Graphic Medicine, Lecture 1

have you heard what we call graphic medicine may have existed for some time it may be ancient the use of sequential images and words to detail or instruct some medical procedure illness or state of Health image and word were being amalgamated hybridized to serve human health before we had a fixed name for it medical illustration art therapy graphic Authority healthcare comics patient art instructional diagrams maps thanks in no small part to dr. Ian Williams in 2012 recognizing that we needed a coherent term under which to capture all this we arrived at graphic medicine it does not stand alone graphic medicine places itself at the overlap of many different spheres from narrative medicine to disability studies to quality management and healthcare to media studies but the place our discussion begins to give us both the necessary terminology as well as the sense of the progress made over the past 30 years at least is incoming studies there is no formal start date as to when comic studies began as Scott M Smith notes in his chapter who gets to speak comics slid their way into academia gradually though his late eighties estimate of becoming visible and viable enterprise on campuses overlooks even earlier works like Umberto eCos the myth of Superman or Ray Browns founding of the department of popular culture at Bowling Green State University that same year 1972 certainly by the 1990s comics studies was taking form thanks in no small part to books like RC Harvey's the art of the comic book M Thomas Inge's comics is culture and finally Scott McCloud's hit primer understanding comics in his 2005 TED talk McCloud reflected on comics evolution tracking and attempting to predict its further durable mutation through smartphones take something away from the experience of reading a comic or do they liberate it from something that has been holding them back is the optimal comics experience achieved with a newspaper broadsheet a stack of floppy staple bound issues or expertly bound bookshelf collection the clouds search for durable mutations of the comics medium could also be extended to the growth of its genres war comics for instance have Emden flowed in popularity while horror comics have always maintained a subtle steady presence the crime genre has peaked at time and the funny animals onra will always find a market with children at least and of course there's the superhero though not always as commercially super human as one might think Autobiography adaptations high fantasy romance and sci-fi are genres that cross media but in terms of comics solely graphic medicine has become its own manner of durable mutation a compelling cross reference with potential subgenres including graphic authorities of cancer or clinical memoirs what you need to hear admittedly is that much of the discussion here is with english-language comics for a domestic US market as much as the superhero was created in America comics themselves were not tracking their pedigree at least back to political or editorial cartoons of Europe in the eighteen hundreds MacLeod himself would prefer to see the origins of comics as sequential art dating back to ancient Egyptian times others would even give it prehistoric words comics as a medium would find their own distinctive forms and degrees of importance in France Belgium South America Canada and Japan sometimes ahead of us sensibilities in France specifically comics are bound Essanay has been designated the ninth art preceded only by architecture sculpture painting music dance poetry film and television what is important to note here at least in terms of graphic men is that all of these countries share the same understanding of comics as a medium one of nine or more where in all manner of content and material can be communicated if comics is the medium graphic medicine is nearly everything else note the authors of the graphic medicine manifesto among them it's an approach to the education of health professionals as well as an emerging area of interdisciplinary study and it's more than this graphic medicine is also a movement for change that challenges the dominant methods of scholarship in healthcare offering a more inclusive perspective of medicine illness disability caregiving and being cared for the fact that they call their work of manifesto is testament to graphic medicine being know one thing so of the many things it can be all across various nations is graphic medicine a field a genre a method a tool the answer can be yes to any of these so it is important that we call out the way in which we mean it in context as a subject of study it can be considered a field an area of Education and content within certain theoretical or real-world applications one might argue that it is a subfield of comics studies of narrative medicine of any of the disciplines listed previously but that largely depends on one's area of expertise and their immediate goals for the scholarship when we do apply it in the real world such as a clinical or how patients setting what we are studying here becomes a method a way in which to engage with healthcare in general or a patient's health specifically further if we prescribe some aspect of graphic medicine encouraging someone to create their own or introducing them to a particular publication then we might see it as more of a tool or treatment this can also be a tool for the healthcare worker to use as much on themselves or their organization as someone they are treated if graphic medicine is a genre however that means that the works applicable to it share certain conventions or elements therein lies challenge that is a majority of the works on graphic medicine are areas either fiction or nonfiction and sometimes even both but a few are distinctly known narrative expressing sensations and feelings rather than stories there is no set length to a piece of graphic medicine and there is no limit to the time period with the exception of it being visual MacLeod recognizes how comics mimic all five senses through vision alone there is no limit on style or form and the target market the intended audience and the reach of a work can be anything anyone and any amount anywhere as we will explore all semester graphic medicine has such a wide scope that forcing a single label or inherent characteristic on it may do us ultimately a disservice however let's conclude by exploring just one namely the power of comics highlighted by the editors of the graphic medicine manifesto Smith ends his chapter with an excerpt from Nate Powell's swallow me whole sharing it and in turn inviting readers to both interpretation and empathy that is a key strength of comics in general and perhaps the core element of graphic medicine comics give voice to those who are often not heard the irony here is intentional that a silent medium and invisible art would be discussed in terms of hearing but this metaphorical hearing is what allows us to absorb these experiences these instructions these sensations and these pains within ourselves reviewing an array of titles that would qualify as graphic medicine for the journal literature and medicine Hilary root says in this newly respected form words and pictures can create a literary and affective register that powerfully represents stories of illness that people want to see and to read graphic medicine presents us with the voices we in healthcare need to hear as well


