Can we move past more narrowly conceived notions of explanatory narratives to imagine comics that thrive in the, and do less telling, and more showing? (This is not necessarily a call for words, rather a deep consideration of how text is incorporated into the visual that is the comics page.) … I see in this nascent moment for comics, an opportunity to expand the possibilities forward and experiment with just what a comic can be. Key to this is that making and other complex subject matter into comics is a simple matter of translation: adding illustrations to existing text. Rather, this a different kind of thinking altogether, one necessarily immersed in the visual the ground up. As the cartoonist Seth I think quite correctly observed, comics less a combination of prose and illustration, but instead better thought of as blending of poetry and graphic design. This kind of spatialized thinking that defines comics is particularly well-suited to wrestle with complex and abstract concepts, where their capacity to simultaneously present multiple perspectives can be used to bring great depth to our investigations far exceeding the apparent limitations of their static form. … Our goals, as I see them, are to inform and bring people into important conversations. This is not something to achieve by dumbing the down, rather through the much more difficult work of making the concepts real, tangible, meaningful, and relatable. We strive to make good comics that make for an engaging and educational reading experience. With the stakes so great for our future, there is a deep need to effectively convey the complex issues we face. Comics have an extremely important role to play in communicating them, and I look forward to the inventive and varied approaches to come.
Science meets Comics.- Proceedings of the Symposium on Communicating and Designing the Future of Food in the Anthropocene was organized/edited by Reinhold Leinfelder, Alexandra Hamann, Jens Kirstein, Marc Schleunitz and features contributions from Jaqueline Berndt, Anne-Kathrin Kuhlemann, Toni Meier, Veronika Mischitz, Stephan Packard, Lukas Plank, Nick Sousanis, Katerina Teaiwa, and Arnold van Huis. The 117 page document is available in print from the publisher Christian Bachmann here and online as an open access book (and downloadable) here.