Who is behind the Website?
The Graphic Medicine website was started in 2007 by Ian Williams, a physician and artist from North Wales…
‘I am a physician, comics artist and writer, based in Brighton, UK. After training in medicine I took postgraduate studies in fine art and then an MA in medical humanities. I have taught at both medical schools and art schools, and have written book chapters, scholarly papers for various journals and articles for broadsheet newspapers. I started making comics under the nom de plume Thom Ferrier in 2007 but have since reverted to using my real name. My debut graphic novel, The Bad Doctor, was published in June 2014 by Myriad Editions.
I am a member of the advisory board for the International Health Humanities Network, a council member of the Association of Medical Humanities and joint series editor for a forthcoming book series from Penn State University Press. You can find me on twitter as @TheBadDr and I also tweet as @GraphicMedicine.’
In 2012 Ian joined forces with MK Czerwiec, RN, MA to upgrade and relaunch GraphicMedicine.org, amalgamating part of MK’s site which hosted the Graphic Medicine Podcasts and conference information…
‘… I have been making comics under the pseudonym Comic Nurse since 2000. My clinical experience is in HIV/AIDS and hospice care. In 2009 I received an MA in Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Northwestern Feinberg Medical School, where I serve as Artist in Residence. The faculty there has been consistently supportive of my comics-based work. I developed and teach an elective seminar called “Drawing Medicine” for Northwestern Feinberg’s M1 and M2 students. I presented my work and teaching in comics & medicine at the first Graphic Medicine conference in London in 2010, where I was thrilled to meet Ian Williams, Susan Squier, Michael Green, and Brian Fies. Together we organized the second Graphic Medicine conference in Chicago in 2010. I currently c0-manage for the Graphic Medicine website and host the Graphic Medicine podcast as well as working on other Graphic Medicine-related projects, lecturing, and teaching. In 2017 I was invited to become a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement where I work to widen the perspective, scope, and audience for graphic medicine.
My first graphic memoir, Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Unit 371, was published by Penn State University Press in 2017. It is the only currently known book-length graphic memoir by a nurse. With many people listed here, I am a co-author of the Graphic Medicine Manifesto. I’m also the editor of Menopause: A Comic Treatment.
You can learn more about my work, get in touch, and see a calendar of my speaking engagements on my website, comicnurse.com. I tweet as @ComicNurse and @EOLComics. Instagram @mkczerwiec, but that’s mostly pix of my dog, Simon with an occasional drawing, plant, or baked good.
In 2017 Matthew Noe‘s “This Week in Graphic Medicine” posts were migrated from his site to this one, and he officially joined our team.
‘I’m currently a medical librarian, specializing in the medical humanities, health communication, and literacy. My background is in philosophy, with a degree from the University of Kentucky, where I also earned my MSLS in 2016. Over the past few years, I have focused intensely on the use and value comics might have in medicine and education, leading me to the Graphic Medicine community. I have helped develop several graphic medicine collections throughout libraries in the United States and am always available to help develop collections or programming. In Fall 2016, I began running the weekly blog series This Week in Graphic Medicine after realizing just how much content and discussion was happening but was often hidden to those not looking for it. That series has since become part of the Graphic Medicine website and continues to evolve to meet the needs of the community. I am currently working on multiple research projects, the largest of which is a scoping review of the way comics have been used in medical education, in the hopes it will tell us what we know, what we don’t, and where we should go from here. You can find me on Twitter as @NoetheMatt.
In 2018 Alice Jaggers joined our team! Librarians rule.
Alice Jaggers, MSLS, is the Outreach Coordinator for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Library. She has been studying graphic medicine for the past four years. She created a graphic medicine collection at her library starting in March 2017 and has been developing programming for the library and for the institution since then. Her first graphic medicine conference was the 2017 Comics and Medicine Conference: Access Points in Seattle, WA. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeastern Atlantic region invited Alice to take part of a panel on graphic medicine in medical libraries, which you can access here. You can find information about Alice on her blog. Alice has also created a preliminary database of graphic medicine titles available here.
