An edited collection on graphic medicine and graphic storytelling related to the COVID-19 global pandemic
Alexandra P. Alberda
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to infect millions, kill people around the world, dismantle political, economic and cultural infrastructures, and disrupt our everyday lives, we have seen a surge in amateur and professional creative activity in the comics medium. From blogs to Instagram, superheroes to public health, educational comics to graphic memoirs, etc., artists are engaging with a variety of genres, narratives, platforms and styles to tell stories.
This edited collection seeks to bring together a range of creative work, along with practice-based and critical reflections on what it means to make, share and read comics in the time of COVID-19. Bridging the fields of comics studies, memoir studies, graphic medicine and data storytelling, this collection also aims to explore our definitions of ‘what counts’ as graphic medicine and graphic storytelling.
We invite submissions in the form of comics, graphic chapters, interviews and other alternative formats, along with more traditional academic chapters.
Themes include but are not limited to:
– Histories, Comics and Global Health
– Comics, Superheroes and COVID-19
– Graphic Memoir and Self-Narrative
– Data Comics and COVID-19
– Political cartoons and other types of commentary
– Genre, narrative and style in COVID-19 comics
– Online publishing platforms and environments
– Shifting economies of comic creation and distribution
This collection aims to take a transdisciplinary and transnational perspective, with contributions written for the broadest audience. We particularly encourage submissions from comics artists, PhD and early career scholars, those from underrepresented communities in academia and people from the Global South.
For a gallery of existing COVID-19 comics graphicmedicine.org is a great resource: https://www.graphicmedicine.org/covid-19-comics/ Also, check out the hashtag #covid19comicsforgood
Please submit a 300-word abstract, script or description of your proposed contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 31st, 2020.
My PhD, titled Graphic Medicine Exhibited: Public Engagement with Comics in Curatorial Practice and Visitor Experience since 2010, explores the intersections of the comics medium, health, and exhibition to understand potential methodological approaches and sociocultural values of these experiences. My collaborative projects, namely with Dr Anna Feigenbaum and Aria Alamalhodaei, have explored such topics as public health, data storytelling and visualisation, comics (graphic medicine, graphic social science, data comics), and creative-led knowledge exchange. As a research illustrator I have worked on a number of projects, including the recent The Data Storytelling Workbook (Routledge 2020) and two COVID-19 webcomics. As a curator, I explore how different media, such as comics and zines, can create more emotive connections between different cultures, place, and time, contribute towards decolonisation, and foster social justice and care in upcoming museum professionals.