There is some evidence from case studies and large group research that light reading, such as comic books, leads preteens and young adults to more, if not always higher quality, reading. For example, researchers Dorrell and Carroll (1981) placed comic books in a junior high school library but did not allow them to circulate; students had to come to the library to read them. The researchers compared circulation figures of non-comic-book material and total library use during the seventy-four days the comics were in the library with the fifty-seve days prior. Library use increased 82 percent with a 30 percent increase in the circulation of non-comic-book material. Other studies, however, showed that comic book reading does not correlate positively with higher levels of literacy (Allen, Cipielewski, and Stanovich 1992).
In The New York Times, Superman Finds New Fans Among Reading Instructors.
Teaching Tips: Comic Strips as a Text Structure for Learning to Read, at the International Reading Association.