When Kevin got his childhood allowance he would spend it on books and candy … and the books he bought were comics, Mad magazines; Mad, BC, Wizard of Id, Peanuts, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and other comic collections; and sci-fi among many others. His favorite book is The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster & Jules Feiffer (illustrator). He watched morning cartoons, especially Bugs Bunny. He grew up to love graphic novels, work as an health actuary (become Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and Member of the American Academy of Actuaries), wrote an article on national health care, co-authored one about the end-of-life care of his mother, and another about the cemetery where his parents-in-law are buried. He recalls writing over fifty book reports one year when he was in grade school; and now he does book reviews for graphicmedicine.org.
In 2016, a group of wonderful people led by cartoonist-physician Monica Lalanda, put a great deal of hard work into creating a Spanish-language sister site to Graphic Medicine called Medicina Gráfica. Check it out!
Who are the other key people in Graphic Medicine?
Susan Squier – co-author of the Graphic Medicine Manifesto and founding scholar
is Brill Professor Emerita of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and English at Pennsylvania State University and Einstein Visiting Fellow, Freie Universität, Berlin, where she is part of the PathoGraphics Project examining the relationship between illness, narratives and works of graphic medicine. Squier’s many books include Epigenetic Landscapes: Drawing as Metaphor(Duke, 2017), Graphic Medicine Manifesto(2015), Liminal Lives:Imagining the Human at the Frontiers of Biomedicine(2004), Babies in Bottles: Twentieth- Century Visions of Reproductive Technology, and Poultry Science, Chicken Culture: A Partial Alphabet. She has been scholar in residence at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin; the Zentrum für Literatur-und Kulturforschung, Berlin; The Bellagio Study and Conference Center, Italy; Visiting Distinguished Fellow, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, Australia; and Fulbright Senior Research Scholar, Melbourne, Australia. She serves onthe editorial boards of Configurations,Literature and Medicine, andJournal of Medical Humanities. Her co-edited special issue ofConfigurations: A Journal of Literature, Science and Technologyon “Graphic Medicine” was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2014. She is a founding member of the Graphic Medicine collective [or whatever term we are now using for it!] and with Dr. Ian Williams she co-edits the book series Graphic Medicine at Penn State University Press.
Michael Green – co-author of the Graphic Medicine Manifesto and founding scholar
I am a physician and bioethicist by training, and a professor in the Departments of Humanities and Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine. I have been interested in comics (and all forms of visual arts) since childhood, and have been teaching a course on Comics and Medicine to 4th-year medical students for a number of years. The students’ comics can be viewed here: http://www.pennstatehershey.org/web/humanities/home/resources/comicbook
In my professional life, I care for patients as a general internist, teach medical students in the medical humanities and ethics, and have an active research agenda in the area of informed medical decision-making, ethics and the end of life, and advance care planning. https://profiles.psu.edu/profiles/display/111634
I am also a passionate amateur photographer and fledgling watercolorist, but that’s for another day.
Along with Ian, MK and the others listed here, I have been one of the organizers of the Graphic Medicine conferences since their inception, and I will be serving on the Jury for the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize in 2012/2013. http://pabook.libraries.psu.edu/activities/ward/index.html
Shelley Wall – organizer of the 2012 and 2020 conference and founding scholar
I’m a medical artist and an assistant professor in the Biomedical Communications graduate program at the University of Toronto, where we train students in medical and scientific illustration and animation for a wide variety of audiences, and conduct and supervise research into the design, creation, and evaluation of visual media in medical and scientific contexts. My interest in graphic medicine arises from two sources, which quickly merge into a single stream. The first is professional: medical illustration is a form of visual storytelling; it combines image & text, research & experience, time & space, language & line (and, and, and…) to convey complex messages, and so the affinity with comics seemed obvious, but not simple. The second is personal, and arose when it seemed that the only medium flexible enough to convey my individual experience with illness, caregiving, and the healthcare system was the graphic novel. In the same way that comics bring together image and text, drama and reflection, and humour and pathos, the study of comics seems to permit the symbiosis of academic and personal, of theory and raw experience, in a way that many other disciplines do not. I had the privilege of co-organizing the third annual Comics & Medicine conference at the University of Toronto in July 2012. I teach a graduate elective course in Comics & Medicine, and, as illustrator-in-residence in the Health, Arts, and Humanities Program in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, am developing a curricular component on comics and medicine for the Faculty’s undergraduate medical training.
