There is much debate on whether or not children should read comic books. It is true that some are perfectly fine for children to read, however, there also are comics that are aimed at adults and may portray so much violence and other mature content that they are completely inappropriate for young kids. The “Deadpool” series is one such example; in fact, the resulting movie was rated R due to its violence, strong language and explicit scenes.
It is really the parent’s responsibility to be selective when deciding on a graphic novel for their children. It may seem like there is nothing wrong with superheroes winning battles against villains, but, in some cases, there may be too much violence, especially for a very young kid. In fact, some of the movies based on these comics are rated PG-13 which means they are not suitable for children younger than 13. This should be an indication to parents as to whether the comic is appropriate or not.
The problem with exposing children to violence is that they may become desensitized to it or they may suffer from nightmares. Many of the DC and Marvel Comics are actually not fitting for young children, especially the more recent ones. As a society we are not always aware of the amount of violence portrayed in comics or the effect it can have. In fact, it may only be when we go to see the PG-13 or R rated movie that we realize that it is actually extremely violent and, even though little Ronnie might love the characters, he cannot deal with the dark and scary images.
Comic books, that were, years ago, really only comic strips for nerds and babies have become almost obsolete, giving way to graphic novels designed to appeal to adults only. In fact, until quite recently there were very few graphic novels for young children under the age of 13. Writers have become more and more aware of this niche in the market and, as a result, have worked on developing comics for the younger generations. These tend to have a moral theme and so are quite beneficial.
In 2008, the company Toon Books was developed with the goal of providing comic books for children of various age groups, even for those who were just starting to read. The best thing about them is that the selection is based on age and ability. There are even comics suitable for children who are in first grade! Some are educational, including lesson plans and games, they have fun content and beautiful graphics that kids can enjoy while they are reading and enjoying the pictures. With these, the standard education and entertainment go hand in hand.
Again, parents must be the ones to decide what they deem as suitable reading material for their children. We suggest looking for comics that have the grade and/or age printed on the front, maybe even looking at the content to see whether it is appropriate or not.