Comics 101

AMP Kids has reinvigorated their blog with a new series – Comics 101.

Amp Kids is Andrews McMeel‘s publishing arm for young readers.
Among others things they have recently started a more or less weekly series about Comics for Kids.


Why Comics are Great for Kids (and Libraries)

The numbers speak for themselves: When libraries add a comics/graphic novel section to their collections, library usage goes up a whopping average of 82%. A comics/graphic novel section boosts other sections’ circulation by an extra 30%. “As a librarian you cannot get more bang for your buck than graphic novels,” says Christian Zabriskie, New York City librarian and founder of Urban Librarians Unite. “They circulate like mad, reach across generations, and drive circulation wherever they go.”


Why Comics Belong in the Classroom

In 2016, the U.S. Library of Congress named Gene Luen Yang the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, making him the first graphic novelist to be honored with the position. If the actual Library of Congress (arguably the crown jewel of U.S. Libraries) isn’t enough to convince you comics are more than just an afternoon distraction, Yang is explicitly recommending their use in school. That’s right. Once upon a time, we had to smuggle comics in behind textbooks, and now they’re side-by-side on the syllabus.


What’s the Difference? Comics vs. Graphic Novels vs. Illustrated Novels

What are “comics” anyway? It’s become a catch-all term for what Will Eisner (literally the #1 Comics Hall of Famer) dubbed “sequential art,” which basically describes a series of images arranged one after another to convey… something, usually a story or joke, sometimes just an idea. Pretty vague, right? That’s on purpose. Comics’ open-ended definition leaves room for a huge variety of storytelling techniques, dating all the way back to hieroglyphics and cave drawings. In the thousands of years since then, people have started asking for more specific categories. Here’s a crash course on the most common varieties…


There doesn’t seem to be a separate link for the Comics 101 series,
so in order to keep up with it go to the AMP Kids blog.


Disclosure: The series naturally promotes Andrews McMeel books.
Oh, by the way, the Daily Cartoonist is an Andrews McMeel subsidiary.