Brian Fies – 2010 keynote and abstract reviewer
I am a writer and cartoonist whose first graphic novel, Mom’s Cancer, told the true story of my mother’s diagnosis and treatment for lung cancer. The comic was available as a free webcomic before being published by Abrams in 2006. Mom’s Cancer won the comics industry’s Eisner and Harvey awards, as well as the prestigious Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Prize). My second graphic novel, Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? (Abrams 2009), has nothing to do with graphic medicine but still deserves a plug.I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the first Graphic Medicine Conference in London in 2010 and joined the organizing committee to help plan the Chicago 2011, Toronto 2012, and subsequent conferences. I live in northern California, where I continue to work as a freelance writer and make comics. Keynote at the first and third Comics & Medicine conferences, pal to all.
Maria Vaccarella – abstract reviewer
I am a Lecturer in Medical Humanities at the University of Bristol (UK). I met Ian and Columba at a conference in 2009, where we all happened to present on medically-themed graphic novels and we came up with the idea of a first conference on Graphic Medicine, which we then organized in London in June 2010. I developed an interest in graphic medicine, while researching contemporary illness narratives. You can read a bit more about my academic work on graphic pathographies here. I am also an amateur mangaka, i.e. a firm believer that “big eyes will save the world”. Frequent reviewer of abstracts for the Comics & Medicine conferences, advisor.
I’m an instructor and medical illustrator in the Division of Interventional Neuroradiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. I teach medical illustration as part of a full time joint appointment in the Department of Art as Applied to Medicine. My work in radiology involves illustrating, animating and writing about the neurovascular conditions treated in the division for medicalpublications and websites. In addition, I create patient communication material such as brochures, medical comics and educational videos. I also write and draw comics and run ProAtlantal Studio with my husband, Fabian de Kok-Mercado. I’ve been creating and publishing comics that involve scientific and medical concepts for over a decade. First as shorts published in graphic anthologies, and now as part of my job as a medical illustrator. The doctors I work with manage and treat many rare and under-diagnosed cerebrovascular conditions. Some of these conditions can be more easily explained with imagery and a storyline that are relevant to the patient’s experiences and concerns. I’m interested in how comics can help patients by altering their perceptions of various conditions.
Muna Al-Jawad, Organizer of the 2013 and 2019 Comics & Medicine conferences, Brighton.
I am a physician who looks after older people, as part of a multidisciplinary team in a hospital in Brighton, UK. I also have a superhero alter ego: Old Person Whisperer. I create comics as part of my practitioner research. I also help students and other healthcare professionals understand their practice through comics. I am interested in education, medical culture and resistance. My best article published so far is a comic about comics as research in the journal of medical humanities (2015). I (sometimes) tweet as @OPWhisperer.
Andrew Godfrey (bio pending) Organizer of the 2016 Comics & Medicine conference
Juliet McMullin, Organizer of the 2015 Comics & Medicine conference, Riverside, CA
I currently teach and research in the areas of comics and narrative in anthropology and medical humanities with a specific focus on cancer and health inequalities. I am a Professor of Anthropology and the Director for Medical and Health Humanities in the School of Medicine and the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. My most recent work explores how storytelling about illness in graphic form creates communities of support. I have a current project that explores how creating comics about a person’s experience with cancer helps with symptom management. I also teach classes in Graphic Medicine to medical students and undergraduates. All of my projects are committed to creating opportunities for students and the communities I collaborates with to share their stories. I am the author The Healthy Ancestor: Embodied Inequalities and the Revitalization of Native Hawaiian Health, an edited volume Confronting Cancer: Metaphors, Advocacy, and Anthropology, and numerous articles in the field of Graphic Medicine. I had a terrific time hosting the 2015 Comics and Medicine Conference with the theme Spaces of Care. You can find me on Instagram and twitter @4pumehana and at julietmcmullin.com
Mita Mahato, Organizer of the 2017 Comics & Medicine conferences, Seattle, WA.
