Comics are a mainstay in the bookshelves of Thai youngsters. While the majority of comics are Japanese anime or romances that are read by young and old alike, a new trend is emerging in which comics are based on scientific or historical topics. This new genre of comics includes the Korean “Survival” series, which teaches readers about nature and science as the characters struggle to survive in various ecosystems such as in the jungle, in a cave, on an island or even in a land of insects. These comic books turn potentially boring scientific knowledge into a high interest way of learning scientific facts.
The South Korean “Survival” and “Adventure” series is sold in Thailand by Nanmeebooks. The author of Adventure in a Dark Cave, Survival in the Land of Insects and Survival in a Deep Caveis Hong Jae-cheol. Hong has a science degree and has been a comic book editor since 1995. He has been producing knowledge-based comics for a leading South Korean publisher since 2001. Hong typically finds inspiration for his books from general reading material and the Internet. In Korea, knowledge-based comics have experienced rapid growth and many are on the best-sellers list.
Nanmeebooks also introduced knowledge-based comics to Thailand when they published the Japanese books Doraemon Teaching Science and Doramaeon Teaching Math over a decade ago. They have since pushed the Korean knowledge-based comics and find that these comics are cheered for their educational benefits. Parents are encouraged to get their children reading and not be biased against comics, especially when there are plenty of knowledge-based comics to choose from. However, it is suggested that parents screen the comics that their children read for pornographic, sexual or violent content.