My sole highlight on the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo worth mentioning is the one I have the most photos of. Sadly, I was only able to make one of the conventions before I had to leave. There was a wealth of information being offered that was not average comic convention fare. Lucky for me, the first of the day was “Comics and Medicine,” a panel with cartoonists (L to R from photo above) LB Lee, Paige Warren, Kriota Willberg, and moderator Cathy Leamy.
Through a demonstration of their work and the works of others, they showed how comics and graphics like the one showed above (and used by clinicians everywhere) are, among other things, much more effective in conveying basic information about medical conditions. Some examples were as mainstream as the recent Doonesbury, with one of its characters dealing with expressive aphasia. Others were new finds for me like the webcomic “That Deaf Guy” by Matt and Kay Daigle.
There were amplexamples to be had from the panelists. LB Lee documenting his account with multiple personality disorder, Warren, with her relating and sharing the plights and curses of endowment, and Leamy with her new comic on diabetes-related erectile dysfunction.
Willberg, cartoonist, massage therapist and anatomy work shopper, not only showcased several works gave several demonstrations of how she regularly applies applies comics to her teachings on the human anatomy. Some were a little more complicated than others…
But she brought everyone back with her PowerPoint slides that asked very basic anatomy questions that challenged the validity of some of our most recognized fictional pop culture superstars. For example:
Now we’re going to have a couple of our superhero fanboys crying on their keyboards. Then again, comics make facts easier to learn, not easier to bear.