Booster Shot Comics

Booster Shot Comics Blog

Booster Shot Comics Blog

Health Education Comics Workshop


Today, Booster Shot Comics facilitated a workshop at the Comics and Medicine 2013 conference. We led folks through the process of making health education comics.  Participants varied from health care providers, academics to artists (or some combination of all three).  We were really excited to have such a great turnout!  We also got to show a little preview of our Iggy and the Inhalers video!  For those who couldn't make it, here is our abstract summarizing the workshop.

Summary Comics are useful for communicating complex medical information to patients. Workshop participants will see and discuss examples of health education comics. Guided step-by-step by Alex and Gary, the group will try to answer these questions, as they make their own comic:

  • How exactly do you translate a health message into a comic form?
  • What is the best type of comic for a particular health message or audience?
  • How are the objectives of instructional comics different from those of autobiographical graphic narratives?
  • What is the right balance between image and text?
  • What are the ethical issues involved in health education comics?

Introduction From Marvel superheroes fighting disease to explanations of complex pathophysiology, to stick figures demonstrating simple procedures, we will show a range of comics in health education.

Step 1: Message Options From a selection of sample health messages, participants choose a message for their comic or come up with their own message.

Step 2: Storyboard Participants choose a concept for their comic and sketch a potential storyboard.

Step 3: Comic Participants review and refine storyboards to create final comic.

Discussion: Ethical Issues Comics require the author to edit and omit information as well as apply their own style and design sensibilities. Are there ethical issues unique to patient education comics? Using a comic volunteered by one or more participants, we’ll explore this question as our final activity.


And the workshop participants were great sports.  It was a tall order that we were giving them, and everyone did a great job making their own comics!

We had some great discussions regarding technique, messaging, as well as some of the ethical dilemmas inherent in distilling complex medical information into comics.  Here's a great example from one of our participants- Keara Stewart

We hope people enjoyed attending our workshop!  We learned a lot form everyone's varied techniques in approaching creating health education comics as well!


As part of our preparation, we reviewed a bunch of different health education materials using comics or comic-elements (sequential art, text + image, character, etc.). Here is a totally incomplete list of health education comics.  If you have other good suggestions, please let us know in the comments!



Celiac Disease

Child Abuse

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure


Emergency Medicine

Emergency Preparedness

Fertility Medicine


Hepatitis B

Injury Prevention

Maternal and Child Health

Mental Health


Multiple Diseases and Issues

Other Science Stuff

Stay tuned for some more posts regarding our great trip to the Comics and Medicine Conference in Brighton!
Alex and Gary