I might as well get this out in the open right from the jump: I'm a HUGE comic book nerd. Huge. I've read them ever since I can remember. I have, quite literally, thousands and thousands of books I've collected over the years. I just love them. The art. The stories. I'm all in on the comic book universe.

So, me being such a huge fan, you have no idea how pumped I am that my biggest addiction actually has some benefits. Apparently, Language Experts have been studying the benefits of reading comics for years and have determined that reading comics increases communication and cognitive functions.

Recently, Dale Jacobs (a comic theorist) says that the complexities in comics encourage more brain activity. And, because of their content, kids and adults are more likely to read a comic book than a traditional book. Below is an excerpt from Jacobs' study:

Traditional print comics are themselves complex multimodal texts, comprised not only of linguistic elements, but also some combination of visual, audio (as represented visually), gestural, and spatial elements. As we read, we practice multimodal literacy, drawing on our available resources and using them to shape meaning from the multimodal elements particular to a comics text, including the combination of words, images, spatial layout, gutters, sound effects, panel composition, body language, facial expression, emanata, and other comics elements. Reading comics, then, is an active process, and a theory of multimodality helps to explain how meaning is created by readers of comics and how readers reimagine themselves in relation to specific comics texts.

And, this is just one study. If you're truly interested in scientific research, here is another study done in the Netherlands. If you really get into, comic books are pretty amazing educational tools.

Plus, these days, comic books have become a pillar of society. You don't have to worry about getting beat up just because you read comics, now the majority of people think they're cool and can't wait for the next Marvel or DC movie. So, comics are fun, educational AND cool...and that's a pretty awesome combo.

Now, if you're completely new to the comic book universe, below are some incredible stories worth checking out: