Get your hands on a free comic on Free Comic Book Day!

Comics to be given for free on Saturday 7 May from the Central Public Library in Floriana and Bay Street Complex at St George's Bay

Scenes from Malta Comic Con 2015 • Photo by Ray Attard
Scenes from Malta Comic Con 2015 • Photo by Ray Attard

Graphic Novels Library Malta (GNLM) and Wicked Comics, in collaboration with the National Book Council and the Central Public Library are for the second consecutive year, organizing Free Comic Book Day on Saturday 7th May.

This event is a global celebration of the comic book medium where free comics are distributed to children of all ages.

Thanks to a generous donation from the National Book Council and funds from Wicked Comics, a number of comics will be given away to anyone visiting the Central Public Library in Floriana from 9:30am-12:00pm and at Bay Street shopping complex on St George’s Road, St Julian’s from 1:00pm-4:00pm.

A limited amount of comic books will be available so distribution will occur on a first come first served basis.

“The aim of Free Comic Book Day is to promote literacy and inspire children of all ages to read. Reading comics has a number of benefits as it provides both written and visual stimulation while delivering a narrative for a child to interpret,” Ryan Scicluna, chairperson of the GNLM, said.

“Gorg Mallia, an expert in the comic book medium and lecturer at the University of Malta, argues that comics’ language can be an effective cognitive tool for educational purposes, just as good as other text-based methods of instruction.”

Part of Mallia’s research was a survey that compared a text about the history of prehistoric Malta with the same gist of the text but in illustration format and comic format. His results showed that comics had the same effects when it came to conveying information for a reader to understand.

Mallia’s exploratory study showed that the comics’ medium can be very useful in an educational system and also that it can work within the cognitive domain of the brain as an instructional tool.

“Comics offer a very effective tool for getting children to read, make friends and discuss stories. Comics are a medium just like television and movies that tackle a multitude of subjects. For example, superhero comics are the most popular, but they are not the only graphic novels on the market. One can find original comics that tell complex narratives just like novels do. Other popular types of graphic novels are autobiographical, which tell the story of particular individuals such as historical figures, celebrities or even politicians,” Scicluna said.

Graphic Novels Library Malta is an NGO aiming to promote children’s literacy using comics.

GNLM will also launch a crowd-funding campaign on the local crowd-funding website in order to collect donations to buy graphic novels for the Public Library. This will strengthen the ever-popular comics’ collection at the Junior’s Library in Floriana.

The campaign is aimed at the general public and donations start from only €3.