and oddly, it took a bit of time for me to really figure out how to read these new books – unsure of the right order to read the word balloons and how to identify the emphasis within the ballon;  but once I did, I found that I could blow through the Trade Paperbacks quickly and was always looking for the next book.



After flying through 2 TPB volumes (and reading the second volume twice) this past week, I think I discovered why I love comics so much more than “traditional books”.  I tend to get lost in all the words used to describe a scene, an emotion, a character in books; love dialog, but find long scenic descriptions to be tedious.  Comic books draw the scene, so they don’t have to describe it with words.  Genius.

Still working my way through Y:The Last Man, and having finished 75% of The Watchman, I have a long way to go.  I realize this is a well established world with its own rules and language.  My Comic Book Adventure category will be my space to document what I learn.  In future posts, I’ll talk about the ongoing series that I started on my vacation last week; I’ll talk more about Y:The Last Man and The Watchman; and then I want to dive into the Marvel Universe.  Along the way, I’ll talk about my experiences at different Comic Book Stores and other experiences along the way.  The Comic Book Adventures category will be the default category for all of my comic book research, information and reviews, but in the future I might add some “sub” categories as well.

Anyone else new to this party and have any suggestions for me as I navigate this strange new world?

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3 Responses to A picture is worth a thousand words

  1. Fran Darling says:

    This is a very helpful look into the ups and downs of reading difficulties. Audio format are a major asset to those students of all ages who have text difficulties. But the other of textual presentations offered by the comic book formats are something I have little background in. Your explanation of the development and discovery of this media is really interesting and hit home with many learner/readers, I’m sure. Thanks, I am going to share and pass your blog site to many reading teacher I know.
    You may be interested in the Universal Design for Learning model offered to support and assist all learners through multiple means of information presentations and access… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGLTJw0GSxk&feature=related

  2. admin says:

    While its kind of sad that I’m only now figuring out how to read as I enter my “late 30’s” – I’m happy to have finally found media that seems to work for me. I’ve already read 2 more books since coming home from vacation!

  3. Di says:

    My problem is that I’ll be sailing along through a book until I read a phrase or sentence that strikes me. Suddenly, my mind dwells on that phrase and then I’m immersed in my own thoughts for 10 or 15 minutes until I realize that I’ve read the same page several times and never comprehended what I was reading.

    I’m not a fan of long descriptions, which is odd considering my affinity for ~19th Century novels. I have a love/hate relationship with Les Miserables. Hugo can be a windbag. He writes his characters so well, but he gives lengthy political backstories that I couldn’t care less about it. It is taking me years to read that book. Parts of it I love and I can’t put it down, other parts I can’t wait to get through and can’t comprehend them no matter how hard I try. Those are the parts that cause me to put the book down for a year.

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