A super cool professor of library science (none of my professors were like this) named Carol Tilley is defending comics as early literacy tools. In an article titled For Improving Early Literacy, Reading Comics Is No Child's Play at Science Daily, she talks about her ideas:
A lot of the criticism of comics and comic books come from people who think that kids are just looking at the pictures and not putting them together with the words," Tilley said. "Some kids, yes. But you could easily make some of the same criticisms of picture books -- that kids are just looking at pictures, and not at the words."
Absolutely. Except for a few BAM! POW! BOOFs!! comic vocabulary is quite sophisticated in general. Great reading material. And because it fires the imagination so much, it keeps the reader a Reader for many years, if not for life. Alice would heartily approve of comics.