“L” Loyality Is by Scott Spinks
The Sunday paper arrives, father would say don’t mess up the paper. All I wanted was the best part the serious side of the Sunday paper… the comics!!! Years have past by and my first stop within the weekend paper is still the comics. In my searches to find incredible people to share the journey for Read Across America. I discovered this very talented Cartoon Artist and Writer ~ Scott Spinks
The Quickest Read of All By Scott Spinks
When I was seven or eight years old, I took very little time to read. It wasn’t because I didn’t know how to read or that I didn’t enjoy the stories. Put simply, I didn’t have a long enough attention span to turn the page. I was interested just long enough to look at a picture and maybe read a couple lines of text. But, thirty-seconds later, my mind raced to something else. It wasn’t until I reached high school and college when I realized reading was actually enjoyable.
Jump forward a few years; I now read at least two hours per day. I read the news, I read books and magazines and I read comics and comic strips. Working as a professional children’s illustrator, I have a large interest in helping children be literate. Considering how I was as a kid, I can’t expect a child to read Dr. Seuss instead of going to the playground or playing video games. What I hope is that children of all ages will somehow realize how fun reading can be, even in short spurts. In children’s literature, there are many options for kids to choose from. There are picture books with 400 words or less, and there are YA novels with 3000 words or more. The key is “the shorter the story is, the more likely the kid is going to read it.” Could it really be that simple? Yes, I believe so.
So, let’s take a look at comic strips; the quickest read of all. The average comic strip can use between zero (yes, zero) and maybe 100 words. Also, the standard comic strip will take the average reader mere seconds to read. But, what kind of story can be told in just a few seconds? The truth is, a comic strip features the same components as any great story; it just breaks them up in to small, more digestible bites. Think about Garfield. Most people know the story of Garfield, right? He’s a lazy cat who likes to torment his counterparts and he loves lasagna. So, we know Garfield’s story because we’ve read about him. But, we didn’t read his story in one day. It was spread out over a number of years. We just kept coming back every day, to find out where the story would go next.
So, if you could convince your child to read about the same character every day, for however many years, would you do it? Some people suggest, with the demise of the newspaper, the comic strip’s days are numbered. But, I believe the comic strip could be one of the world’s best tools for introducing kids of all ages to literature. Help your kid find a comic strip or two today and check back with them in a year or so. I bet they’ll have a great story to share.