I love to tell people that I wrote my doctoral dissertation on graphic novels and comics!
But I am not the first to do this (for example, Nick Sousanis wrote his brilliant graphic novel, Unflattening, a meditation on the relationship between text and as his PhD dissertation. I took a a different approach and investigated and wrote about ways that graphic novels can be used to teach students about social justice. Yet, there is more to comics than philosophy, history and cognitive development. Studying graphic literature, specifically how to create comics provides many doorways to practical careers. The first, and most obvious is it teaches students how to make their own comics. Like other forms of art and literature, there is no guarantee to success. But, it is important to know that over the past 20-30 years, there is a steady increase in comic sales. Graphic literature is cheaper than making a movie, and easier to distribute than books (especially because of the web).
But there are other career options:
- Storyboard artists for movies and TV.
- Storyboard artists are also important for:
- creating corporate and academic presentations.
- Walkthroughs for large properties, amusement parks, architectural models, etc.
- Other activities requiring planning for movement.
- Graphic literature, especially comics are excellent media for creating training media for time and sequence based activities .
- This media is also very effective for building learning material for visual learners.
- Comics are excellent for teaching language (teachers can create their own learning materials based on the specific needs of their students).
- Graphic journalism to record events and reflections.
- Graphic medicine for medical students, practices and providing knowledge to different communities.
Using graphic literature and comics is similar to using other media (film, tv, radio, etc) for learning and training, but it is more intimate than a film (cheaper to produce too), easier to customize for different languages and audiences and other benefits. All that is required is an imagination, and a desire to teach.