We Love TinTin! and Comic Books

We Love TinTin! and Comic Books

It all started when Winter went out with Grammy one afternoon to the thrift store in Skowhegan.  He came back with a few little trinkets they’d found together, including a paperback copy of The Adventures of TinTin in America.

As a fan of quality classic literature like The Trumpet of the Swan and Moby Dick, I never really got into comics and I fully admit I didn’t understand all that comics bring to the table.  Sharing the comic books with Winter widened my perception and allowed me to see the literary jewels that comic books are.

Winter was a ready-reader, and since he’s started reading the TinTin comics his reading ability has sky-rocketed.  Just last fall Winter was reading Bob books; this spring he’s reading The Adventures of TinTin on the Black Island, as well as Mr. Putter and Tabby, and much more.

Comic books are extremely useful educational tools, and they are slowly becoming a respectable literary source in classrooms around the globe.  Pairing visual and written plot-lines are especially helpful to struggling and reluctant readers.  The vivid illustrations entice the readers to become literate, creative, and imaginative beings.

Boys in particular are drawn to comic books and graphic novels for a number of reasons.  Often comic books relate adventure stories involving superheroes.  They don’t shy away from violence, which appeals to a boy’s aggressive tendencies.  Boys like the straight to-the-point dialogue.  The vivid illustrations appeal to the more visual sex.  And of coarse, comic books are so much “cooler” than novels, and boys find reading comics more socially acceptable.

There are a number of great comic book series out there.  I’ve taken to reading the Fruits Baskets series for my own personal enjoyment, but for us it’s still largely focused on TinTin.

We recently discovered the TinTin cartoon series, which we watch through YouTube.  I joined the TinTin Fanclub on Facebook after discovering their blog, and we’re all eagerly awaiting the release of the new TinTin movie next summer 2011.

Educators can utilize comic books in a variety of ways, but mainly I like to think of them as a gate-way book.  With the main goal being to get the child reading, then, once he’s comfortable with literature, you can introduce a select few of the classics.

For more information regarding comic books and their place in education try these articles and resources:

Comic Books in the Classroom

Comic Books Belong in Schools

Top 20 Children’s Comics

The Comic Book Project

Kids Love Comics!


  1. Anet


    I found you through the Secular Homeschool ring.
    My son loves to read comic books.
    We've found some comic book classics like Moby Dick and Treasure Island. He loved them!
    His favorite is the Mouse Guard books.
    We'll have to check out Tin Tin, sounds interesting.

    I browsed through your past post a bit. This is a great blog!
    I'm also a Secular homeschooling mom. Our family is Native American and we love to celebrate the seasons and the earth. Our favorite time is spent in the woods, also learning about history.

    We live in Michigan. I have two older children in college and a 10 yr old son still at home.
    We are so lucky to have a secular homeschool group that we belong to.
    I've become a follower of yours, hope you'll pop in and visit us at the Purple Squirrel Homeschool.


  2. Peter Orvetti

    We just read "Trumpet of the Swan". I'd never read it before, and I loved it.

    I did not discover comics until college, when I made friends with a fan. I have since acquired a library of Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Terry Moore, etc. etc.

    We've been getting books from the library that are intended to introduce kids to comics as an art form and literary genre. I said to my wife that it's funny that something that was seen as a major threat to children two generations ago is now seen as a cultural experience that should be taught.

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