I am going to assume most of you reading this blog will have already heard about the Senatorial Candidate from Maryland campaign platform on teacher layoffs (I am assuming she is against it). She means well. Teaching cutbacks are a serious problem especially for me as I am going into teaching. So her campaign against it is a righteous cause but, and a big but, she is going about it the wrong way. She is saying that teacher layoffs will result in children reading comics instead of devoting their time to their studies.

The campaign image in question (Source: Comic Vine)

First off you can tell this woman (or her election staff) knows very little about comics. Okay yeah she has one kid reading Superman, the other reading X-men, but the third kid, well, just take a look. She is reading Previews. A comic book catalog distributed to retailers (and hardcore fans). It’s not a comic book it’s a catalog! Very little actual comic book material in it. It’s full of ordering information and pages of nothing but text. Stuff an average comic reader doesn’t like, let alone a kid. I felt like pointing it out.

Second, comic books have been proven to help kids read. Think about it. It’s a picture book with actual dialog and well structured plot. It’s a great intermediate from the simple children’s book to more complex Young Adult/Adult literature. If you don’t believe me, read this- http://www.readingwithpictures.org/Reading_With_Pictures/Home.html or check out this documentary on the very subject- http://www.comicbookliteracy.com/home.html. The negative connotations this is implying is that the lack of teachers equal kids reading comics is bad. Instead comic books are great instructional tool.

Ms. King, I ask this of you, don’t go the way of Dr. Fredric Wertham. Comics are not the corruption of the youth. Comics are instead a glorious gateway to the world of imagination and literature. They truly are an art form not some form of smut or a distraction. Instead I ask that you show that lack of teachers often result in classroom overcrowding, lower test scores (test scores being the golden egg of the current educational system), and overall a miserable experience for the student. Just do more research and less shock politics, but who am I kidding. Politicians love to blow things out of proportion.

Source- http://www.comicvine.com/news/maryland-politician-condemns-comics-in-campaign-ad/141970/