September 19, 2017

Research proposal on graphic novels and mental health: get connected?

Hello, I just thought to share my efforts invested in developing or better to say finalising a larger research project related to graphic novels and comics (GNC), inspired by the work of colleagues who have engaged with GNC and made some fantastic contributions.

With collaborators, I intend to explore the potential of GNC to support communication and learning about mental health at universities. If you would like to connect in relation to this or anything GNC-related, now or in the future, please get in touch.

There are significant efforts being invested in exploring the relationship between GNC and health care by the Graphic Medicine group ( for example, one of the collaborators/advisors. Many GNC publications help people empathise with, understand better and relate to various mental health issues, which are to various extents and frequency, experienced by everyone.

Perhaps YOU will also find it interesting and want to know more – just get in touch. I feel dedicated to this exploration and the new field of “Applied Graphic Novels and Comics Studies in Higher Education”. Not sure if I coined this (lenghty) term and specific educational approach, maybe, but the “applied” has been around in the field of Comics Studies for some time, for example via the Applied Comics Network, with all the colleagues and artists engaged in this network, e.g. Lydia Wysocki who is a prolific creator and has worked extensively with children to engage them in comics creation, in the area of applied comics.  Mel Gibson has been passionately working with comics for many years, relating to children and young people, literature and media. Hence my work is and will be shared with and inspired by the work of others. A special mention goes to Nick Sousanis who is a massive inspiration, especially when I was doing my PhD and he was finishing his PhD that he turned into amazing “Unflattening” ( Of course there are so many other colleagues who apply GNC in their teaching and wider, e.g. to understand GNC learning benefits in undergraduate Psychology, Paul Aleixo, Psychology at Sheffield Hallam, developed and published an undergradiate textbook in Psychology: ), Katy Vigurs’ efforts in research dissemination via comics , and current efforts by Lydia W (her web site

I am sure there are many more people we would like to mention on our web pages, please get in touch, let us get connected, be our guest bloggers and tell the world about your GNC work!

Sharing a new project idea in public makes it a bit vulnerable, but I believe it is worthwhile and it is in true community spirit to get connected with others who might want to do similar explorations. Anyhow, leaving this trace about the project idea in public also helps identify my authorship of this particular idea, as inspired by and building on the work of others. For example, Sarah McNicol (Manchester Metropolitan) explored the use of mental health-related (educational) comics among students and their families and is one of the hoped-for collaborators – this is the link to Sarah’s project: reprot:

Thank you for reading, and for getting in touch. Happy to join similar networks and projects. We can.