Comics from APHA and NCHCMM Conferences
While Alex is still in recovery from being overwhelmed by awesomeness at Comic-Con, I attended CDC's 2016 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media in Atlanta and also the 2016 American Public Health Association's annual conference in Denver.
Both conferences were full of insightful presentations, innovative research, and inspiring speakers, but of course my favorite projects were ones that used comics to educate people about health. So, I want to share a few of the wonderful health-focused comic book projects that I discovered at APHA and NCHCMM.
National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media
The Roboryman Project
Roboryman is a transmedia project designed to encourage healthy choices among young adults in Japan, especially those working in office jobs. The project includes more than comics. There are videos and posters and other types of media. Yoko Kawamura from Kumamoto University presented a posters on this project and generously gave me a copy of the manga.
Ian Skotte presented on digital media content from Centerstone, one of the nation’s largest mental health providers. Centerstone’s youth focused website “WhoYouWant2Be” include many types of media, including several comic books. The comics cover a variety of teen health issues, including bullying, alcohol, and sexting.
Adult Vaccines Comic
Jagannath Muzumdar from St. John's University presented a poster on his research comparing a standard CDC handout to a comic version. This project focused on information about adult immunizations. I was impressed how the researchers were able to keep the the comic to one-page so they could compare directly with the one-page fact sheet "Do You Know Which Adult Vaccines You Might Need?”
Do Kyun Kim from University of Louisiana, Lafayette presented a research project on a 16-episode webcomic, supported by the Korea Health Promotion Foundation. The series included positive messages about working together to confront problems that teens encounter in school and in their social lives. The comic series reached 1,662,333 users in 16 weeks. The entire series (in Korean) can be viewed on here.
American Public Health Association
I only found one comic at the APHA conference this year but it was great project!
Hip Hop H.E.A.L.S.
Ellyn Leighton-Herrman from Columbia University Medical Center presented on a nutrition-literacy project to improved children’s ability to understand menu board calories. The project included after-school lessons and comic were part of the curriculum. This project is part of Hip Hop Public Health, a nonprofit in New York City.
It was amazing to see so many health comics at these two conferences. We'll be attending more health conference in 2017 and I'll be posting all the projects to our blog and twitter.
Also, a trip to Denver would not be complete without a visit to Mile High Comics - America's Largest & Friendliest Comics Retailer.
I was lucky enough to go there with fellow public health professional and life-long book comic fan Leigh Willis, who Alex and I met at Comic-Con. Leigh is a Behavioral Scientist at CDC and produced the KABI Chronicles, a comic and motion comic series to reduce HIV stigma and increase healthy behaviors.
Now I'm signing off to go read the comics I bought!