I subscribe to Good magazine and I read a short article called ‘We Should Probably Turn Text Books in to Comic Books‘ by writer Liz Dwyer. In ti the writer points out that the debate about books being physical or digital might actually be a side issue: more important, according a to university study is ensuring that “the academic content within the book is in a format that’s going to help students retain more information.”
It reminded me of a time, decades ago, when I was very enthusiastic about designing educational books and material for young people. I was particularly keen to introduce a comic book look or feel to heavy subjects. PErhaps my skills were n;t honed enough, or the time wasn’t right, but I never managed to convince anyone else that this was not only a good idea but also a beneficial one top the young learners. I didn’t want to create super heroes to describe a mathematical formula or anything like that, but It was clear that children and young people respond very well to comic strips. This is probably because the comics are very well thought out tools of communication with very little wastage of bot words and pictures. Whatever is in these books works very hard to tell the story. Perhaps 20 years ago they were not thought of in this way.
As the graphic novel makes its way into the mainstream, surely this is the future of both printed and digital publishing? It works well on both platforms without adaptation. Could it also be the future of educational publishing for younger children too? It will need authors, experts and illustrators to work from the same script, something which is not always possible. Egos get in the way, as do time and money.
Wouldn’t be great, though? The result would be well though out mini plays, window by window, explaining the mysteries of science and literature to hungry and appreciative young minds.
So my request this week is this; Are you an illustrator, writer, teacher, editor or designer keen to work on such a project? If so, get in touch and let’s start conversation…