In addition to being an Associate Professor of English at the University of Puget Sound, I am a cut paper, collage, and comics artist. My scholarly work investigates the articulation and reception of illness stories in extra-lexical narrative forms (online media, comics, film, and photo essays) and my creative work explores the transformative capacities of found and handmade papers. I take great pleasure in applying collage and paper-making techniques to maps, newspaper, packaging materials, and old sewing patterns to build multivalent images and stories. Because my materials are lost and found, my storytelling tends to center on issues related to loss—including loss of life, identity, habitat, and species. In 2015, “Sea”—a book in which I ask readers to leave their usual senses and reading habits for the sea—received recognition by Cartoonists NW as the year’s “best comic book.” A selection of my poetry comics, collectively titled In Between, was published by Pleiades Press in 2017; my mini comics have been featured in Drunken Boat, Seattle Weekly, Mutha Magazine, and PEN America; and you’ll see my comics and other paper art exhibited in galleries across the country, including Seattle, Chicago, and New Orleans. In 2017, I was the first Artist in Residence at the School of Medicine at UC Riverside (an experience I won’t soon forget). In addition to my university work, I currently serve on the board for the arts organization Short Run Seattle and am a teaching artist with the Henry Art Gallery.
Scott Smith – co-author, Graphic Medicine Manifesto
I am an assistant professor of English and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University, with a primary research focus in the literature of Anglo-Saxon England. In addition to this specialization, though, I also regularly teach undergraduate classes on comics and graphic novels at Penn State. I’ve developed comics courses for both the English and Comparative Literature departments in order to meet the rising interest in the medium among both our students and faculty. I’ve been a life-long comics reader and I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to include them formally in the university curriculum at Penn State. I also served on the inaugural jury for the annual Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize and I’m currently a member of its advisory board. Finally, I am part of the editorial collective for the new Graphic Medicine series at the Pennsylvania State University Press. More than anything, I am excited by the open possibilities of the comics medium as well as by its ability to meet the interests of so many different creators and readerships.
Kimberly Myers – co-author, Graphic Medicine Manifesto
I am Professor of Humanities and Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine, where I co-created and co-direct the “Medical Humanities” course required of all first-year medical students and serve as Program Director of Schwartz Center Rounds for the Penn State Cancer Institute. My scholarship focuses on medical education, illness narratives and graphic medicine, and I’ve published in professional journals including Journal of the American Medical Association, British Medical Journal, American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, Annals of Internal Medicine, Literature and Medicine, and Academic Medicine, as well as lay periodicals including The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Atlantic. I’m editor of three international, multidisciplinary books and co-author of Graphic Medicine Manifesto, as well as Series Co-Editor of Medical Humanities: Criticism & Creativity, published by Peter Lang Oxford.
Kendra Boileau – PSU Press Graphic Medicine book series
Kendra Boileau is Assistant Director and Editor-in-Chief of Penn State University Press. She introduced the Graphic Medicine book series to PSU Press’s list in the spring of 2015 with the publication of the Graphic Medicine Manifesto (Czerwiec et al.) and The Bad Doctor (Williams)–this latter title being the very first graphic novel to be published by the Press. Under her aegis, the Graphic Medicine series has grown to include a number of widely reviewed and highly acclaimed graphic novels and comics anthologies, all of which have helped to define the field of graphic medicine. Not really a fan of comics before being introduced to graphic medicine, Kendra now finds comics of many forms and traditions to be utterly transformative, both personally and professionally, and is delighted to be involved in their publication.
Corinne Pearlman – Myriad Editions Graphic Novels Editor
Corinne’s background in health information comics and work as a cartoonist has nuanced Myriad’s graphic novel list, launched in 2008, towards a collection of award-winning authors and titles on graphic medicine themes. Corinne commissions and works closely with authors, several of whom came to Myriad’s attention through its First Graphic Novel Competition (Ian Williams, Henny Beaumont, Gareth Brookes, Paula Knight) and through cartoonist groups such as Laydeez Do Comics (Nicola Streeten, Sarah Lightman) and Cartoon County (Nye Wright). Myriad also publishes best-selling graphic handbooks on pregnancy Bump and breastfeeding The Food of Love by Kate Evans. We are proud to have US editions of many of our graphic medicine titles published by Penn State University Press, and several translations by French and Spanish publishers. Myriad is an imprint of New Internationalist publications, who are publishing Vanni on the Sri Lankan Civil War, to be published by NI and PSUP in 2019.