  1. Growing up, I remember reading comics every now and then. I was very artistic growing up and even had a how-to book on drawing comic book characters. I love reading comics because they engage my mind more than other literature books. The way the images flow with the captions allows me to make my own little movie in my mind. While reading anything, I find myself getting lost and my mind wandering because I'm just not interested. With comics, I always feel mentally engaged. I'm excited to learn more about graphic medicine as I did not really know it had existed up until registering for this course. Graphic medicine is a combination of two things that I love: art and medicine. It also allows for a new expression of emotion. “For trauma in particular,” Lindsay said, “comics really allow you to show rather than tell. There are certain things that I just cannot put into words, period. And having the flexibility to move back and forth between image and words — it’s really helpful.” Expressing emotion can be difficult at times, but many people find that it is easier to express their emotions through art rather than words. In a course I had taken last semester, Human Development, we discussed how children don't understand things the way adults do. For example, you cannot tell a child and an adult that they have cancer the same exact way. Children just aren't capable to understand what cancer means. Adults, however, will most likely understand what cancer is. Comics offer a way to explain to children what is going on, why they feel the way they do. Pictures and short captions are much easier for children to understand rather than a doctor explaining to them that cancer is uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in the body. I hope that graphic medicine will become much more popular as I feel that it could be very helpful for many people of many ages going through drastic changes within their health.

  2. In this lecture we learned what makes up graphic medicine and how it has evolved over time. This has become a form of communication between patients and healthcare professionals allowing the sharing of ideas, better understanding of certain topics, as well as an enjoyable way to learn more. I found the part of the lecture where professor Lewis talks about Scott McCloud's 2005 ted talk about comic evolution was especially interesting and it got me thinking. McCloud was looking into the durable mutation of comics and if technology, such as smartphones, were taking away from the experience of reading them. I think phones have liberated comics. I can honestly say I’ve never picked up a comic from a book or newspaper to read before, but my phone has exposed me to seeing them, since then I have seen some of the genres mentioned in the lecture and come to enjoy them. I think technology plays a role in changing the way people experience comics, all five senses are truly evoked, there is more exposure to certain populations, and there is room for more development as time goes on.

  3. I personally never read comic books but as a child I was a witness to the older kids reading the Archie comics on the school bus. I was always fascinated by the colorful covers and how every page had so many pictures yet the least amount of words. When reading a novel, I believe the author almost depends on the reader to imagine the content but comics like McCloud said, involves all the 5 senses just through a visual. I always tell my friends that if you're presenting something, aesthetics are also important. This is because I believe that anything attractive enough for the human eye makes people take a longer and deeper look to then perceive and pay attention to the idea behind it. Comics, with the use of visuals and satisfying aesthetics, in my opinion, do that.

    The idea of graphic medicine is pretty smart too. In fact, I didn’t know that the term was coined not so long ago in the year 2012 even though so much evidence has existed from ancient times like Professor Lewis stated. I believe it is such a great platform for projecting, not just medical content for patients but for different healthcare professionals as inter-professional education – just how Graphic Medicine Manifesto describes it.

