I wasn't sure if it was O.K. to read comics, but thankfully the editorial board at the New York Times cleared this up today. Not only are they O.K., they're even better in the classroom:
Comics are now gaining a new respectability at school. That is thanks to an increasingly popular and creative program, often aimed at struggling readers, that encourages children to plot, write and draw comic books, in many cases using themes from their own lives.
The editorial adds:
No one is suggesting that comic books should substitute for traditional books or for standard reading and composition lessons. Teachers who would once have dismissed comics out of hand are learning to exploit a genre that clearly has a powerful hold on young minds. They are using what works.
Oh, scary: The thought of kids reading only comics. The editorial has allayed my fears.
The condescending editorial wouldn't be complete without a signal that the Times's editorial board really has little clue as to what they are endorsing: "Teachers who would once have dismissed comics out of hand are learning to exploit a genre that clearly has a powerful hold on young minds" (emphasis added). Comics are not a genre; sure mainstream books are monopolized around superheroes, but comics touch upon many genres. The comic book is a medium, like novels and movies.
That's one wrong word in an editorial that is particularly pointless.