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Farting Jellyfish and Synergistic Opportunities: The Story and Evaluation of Newcastle Science Comic

Lookup NU author(s): Lydia Wysocki



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The three Newcastle Science Comic anthologies – Science FACT-ion, Asteroid Belter, and Spineless – contain 63 pages of original comics by 84 contributors, as collaborations between science researchers and comics creators. They form a total of 30,000 printed copies and three digital editions, all free to read.This article in comics form (1) tells the story of the Newcastle Science Comic project with insights into the process of making these collaborative comics, which included not only institutional support from Newcastle University 2012–2016 but also individual and collective interest in research-comics collaborations; (2) explores what it means to meaningfully evaluate a science comic, and presents qualitative and quantitative evidence for the success of these anthologies with a focus on readers’ responses to the comics; (3) uses the Generic Learning Outcomes (GLOs) framework (Research Centre for Museums and Galleries 2003) to provide a shared language for comics readers, comics creators, and research/heritage institutions to evaluate the success of this applied comics project.Findings are presented in two stages: first an ad-hoc evaluation of Asteroid Belter as a practice-led project, then main findings from a qualitative questionnaire (n = 77) using GLOs to ask readers what they remembered, liked about, and learned from Spineless. Responses show readers’ interest in the science content and/or the comics form, and in the combination of content and form as science comics.Although other frameworks and other data collection methods might gather richer data, this use of GLOs supported an initial exploration of readers’ feedback on science comics using shared and accessible language. This is in keeping with our editorial team’s progression from making science comics to see if we could, to a more systematic approach to planning, delivering, and meaningfully evaluating large-scale comics projects for public engagement with science research and in museum contexts.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wysocki L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship

Year: 2018

Volume: 8

Issue: 1

Pages: 6

Online publication date: 20/03/2018

Acceptance date: 29/01/2018

Date deposited: 21/03/2018

ISSN (electronic): 2048-0792

Publisher: Ubiquity Press


DOI: 10.16995/cg.119


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