  4. In this unit, what I found particularly interesting were Scott McCloud’s ideas. The concept of a “durable mutation” can be applied to not only comics, but other things as well, such as television. Television used to only be accessible via a TV screen, but has evolved with the internet so we now have streaming services. In this same way, comics has evolved with the computer. As McCloud showed us in his TEDtalk, the canvas for comics is now less restricted in regard to space. I also liked how Rachel Lindsay said that she wrote her book “to reclaim the history of my life” (Zimmerman). To cartoonists, their comics are essentially an incomplete autobiography. They write their stories as they have experienced them, regardless of outside perspectives. I think this is an important part of comics. They are portraying a single experience rather than assuming a universal experience. This helps relate to certain readers without alienating others. Reading the article by Zimmerman and Lindsay also helped me understand that graphic medicine uses pictures, visuals, and graphics to give a deeper understanding to a patient’s experience that goes beyond what words can describe.

  5. Back in my country, I had no idea what comic books were and had no interest. When I first started reading comic books in high school, I had hard time understanding because I never understood the meaning. But, now I find it very interesting to learn from and this video talks about how the evolution of graphic medicine and comics are growing over time. Its just so amazing how graphic medicines and comics are part of the course to show how it's been used in todays' world and to educate people. I feel like graphic medicine opens the doors to creativity in the healthcare field. In one of the video by Scott McCloud on youtube, "Understanding Comics", McCloud talks about the origin of the comics and how it began from 1400s while in some scary environment. Some of the article talks about how graphic medicine can help everyone to get better on the health care system from doctors and patients as well. In the article, “Graphic Medicine humanizes the world of health care” states, “graphic medicine can also bridge the gap between patients and the medical world.” Overall, graphic medicines are making a huge impact on today's life.

  6. Growing up I would read and collect comic books but after a while, my interest in comics faded away as I gained new interest. To me, comics were just a way to tell a story about how superheroes fought their villains and saved the day. After watching this lecture I realized that the scope of comics goes way beyond what people traditionally think of comics. The comic by Racheal Lindsay RX: A Graphic memoir shows how graphic medicine can help health care professionals what the patients are feeling, even though everyone’s experience is different as said in the Graphic Medicine Manifesto, it can give a good perspective of what people are going through. Graphic medicine can also be used to help educate children on what they are going through, using characters that they already know children would be able to avoid the fear and loneliness that often comes with illness.

  7. Comics were not a big part of the curriculum in school. This, at least, was the case until high school came around and so did Persepolis. Persepolis was the first, academic comic I had encountered and it was such an amazing read. I would have been surprised if comics were not considered a medium. The one thing I learned from Persepolis, is that the film counterpart is never the same after reading the comic. Now, as for graphic medicine, my impression was that it was how the healthcare field is portrayed in media. I did not know it would be portrayed in the comic medium. This is an advantage. As discussed in the lecture and by Scott McCloud, comics give the chance to make more out of it than just reading something. You can see changes in the artwork, noticed changes in frames, and of course the text. After reading “These Are Not Sad Stories” by Edith Zimmerman, my interest for graphic medicine has increased. Rachel Lindsay’s comics, her portrayal about her experiences as a patient, single handedly worked towards improving patient experiences. As Rachel Lindsay mentioned “comics really allow you to show rather than tell.” This is very important in health care because there are things that many people are not comfortable speaking of, so a comic medium is perfect for them to spread the message.

  8. Growing up I was never interested in comics. The only comic I had read was required in high school but after viewing this lecture I learned that there is much more about comic studies and more specifically graphic medicine. I was unaware of how long-ago comic studies had been integrated into academia. I had never thought about comic as a medium nor had I thought about using comic in the healthcare field and how it could offer a more inclusive approach to healthcare. This lecture helped me understand how comics influence many aspects of our lives. After reading the article, " These are not sad stories: How Graphic Medicine humanizes the world of health care," I was able to better understand how exactly healthcare benefits from comics and graphic medicine. Rachel Lindsay's book helps explains how graphic medicine is a medium by conveying her difficult time through her art and being able to show and not just tell her story.

