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Learning Language And Grammar Through Comic Books


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I attribute a lot of my knowledge of English grammar to my love of Archie comics growing up. I think it helped me a lot with sentence structures and word usage, since it was a comic that rarely used slang and was always "proper". This is why I recently bought my nephews and nieces some Archie comics of their own, and while flipping through the pages of these modern versions, I was pleasantly surprised that they still maintain the same tone and structure when it comes to the characters' dialogue. Which English comic books did you read growing up, and how much did they help you with learning English?

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I did not read any 'Archie' comic books when I was growing up.  That's good to know that they use proper grammar and thus helped you develop your skills and appreciation for grammar.  It's a great tip to pass on to others.

I mostly read the superhero comic books when I was growing up. I read both the DC and Marvel comics so a lot of Superman, Batman, X-Men, Avengers, etc.  It's been such a long time ago I don't remember if the grammar was proper or not.  But I found it a valuable experience; very absorbing.  I was also reading a lot of books as well, but I found that comic books -- especially superhero tales -- helped to engage my creativity. 

I think that comic books and graphic novels can be very helpful in building vocabulary for sure, as you have both the written word and the illustrations simultaneously.  I'd be curious to know if non-native speakers have found them helpful in this way, and/or in other ways. 

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I started reading comic books before I started reading books as the language used was much simpler. I remember them being mostly grammatically correct but the dialogue was occasionally too campy. Of course I never read any ultra violent typical 90s comic books.

After I grew a bit older, I started picking up the more serious works like those by Gaiman, Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. The prose in most of their works (particularly Moore's) is quite beautiful.

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I didn't read Archie as a kid, too. And I express the same appreciation for proper grammar, even for comic books. I think, though, that comic books today aren't the best medium for learning the language (don't get me wrong - I am a Marvel NOW! collector).

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Even though English is my native tongue, I still learned quite a bit from comic books. I wasn't into books when I was a kid, because "books are for nerds", so a lot of the reading I did came from comic books, newspaper cartoons, and other things of that nature. It was mostly Marvel comics, Spiderman and X-Men.

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  • 4 months later...

That is a great way of getting kids to learn language. Comic books also have pictures so even if they do not understand a whole sentence, they can at least get some context clues from the picture. And it doesn't have to be just something for children. For someone with a more advanced comprehension of English but still wants to learn more, I would recommend The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman.

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I also need to add a recommendation. I read and liked Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes comics. Not only did the characters use 'proper' English most of the time but it appears like Calvin's vocabulary [for his age] was rather advanced. Here's a dialog quote from the comic strip:

[pre]

Calvin: As you can see, I have memorized this utterly useless piece of information long enough to pass a test question. I now intend to forget it forever. You’ve taught me nothing except how to cynically manipulate the system. Congratulations.

Calvin: Isn’t it strange that evolution would give us a sense of humour? When you think about it, it’s weird that we have a physiological response to absurdity. We laugh at nonsense. We like it. We think it’s funny. Don’t you think it’s odd that we appreciate absurdity? Why would we develop that way? How does it benefit us?

Calvin: People always make the mistake of thinking art is created for them. But really, art is a private language for sophisticates to congratulate themselves on their superiority to the rest of the world. As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.[/pre]

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I attribute a lot of my knowledge of English grammar to my love of Archie comics growing up. I think it helped me a lot with sentence structures and word usage, since it was a comic that rarely used slang and was always "proper".

I love Archie comics, and Jughead is still my favorite character. He actually have ways with words compared to the others.  :smile:

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I read the Lenore comic books when I was just starting to learn English, I read them in English because they weren't available in my mother language (Spanish) and because I wanted to use what I had already learnt ;) 

They taught me quite a bit, I mean, this kind of books are great if you want to learn some slang words and phrases, a more colloquial approach.  They have their own place in learning and perfecting a language :)  Very good if you are not into audio and video ;)

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