Recent literature suggests that a growing number of comics are being published on health-related topics, including aspects of mental health and social care (Williams 2012; Czerwiec et al 2015) and that comics are increasingly being used in higher education settings as information resources.
This article offers insights from comics creators and disseminators and explores the wider context of comics production and distribution (with a focus on ‘Graphic Medicine’ or health-related comics) as part of a larger study examination of the interface between these documents and potential academic audiences. Original data was gathered through semi-structured interviews with 15 participants actively involved in comics creation and production. Elements of domain analysis (Hjørland 2002) were used to obtain insights into attitudes to the creation, dissemination and use of mental health-related comics.
Though potentially useful comics material is being produced in the mental health domain, significant challenges remain for producers in enabling their work to be accessed within higher education settings. This paper suggests that comics producers need to make a concerted effort to reach academia, and academia – including information professionals – need to embrace new types of material to enhance teaching.