  9. When signing up for this class, I was not really sure what to expect when hearing the phrase "graphic medicine". Upon completing the viewings I have developed a better understanding of what graphic medicine is and what it entails. Like my classmates have already stated, the lecture is an overview of the world of graphic medicine, which is still developing. What surprised me is that Ian Williams coined the term graphic medicine in the early 2000s, so it is a much newer subject than I would have expected. It also surprised me to learn through the readings and viewings that graphic medicine can be a more effective way of showing thoughts, feelings and experiences regarding the medical field than through writing alone or speaking alone. After reading "These Are Not Sad Stories", I realized how much potential graphics hold for portraying thoughts and feelings to the reader, as Rachel Lindsay found meaning and relief telling her story through comics. I had some difficulty at first understanding the full implications of using graphics to portray health and medicine, but after seeing how powerful Lindsay's comics were I quickly appreciated their value. Overall, the topic is very interesting to learn about and I have already developed a new appreciation for comics that I did not have growing up.

  10. While watching this lecture there were many points about when “graphic medicine” originated, and it is true that the genre of comics does date back to prehistoric times. Comics is a genre of text that incorporates text with visual art in order to depict a certain story. With graphic medicine it is the very similar because of what professor Lewis stated with graphic medicine being a “durable mutation” which allows the comic genre to branch into the field of medicine. Graphic medicine as a genre is very interesting because of the people who are associated with it, many are healthcare professionals, like Dr. Nathan Gray, who are trying to bring more light to certain subjects. Another thing that stood out to me was the combination of different genres such as “narrative medicine, media studies, ect”. One of the viewings that really stood out to me was the TED talk that was done by Scott McCloud and how he explains the meaning of comics to himself. To Scott McCloud his goal is to reach all 5 senses of hearing, seeing, touching, smelling and taste, in order to expand the mind behind the true message of “Graphic Medicine”.

  11. By listening to this lecture and reading the graphic medicine manifesto, Ive begun to look at comics in a new light. Aside from one graphic novel I read in sophomore year high school English, I thought of comics as Peanuts and Garfield from the sunday paper. In addition to learning about the stretch comic studies has in literature, I also really enjoyed reading the "These are not sad stories: How Graphic Medicine humanizes the world of health care" article. As an EMT, I treat and transport a lot of "psych" patients (any patient with a mental illness/psychotic behavior) and reading about Lindsey's experiences as that patient opened my eyes to an entire side of my job that I don't necessarily think about. By being able to express her feelings and experiences in the form of comics, Lindsey has been able to reach the lives of doctors and patients worldwide.

  12. Growing up in the U.S., when I hear comics, I think about a booklet with red and blue pages with panels and words like BOOM and CRASH in crazy spike bubbles. I never took much interest into them because I always though of it as a boy's book. It wasn't until I stumbled across manga that I realized how influential the combination of images and text in certain sequential order can deliver such strong stories and emotions. There is unlimited possibility to how comics can be used. It can be used for entertainment and it can be used to inform.
    Through this lecture and Unit 1 videos, I learned comics can take on so many different forms and had evolved so much throughout time from engraved pictographs in sequential order into what we now call comics. The comic medium has a huge impact on society and it should be used more in educational settings.

  13. This lecture discusses the key concepts of Graphic Medicine and how its evolved to what it is today. On page 25 of The Graphic Medicine Manifesto Scott T. Smith states, "Comics were suddenly on the academic map…. comics had achieved a transformative mutation." Comics are used as a medium and like professor Lewis states a movement of change. This lecture states how comics have always been a method of communication and understanding, and now comic writers have found a way to move towards healthcare and make the visual aspects of a story or a disease easier to explain "comics give voice to those that are not usually heard."

  14. As for this lecture video, I thought it was interesting how far general medicine have come. Whenever I think of comic, I think of the comic book with just sketches of characters and small bubbles of conversation among the characters in the book. However, I never thought comic would appear in health care. As for unit 1, listening to Professor Lewis talk about where comic come from and how board graphic medicine is and how it evolved is very interesting. For example, one of the reading that was required to read this unit was the “Our Cancer Year”. There were different scenarios how authors have implement health and medicine in comics. For instance, Stan Mack’s 2004 Janet and Me: An Illustrated Story of Love and Loss was interesting to read about. The author created a visual-verbal narrative of his perspective as a caregiver. In my opinion, visual can often time speak louder than words. If the audience was to read his book and have been through the same path would have a more sense of connection with his emotion that he described in his visual. As medicine progress over the years and into the future, comic can be a great medium for people to have a better understanding of what medicine is.

