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Graphic Medicine: Home

Graphic Novels and comics in the genre of graphic medicine, supporting mental health and disabilities.

Why Use Graphic Novels?


Graphic Novels and Comics tell stories.  Their visual, graphic narratives, draw their readers along to find out what happens in the next speech bubble, the next frame, the next page.  Storytelling is a part of human experience.  Visual images can be more descriptive than simple text in engaging and challenging the reader.

Near Universal Appeal

Comics and graphic novels are found internationally.  They are produced by small presses and the largest publishing companies.  As children, many of us created our own one of a kind comics when we learned how to draw speech bubbles above our heads, to give voice to the important things we wanted to say.

They work!

Students may feel more comfortable discussing challenging issues about themselves and their world when they can engage in discussion about characters in a comic.  Writing a personal memoir or narrative can be easier when the comic medium is used by the writing student to tell their stories.


Why does all knowledge acquisition have to take place from an overpriced textbook?  Graphic novels are being written on subjects across all disciplines. They don't have to be the primary text, but supplementing with comics and graphic novels may make for a more engaged learner in the classroom.

What is Graphic Medicine?

What is Graphic Medicine?

Graphic medicine is the use of comics to tell personal stories of illness and health.

The combined language of words and pictures that is the comic medium gives approachability and emotional impact to these personal stories, and even to the clinical data they sometimes include.

Comics combine the explicit meaning of words and symbols with the abstract expressiveness of art to create the unique, multi-layered language of comics. When reading (or creating) comics, the text and images work together to create meaning that neither conveys alone. Other common aspects of this storytelling language used by comics include visual metaphor, combined or altered symbols, and humor.

Graphic medicine communicates the author’s personal experience of illness and health, as the art adds subjective, emotional impact. The author’s internal, individual viewpoint balances the external, clinical realm of medical symptoms and diagnoses. Additionally, for other patients who share that health issue, it’s a way to have company and share information. (National Library of Medicine)

Mental Health Comic Read-In


flier from Comic Read In Supporting Mental Health One Book at a Time with a brain with arms and legs slipping on a banana peel with a thought bubble that says This brain could use a study break

This event happened as part of the Common Experience in April 2023.

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