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Graphic Novelist to create piece on Human Trafficking in Nepal
Dan [Archer] is going to use the funds for his travel in Nepal to gather testimony from people who have been directly effected by human trafficking. He has a staff of translators, fixers and survey givers he will pay with the money raised. This is something that has never been done before, and if that’s not enough, he will give backers the opportunity to watch him report/create the comic in real time. Real time online art videos have become very popular and I think builds a bigger bond between fans and the creators. It should be interesting to see how this comic is created and his commentary as he makes it.
Why comics? Advantages and disadvantages of comics journalism
Here are some advantages of journalistic comics over other media (emphasis added):
- Comics show how things work – ”The linear-panel structure and visual orientation of comics make the form an ideal educational tool for showing how to do things.“ (McAllister, 1992, p. 17)
- Comics are fun – ”They are supposed to be not just easy to read, but, above all, fun to read, no matter what the content“. (Jüngst, 2010, p. 53).
- They combine the power of written language with the power of pictures – “[…] comic books combine visual and verbal forms of communication […] comic book messages may be reinforced both verbally and visually“. (McAllister, 1992, p. 17).
- Comics are „harmless“ – „[comic books] may deal with frightning subjects in a very down-to-earth yet non-threatening manner“. (McAllister, 1992, p. 18).
- They are personal – ”[…] comic books are a personalizing medium“. (McAllister, 1992, p. 18). “In comic books […] stories tend not to focus on high levels of abstraction, but rather they focus on people, on individuals […]“. (McAllister, 1992, p. 18).
- Comics are concrete – Complicated, abstract concepts and ideas can be easily shown by using “[…] visualisations and analogies to present the facts in attractive pictures. Briefly, they turn the abstract into the concrete.” (Jüngst, 2010, p. 19).
- They make the invisible visible – “With ‘invisible worlds’, I refer to the depiction of worlds which are normally invisible to the human eye because they are too small, too big, too far away or hidden from sight”. (Jüngst, 2010, p. 182)
- They can make the visible invisible – “[you can] keep people anonymous.” (Bors, 2012)
- Sketching comics is unobtrusive – ”[…] Sometimes just having a sketchbook can lend a real intimicy and trust to the connection you have with an interviewee […]” (Archer, 2013)
- Comics and interactivity fit together perfectly (see Archer, 2013)
And now some disadvantages (emphasis added):
- Comics can be manipulative - The personalizing quality of comics can be misused to manipulate the reader.
- They are childish - “[…] the primary connotation oft he comic book is that it is a medium for children“. (McAllister, 1992, p. 21).
- Comics and serious topics do not fit together – ”The idea of fun and entertainment is no inducement for a widespread acceptance of comics with serious and sad topics […]” (Jüngst, 2010, p. 58.)
- McAllister, Matthew, P. (1992). Comic Books and AIDS. In The Journal of Popular Culture, 26 (2), p. 1-24.
- Jüngst, Heike Elisabeth (2010). Information Comics. Knowledge Transfer in a Popular Format. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften.
- Archer, Dan (2013). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7GdjxtZ57s
- Bors, Matt (2012). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pwoTYLZdUw