  15. After viewing this lecture, I have a better understanding of what contribution graphic medicine makes to the field of healthcare. One of those contributions is being how graphic medicine gives back people the personal from what the healthcare system made so impersonal. As the professor noted in his lecture involving the author Nate Powell's comic Swallowing Hole which said "Comics give voice to those who are often not heard." This made me think about one of the articles I read written by Richard Zimmerman which introduced Rachel Lindsay as former Manhattan advertising agent turned full time cartoonist, who turned to comics to express her journey and emotions following what was described as a mental breakdown. Lindsay simply wanted to feel like she could take some of the respect for herself as a person back. Graphic medicine became a way for her to express what she was thinking and going through in a way that words simply wouldn't have described as well as the comic visuals do. It really hit me when she said "I wrote my book to reclaim the history of my life." When I read that quote and especially listening to the professor's lecture, I see that graphic medicine is too impactful to just be put in one category. It is a genre, tool, field etc that helps to bridge the gap between people as individuals rather than paperwork and categories and those in the healthcare system to become more empathetic to these people who have health illnesses.

  16. After watching this lecture, I was able to get a greater insight into what Graphic medicine. As someone who personally has never been into comic books, I realized how I often saw them as purely picture books usually about a superhero rather than a creative tool that can be used educationally, therapeutically, for general enjoyment, and so much more. As professor Lewis mentioned, it is a great way for someone who is silent or not as great with words to have a voice. This reminded me of the article These Are Not Sad Stories How graphic medicine humanizes the world of health care where Rachel Lindsay explains that she used illustration as a way to show what she was feeling when she could not put it into words but also use words when it was helpful. Another point I found interesting was how much we do see comics in medicine often. We are constantly surrounded by cartoon images of how to wash our hands or perform CPR and so many more inside the walls of hospitals, schools, and many others. It's a common tool that has been around for ages and is a great way to educate especially for visual learners. I think it's a great way to help others understand illness and how it can affect someone since it can be hard to understand without being able to visualize it or put it into perspective for themselves.

  17. While listening to this lecture, I was able to understand the concept of graphic medicine, and how it evolved over time from its origin. Graphic medicine grew out of the comic industry. It is very interesting that comics can be a medium where communication can be shared amongst people of many languages. When I think of comics, I simply think of superhero, etc. But, graphic medicine is a great tool for people to communicate and learn in a more fun and interesting way in the healthcare field through comics. It also displays a patients state not only in description, but visually for the readers. I think graphic medicine opens the doors to creativity in the healthcare field. In Scott McCloud’s youtube video, “Understanding Comics” he describes the origin of comics. He describes how comics began all the way back to 1450, on egyptian walls, on deerskin and tree bark, and even stone columns. Within 100 years we already have seen the progression with left to right panel sequences and captions. Then, furthermore progressing to where we are today, with comics in the media, with multiple subdivisions, such as graphic medicine.

  18. Graphics medicine have become a global matter and it’s an aspects that have helped a lot of people when it comes to communication. Even for me, when I first move to America, I was 11 years old and I barely spoke any English. During my trip to the doctor’s office, I remember seeing a lot of these illustrations on the wall. During my visit, my doctor would show me those pictures and asked me to pick one of them to describe my mood, or pain level after performing a task on me. This was very helpful to me because I could use both my visual and verbal cues to answer the question. Graphic medicine have helped a lot of others with a language barrier and it allow them to have an easier conversation with their doctors. It’s a great tools that healthcare professionals have been using to educate their patients and provide the best care possible. Professor Lewis mentioned that many other countries have an understanding or some kind of exposure to comic books, which is great because each cultures will have a different interpretation for it. Like Professor Lewis said, you don’t always need a narrative for comic book, that alone makes it different and interesting because not everyone is always going to interpret a comic/picture the same way.

