But science? Can the complexity of science be squeezed into a speech bubble? And can comics help spark a love of science to last a lifetime and inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and citizen-scientists? Teachers, authors, artists, and publishers are coming together to voice a resounding:
fog zombies and stalk-eyed fly pirates.
First up is Sequential SmArt. Coming up May 18 and 19 at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, this conference and workshop will explore the use of comics and graphic novels across the curriculum, from kindergarten through college. The final day will explore the use of comics to teach science, and will feature Kevin Kinney of DePauw on using the X-Men to teach about mutation and conference organizer Jay Hosler (Biology, Juniata) on teaching, testing, and creating science comics.
Hosler has created some of the best: Clan Apis about the lives of honey bees, The Sandwalk Adventures (in which Charles Darwin schools some creationist mites living in his eyebrows on evolution), and Optical Allusions (in which Wrinkles the Wonder Brain meets some stalk-eyed fly pirates on his quest to retrieve his employer's missing eyeball).
So the writers, artists, and publishers are embracing science comics. And they are even making their way onto syllabi and into classrooms. But what about the readers? Do science comics work as comics and as science? Stay tuned for the next exciting installment...
In the meantime, please share your own science comic favorites here, or on the Elefolio Facebook page, or via twitter @elefolio.
(Full disclosure: Hosler and I worked together on May Berenbaum's book The Earwig's Tail. I was the book's editor and Jay was the illustrator. And I'm a fan. Does it show?)