graphic novels by byronv2. Used under a CC-BY-NC-2.0 licence

8 Questions to Ask About Comics

[author-compact title=”About the Author”] Just like music and movies, comics is a broad genre of styles and forms. Some prefer humoristic strips (like Dilbert, Spitz, Calvin and Hobbes, etc.); some enjoy superhero magazines (from Marvel, DC and others); others enjoy adventure series (about everyone from Corto Maltese to Uncle Scrooge) and others enjoy graphic novels (by Jeff Smith, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and others). Here are some questions to help you reflect on them:

  1. What kind of comics stories do you prefer? Why? Do you read other kinds?
  2. In what way do you think comic stories are about life? How? Can comic stories sometimes be better at this than other genres (if so, why)?
  3. What kind of protagonists (main characters), antagonists (“bad guys”) and other figures do we meet in these stories (troubled teenagers, families, stupid people, superheroes, obvious villains, etc.)? How do they react to challenges? Do they get sad? Angry? Happy? Bored? Why?
  4. How are religions or religious persons portrayed? Are they visible at all? Are some of them in any way good or role models – or just silly or evil? Why do you think they are shown in this way?
  5. Do the protagonists in any way think about why anything is good, true or valuable?
  6. In what way, if any, do the stories you have read say something about morality, the Christian gospel or giving up one’s life for others?
  7. Is there any way some of these stories can help us relate better to each other, or understand more about life?
  8. Do some of the stories point to bigger issues – to “life, the universe and everything”?

Further reading: Mark Meynell, ‘Why We Love Men in Capes’.

Image credit: © byronv2. Used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-2.0) licence.

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