  19. Through listening to this lecture and through the other material covered in unit one, a couple of things stood out to me. I have never been into comics and when I think of comics I always thought of the comic strips in the newspapers and think of just superman and other superheroes. Going through the material I learned that there are many different ways comics can depict different scenarios. Going through the first reading in this unit I learned that there is more than just the comedy and superhero aspect to comics. I learned that some comics could tell whole stories just like the reading of “Our Cancer Year”. Which brings me to my second point, which is the idea that comics have the opportunity to be used in the medical field. I think that having comics be used this way would allow for people to get a more direct understanding of material. Personally seeing visuals helps me understand material more than just reading, so the concept of having a comic explain material in the medical field seems like it could be very beneficial to other students like myself

  20. This lecture discusses some of the basics about graphic medicine and both the growth and evolution of graphic medicine and comics over time. This introduction to graphic medicine and comics is very interesting as we learn how they take place in our societies and our education system. I have always thought comics were simply a fun read for individuals, especially children. However, we learn comics are not only just a fun read, they actually have a huge educational value. The idea of graphic medicine can be referred to in many different perspectives as it can be viewed as a field, a genre, a method, and even a tool. Graphic medicine is having a huge impact on our societies as it not only allows individuals to understand both visual and verbal expressions, but it is an approach to the education of health professionals and future health care professionals, as it gives insight about both health education and patient care. Watching this lecture and viewing the additional readings really gives you an idea about how graphic medicine helps individuals get a better grasp on the health care system from the view of professionals and even patients. The article, “Graphic Medicine humanizes the world of health care” states, “graphic medicine can also bridge the gap between patients and the medical world.” The article then goes on to talk about how some individuals create these readings to tell their stories of their experience in a hospital setting that is overall separated from the hospital notes. Overall giving the readers the truth behind their medical care and experience. As a whole the popularity and resourcefulness of graphic medicine is growing and making its impression throughout our societies.

  21. As a few of my classmates also noted, I too appreciated Professor Lewis' comment regarding graphic medicine being a silent medium in which content can be communicated and understood with the five senses. The graphic can be understood or interpreted differently than text alone. An example of this that stood out to me was in the Zimmerman reading. Rachel Lindsay's graphic depictions of her struggle with bipolar disorder conveyed much more than her simply stating that she had a difficult time. Different people may notice different things in each graphic. People can identify with different parts of the same illustration. I think that comics like these could play a huge role in getting more people to be open to and understand different conditions people suffer from and be able to sympathize with how people with these conditions perceive themselves, their illness and their state of being.

  22. This lecture video discusses the basic evolution of comics over time and how they began to get involved with writing about medicine. Professor Lewis mentioned in the lecture video how graphic medicine comics can be non-fiction or fiction or even both, but usually they are narrative about someone’s own personal life. I think this pattern that graphic medicine continues to follow of being in a narrative theme is really interesting and captivating. It allows for the writer to express their experience with illness in their own personal way, while also creating room for people to relate and have similar commonalties. I think this also relates to what I found interesting in “Our Cancer Year, and: Janet and Me: An Illustrated Story of Love and Loss, and: Cancer Vixen: A True Story, and: Mom’s Cancer, and: Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story, and: Epileptic, and: Black Hole (review)”. On page 423, it discusses how the author of that comic uses monsters and surreal creatures to depict harsh illnesses that people avoid addressing in real life. I think this is a perfect example of a narrator putting their personal touch on it based on their own personal experience, but all the while still leaving room for interpretation from reader.

  23. When Professor Lewis asks when the optimal comics experience is achieved, I immediately related because I had grown up with comic books, and looking at the comics in the newspaper. My friends always had bookshelves stocked and organized in alphabetical order with preserving sleeves. That is the first thing I think of when I hear comics, but I never stopped to consider the optimal mode of comics. Durable mutation is an interesting thought though because as comics became more popular and more abundant in general, there started to be different methods of accessing them and the new genres would always be something that my friends and I could look forward to exploring. I immediately thought "how can we apply this to medicine?". All these new genres and imagination has so much to offer. Professor's mentioning of the sub-genres shines some light on this when he refers to graphic medicine as its own form of durable mutation. It can be a practical application for many different areas of medicine. In the Graphic Medicine Manifesto, the author says "Much of what we teach medical students is about how to listen to, and understand, people's stories" (10). I believe that this is a huge skill to utilize in medicine, and graphic medicine can be a very useful tool in achieving that skill. Is graphic medicine only a tool though? Could it also be a field of study, or a movement for change. Maybe a method of education? Like Professor was explaining, I think that graphic medicine can be applied to all of these things and can achieve much more than just one application.

