Comics and Medicine Conference- day 2!
What a day! Day 2 of the Comics and Medicine conference was inspiring. The morning began with an expansive overview of medically-themed comics and healthcare applications of comics by Paul Gravett, who introduced a number of comics I need to get my eyes on (Nao of Brown, Seeds, etc.) and websites I need to keep up with.
Following Paul, Joyce Brabner gave a keynote address that used the book Our Cancer Year to raise some challenging questions about what happens when one puts their own experience into a narrative work and make the work public.
In the first concurrent session, Alex and I were lucky to share time with three very illuminating presentations:
Cathy Leamy's comic about diabetes and erectile dysfunction showed how humor and direct language could be used to prompt action. Not only was the number of euphemisms for "penis" that she managed to fit into the comic quite impressive --- her ability to hone the metaphors (porn delivery guy), viewpoint characters, and call-to-action ("Talk to your doctor about how to fix the problem...That's what your paying for!) for a male audience was clearly the result of long hours of thoughtful work.
Lydia Gregg shared a smart concept that combined a comic book with a treatment diary to get parents and children to record their experience during retinoblastoma treatment. Her book was aimed at a younger age groups that Iggy, so for us, it was interesting to see how she approached a graphic narrative for a pre-literate audience.
Allison Zemek introduced an epic comic book project to promote healthy lifestyle choices that is being testing across multiple cultural groups and languages. For us, her talk highlighted how flexibility and collaboration is essential to public health interventions.
Each of these presentations gave me a pageful of ideas on how to improve what we are doing with Iggy and The Inhalers.
The afternoon sessions were an equally fascinating array of topics, including mocking tobacco companies, explaining blood pressure, using comics to help doctors understand patient psychology, and many others.
Another highlight of the conference is Rachel Abrams' scribing. In real time, she illustrates the key concepts of each talk as she listens, distills, and reimagines the presentation as a single frame.
I can hardly believe how much great stuff was crammed into one day. Not to mention the interesting folks we met between sessions, at lunch, during coffee, and after the evening panel discussion.
Can't wait for tomorrow... which is today... because it is 2 am ....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzznbmkl