In this week’s PW Comics World, I interviewed Jeremy Short—creator of the study on comics comprehension referenced here—about that study and a general overview of current research on how comics affect learning and cognizance. My takeaway: we’ll be seeing more of this. Along the way I chatted with Scott McCloud, who feels that the idea of comics as a teaching tool is very hot right now.
“It’s in the air, there’s no question about it. It’s like when the ship’s masts start to glow a little and you know that lightning is about to hit,” he said of the growing attention. “I go to conferences about this stuff and I see all these people who feel that there’s this thing in the room if only they could get their hands on it they could change education forever.”
McCloud also revealed that followed his next graphic novel—a massive fiction epic from First Second with the working title of The Sculptor—his next book after that will deal with how verbal/visual communication works. “Visual communication is the thing I’m most excited about other than finishing my graphic novel which has consumed me for years,” he told me. “The ways in which visual communication in all the disciplines seems to be knocking on a lot of the same doors. I want to see if I can distill some of those fundamental principles in all that.”
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.