  24. After watching this lecture, I also thought that our professor's last comment about how graphic depictions of illness turns a silent medium into a subject that is discussed and heard of using all five senses was interesting. Medicine is a very complex topic to talk about or even explain to others. It is even harder when you are talking about it to someone who is not studying it, face language and cultural barriers because they were either born in a different country or raised to think differently from you, and may find the topic boring to listen to and hard to digest. Therefore, using graphics can make explaining serious topics of illness easier to understand and more appealing to those who might find it uninteresting or unnecessary to understand. I feel that graphics can make medicine more "humane" and relatable rather than something that is complex and hard to grasp since everyone experiences illness directly or indirectly from those you care about, those you interact daily, or don't even know at all. Also, I believe that graphics is a great way for the sick to talk about their experiences with others. It allows them to be creative and enables them to take control over their illness while making it something for others to better understand and respect.

  25. In this lecture and in “Graphic Medicine Manifesto,” the potential use of comics in a healthcare/medical school setting really enlightened me. The use of comics for patients or student to understand potentially hard subject matter seem very beneficial. The use of comics in a class setting would definitely engage students more and help them learn harder material that is seen in medical school. As well comics would definitely educate individual patients in the healthcare on illness, symptoms, and treatment. This could deliver an easier way for patients to understand medical professional when dealing with advanced terminology. As well as this could be a universal thing done around the world and can definitely benefit everyone.

  26. Professor Lewis's last comment about how graphic depictions of illness turns a silent medium into a subject that is discussed and heard using all five senses was very eyeopening to me. In today's world I feel that it has become increasingly hard to make your voice heard with how prevalent social media is in influencing the general public. I think that comics can be the vehicle towards opening new avenues of discussion on topics like depression and mental illness which have seemingly become stigmatized in our society. After reading about Marchetto's story "Cancer Vixen" I think that the lighthearted and appealing nature of pictures and amusing dialogue found in comics is a great way to get the public to talk about darker topics that need to be discussed. The saying "A picture is worth a thousand words" really does hold true when it comes to comics.

  27. One aspect in this lecture that caught my attention was the fact that Graphic Medicine doesn't have to have a narrative. This reminded me of walking throughout hospitals and sitting in doctors offices, looking at those diagrams and "comics" of faces describing levels of pain and instructions on how to preform the Heimlich Maneuver. I don't know about anybody else, but I have definitely looked at those comics without a thought in my brain about who designed them and if they were even considered comics. Now learning about Graphic Medicine, I see that those artworks were used to convey meaning to a broad audience. Graphic Medicine being a non narrative allows it to express sensation and feelings like Professor Lewis stated, which can help appeal to any audience and become apart of any health care specialty.
    Authors who choose to write and illustrate their medical journeys through comics is similar to the non narrative versions of Graphic Medicine. Although they do have a narrative (of the authors life of course), they are still something an audience can relate to and learn from like those "how are you feeling?" charts you see next to the stethoscopes in your pediatricians office. By using comics to show their medical journey, authors like Rachel Lindsay are able to humanize their illnesses in the eyes of their readers, which I think is important to anyone struggling with an illness and having to enter a world of hospital visits and doctors.

  28. Graphic medicine not only helps individuals understand both visual and verbal expressions, but it allows health care professionals to educate their audience about health education and patient care. By doing so, publishers are able to reach into a place where images are "living and breathing" as noted in the Comic Studies and Storytelling viewing for this unit. A great and interesting point that professor Lewis brings up in this lecture is the idea behind all countries understanding comics at a medium, or have come to a standard interpretation of comics. This statement allowed me to reference Andrea Gilray's "What is Comic Studies?" and state that comic studies is a global phenomenon. They are extremely well known in the US but are also popular globally. These outside countries are building traditions behind comics that help us understand not only how important and different our cultures are here but how we can compare or contrast to the others.

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published