“Applied comics” — using the words and pictures combination for education and non fiction — is a growing field, especially as comics become more accepted in educational uses. And First Sceond is going all in with a new line of Science Comics that launches with three books:
Dinosaurs (MK Reed and Joe Flood; Spring 2016)
Coral Reefs (Maris Wicks; Spring 2016)
Volcanos (Jon Chad, Fall 2016)
Future volumes, published one per season, will address subjects including flying machines, bats, and the solar system.
BATS. I’m all in on that. The line is being edited by Casey Gonzalez.
According to PR:
Science Comics extends our non-fiction offerings to middle-grade readers. The Science Comics books will be narrow-focus, single-topic 128 page narrative nonfiction graphic novels, and a new volume will be published each season. The series will be written and drawn by some of the finest graphic novelists in the industry, and feature introductions by leading experts. Each book will cover topics from the fields of biology, chemistry, and physics, subjects that are part of the classroom curriculum and can be easily worked into lesson plans.
In recent years, comics have found a home in libraries and classrooms across America. Educators and librarians agree that visual literacy is an extremely important facet of a modern student’s education. With the increasing ubiquity of visual information, students must learn to process and respond to visual content, and comics are an incredibly effective medium for exploring visual literacy. In theScience Comics series, readers will not only engage with the combination of words and pictures in electrifying narrative nonfiction, but they’ll also discover the biodiversity in coral reefs, learn about the origins of the universe in the deepest reaches of space, figure out how volcanoes shape the earth, and more.
A few years ago there was a rash of attention about how the information in comics used for educational purposes has a high rate of retention. With engaging creators and topics this line should get the attention of kids of all ages. Here’s some preview pages of Dinosaur:
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.