Blerd Takes
Published in

Blerd Takes

Words and Pictures

Shaping What It Means to Be Human Through Comic Books

I’m reading a lot of comic books right now and for the most part they’ve all been great. This year I am going to take a new step in my writing career and attempt to write comics myself. I have always had a philosophy about the evolution of literacy that posits that literacy is evolving in ways that people a hundred years ago would have never conceived.The medium of comic books as means of storytelling in my opinion has and will always be on the bleeding edge of this evolution.

Back when I taught middle school I had some students that would only ever finish reading books if they were comic books or graphic novels. Lot’s of teachers thought that this was because these were the only books that these kids were capable of accessing in terms of reading mechanics. I would argue that these students understood literacy as the act of engaging with stories in the most stimulating and gratifying ways possible.

Latching onto stories takes more than great writing (whatever that is) readers must be able to connect to characters, be afraid for them, or hate them. It’s about rooting for the underdog and seeing yourself in decisions of the heroes and the villains. Good writing should make you question your sense of morality and your role as a single thread in the fabric of humanity. Good comics serve as the modern day fables that help us to do exactly that.

The reason I am going to attempt to wade into the oversaturated market of commercial comic book writing is not because I think there aren’t great stories out there, in fact the market is flooded with great books that have been put together by ridiculously talented creative teams, but I want to offer another perspective of the same humanity that all comic writers are looking at.

Comics are windows that frame what it means to be human. Everyone’s vantage point is unique and everyone’s vantage point has the power to help shape the perspectives of others. More voices saying different things is always a good thing especially when we are talking about the things that impact us love, loss, fear, justice, despair, hope, identity, purpose…

Originally published in BLERD Takes on February 9, 2019

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More by R.A. Ingram in BLERD Takes:

In Defense of the Reboot

Comics I Copped: Bitter Root Issue 1

Digital Footprint or Virtual Soul

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A curious pastiche of think-pieces addressing all things fantastical from a ceaselessly opining BLERD. Yes, all caps.

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R. A. Ingram

R. A. Ingram

Husband, father, writer, teacher.