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Thinking Outside the...Panel? Exploring the Use of Comics in Communication

Updated: Jul 1, 2021


Sometimes text just doesn’t cut it but have you ever used drawing, images or comics to get your ideas across?


Benefits of Comics in Getting a Message Across

More and more research has been showing the benefits of using comics to share information, particularly health issues. Some of the potential benefits include:

  • Communicating with empathy

  • Memorable messaging

  • Use of narratives that can illustrate complex issues

  • Relatability

Tools to Try

First of all, you don’t have to be the world’s best artist to try using comics to share a message this way. If you prefer digital formats and you have a Canva account, they offer a wide variety of comic templates, like the one below:

Make Beliefs Comix also offers fun pre-made comic templates to explore.


Resources to Check Out

More resources on comics for good:

  • Learn more about Tampere University in Finland’s research about using comics to communicate about important ideas

  • Check out the work of South Africa’s Creative Contracts, including their example contracts for citrus and berry workers

  • Watch this webinar from the Network of the National Library of Medicine with Meredith Li-Vollmer of Seattle and King County Public Health explaining the variety of ways to use comics to talk about health issues

  • Explore Graphicmedicine.org, which contains a wide away of resources for those interested in comics with a message

As always, it's critical to focus on the needs of your audience. Comics may be a new format for some folks, or they may associate them as more suited for kids. But you won’t know until you give it a try!


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