Comics are a fascinating medium of literature that is often overlooked as just Sunday morning entertainment. Reading a comic book actually uses many more advanced reading strategies and can engage people into reading stories who might not normally pick up a book. It is important to know how to read a comic book to get the most out of this type of literature.

Read the captions from left to right and top to bottom. Sometimes the conversation is layered because the characters are speaking back and forth.

Be attentive to what words are being used. Since comic books have very little dialogue, it is important to see what carefully chosen words the author has selected. The writing will be extremely clear and concise.

Examine the pictures first on a superficial level. Most of the story will actually be told through the graphics. Notice the characters, what they are wearing, the setting and any action being depicted. This will fill in some of the details left out of the text.

Dig deeper into the picture. Notice the use of color, shadowing and facial expressions. Think about common dichotomies, such as white and light colors = good, black and darker colors = bad, smiles = happy feelings and frowns or eyebrows drawn in = sad feelings.

Infer the transitions. You will need to examine the next frame the same way you did the first, then infer, or figure out, what details probably tied the two together. Unlike a book or movie, a comic is more of a snap shot portrayal of a story that moves from frame to frame.