`Lets play a guessing game. What do Batman, Superman, Harry Potter, Twilight, and 50 Shades of Grey have in common? If you guessed that they are all works of literature, then you are correct!
This is the argument presented by LITT 200, “Comic Books As Literature” which occurs every spring and is an amazing opportunity for people who enjoy the addictive fun of reading comic books. It is also a chance to take a deeper look at comic books as a story medium, rather than purely for entertainment.
“Some Superman comics are just Superman punching Lex Luthor but, some are serious drama,” instructor Steven Higgins said. “No one assumes that the Kardashians are the only tv show. There are also quality shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad.”
Lets look at the character Batman for example, the Batman comic series features stunning visuals and lots of action but sometimes people forget to dig deeper.
Bruce Wayne, is a man who has experienced fear and the pain of loss. He has struggled with what is right and he has made mistakes. The character Batman can be explored and analyzed just the same as any other literary character of fiction.
“Its a critical thinking exercise. Its taking a frivolous object and taking a deeper look and seeing what lessons can be learned” Higgins said
To sweeten the class even further, a guest speaker comes to speak to the students during the course. The previous speaker was a writer for both DC and Marvel.
“The reason for a speaker is to see what comics are by the people who make them and what it takes to put a comic together. Each speaker has done both, frivolous and deep comics and they have a different perspective.” Higgins said.
There’s one more surprise to advertise the class. Higgins gives away free comic books to his students every year. In fact, Higgins even gave this lucky reporter a free comic book during our interview.
“I have always been a comic fan, it taught me to read,” Higgins said. “I grew up reading comics and I knew it went deeper than people thought. Over the last 20 years, graphic novels have entered into the English curriculum and I wanted to be a part of that.”