Blah Blah Blog – The Appeal of Reading Comics

A post from my old Marvel blog speaking about one of the hidden appeals that reading comics holds for some readers.

Thursday, 6:19

April 28, 2007 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General

These short weeks are murder. I wind up trying to pack five days’ worth of work into three days’ worth of time. It’s especially difficult what with being in the middle of CIVIL WAR and all of the tie-ins that I need to look at.

Anyway, in an attempt to get back to posting actual content, here’s a little factoid about reading comic books that I came across several years ago, the result of a study somebody conducted into the people who read comics.

One of the unique aspects of comic book reading, and possibly the reason that certain people are attracted to the form, is that it’s one of the few mediums that engages both hemispheres of the brain at the same time. I forget which is which offhand, but the way it works is that, when you read a comic book page, the half of the brain that deals with language actively reads the copy, while the other half, which absorbs visual information, passively takes in the images simultaneously. The only similar example I could come up with that does the same thing are subtitled movies.

The study went on to conclude that there are perhaps some people who derive a very specific sort of pleasure from engaging the twin hemispheres of their brain in this manner, and that’s why comics are such a turn-on for them. It’s an experience that they can’t quite duplicate in any other fashion. If nothing else, it’s a pretty interesting notion.

More later.

Tom B

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