Doctor and graphic novelist Ian Williams talks to Comics Beat about Graphic Medicine, the upcoming conference in Brighton and why comics are such a vital tool in supporting new ways of learning. Read the full interview HERE.
Do you have any sense of why the combination of medical topics and comics work so well together and why people appreciate it so much?
I guess loads of people like comics and you could argue that culture in general is becoming more visual and with comics having become a more respected form of art and literature over the last 20 years, I guess people are starting to look in that direction. And maybe because they’ve read comics when they were younger, it gives them a thrill to rediscover comics. People seem to just get really excited about the idea of using comics in healthcare or using comics as a therapeutic intervention.
As we’ve gained ground and it’s been taken up at an institutional level people have suddenly started to take it seriously. And thank god, graphic medicine has become a thing. Now you get loads of people saying, “oh, this is cool, I’ve just written a paper about something and I’d like to turn it into a comic book,” a lot of, which is really not suitable but people like the idea, they see it as being cool, I suppose. Also at the same time, big institutions like the Wellcome Trust in the UK and big research institutions have used comics in public engagement. So people see that and start to get it.