Showing posts with label educational comic book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label educational comic book. Show all posts

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Kindness Works, an Archie comic on autism

by Mike Rhode

Recently I saw an article about Nancy Silberkleit, Archie Comics' co-CEO, publishing a comic about with a new autistic character. Since I've written a little about what's now being called graphic medicine, I sent her an email asking how to get a copy of the Kindness Works comic.

Much to my surprise, she called me to talk about the comic. We chatted for a few minutes, and I took some notes which are combined here with some e-mail exchanges:

The new character Scarlet in the Archie Comic family is a lovely young teen at Riverdale High skilled in building anything. She cherishes friends, but has difficulty expressing friendship or showing how she desires inclusion. She reacts differently to situations such as sounds and light.  Scarlet is neurodiverse, she is a person with autism. (The term neurodiversity is now trending for people with autism). Physically she has a little pony tail that flows to the side over her long hair and she wears glasses.

The comic shows the Li'l Archie characters interacting with Scarlet when they were young, and then re-encountering her as she transfers into the Riverdale High School. Some people such as Principal Weatherbee, Archie and Betty welcome her, while Reggie is his usual thoughtless self. The story is by Ray Felix, with pencils by Fernando Ruiz, inks by Dheeraj Jimar Mishra and letters by Andrew Thomas.

When writing this, Silberkleit wanted to "touch one's gut, one's funny bone, and one's mind. Scarlet being called 'weird' hits you in the gut; Hot Dog pulling on Reggie onto a barely-frozen pond touches your funny bone (and is based on a thought I had while walking my dog), and the whole comic touches your mind. I want people to understand our differences and value them to make the world a better place.

The comic is currently only being distributed electronically from Silberkleit via Paypal. She says she wants to make sure it gets a wide distribution via personal contacts and not be sidelined by the short shelf-life of one of the digests.

I am taking a hands-on approach to distribution. Inclusion is a global issue and when I use the word inclusion, it means there are folks in global societies that have to deal with exclusion, the act of isolation. That is the worst injustice that can happen to a person. I like to spark hope within people and see if I can get folks to be on a path to understand people's differences. Kindness Works is dealing with a population that has difficulty in expressing their desire for kindness and inclusion.

I feel emotional about this topic and want to see how I can help one get through the day, and in turn, hope I have sparked that individual to do the same, to spread inclusion and kindness . We are all on this planet for 76 years give or take - to me it's a short time. There was a little boy who said do as much as you can in the time you have; our talented team at Archie comics is doing just that with this wonderful story created for us.

This short comic also resonated with me for personal reasons. When I was in middle school in New Jersey in the 1970s, one town over from where Silberkleit was working as a teacher in Paramus, we had a class of autistic students that didn't interact with the rest of the school. I distinctly remember one time when 'normal' students were picking on one of the autistic kids who responded by yelling and chasing them down the hallway. I didn't like that treatment of him then, and I don't like to see it now. I work with people who have autistic children at home, and try to listen and be sensitive to the different issues they face. Anything, including a comic story, that reinforces the lesson of treating others as you'd like to be treated is worth supporting and especially teaching to children.

To order your copy, go to PayPal and send #1.99 to 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Nail gun safety comic

Friend of ComicsDC Nick Thorkelson has done the art for a government safety comic. Here's Nick:

Friends & colleagues:

My nail gun safety comic just went online. You can take a look by downloading a PDF from either of the links below or, if you wait a while, by ordering the print version from CDC/NIOSH. Many thanks to Jim Albers of NIOSH who put this together, and who was very patient with me in the course of a long and complex development process. 



Nick Thorkelson
Graphic Design & Cartoons
15 Channel Center Street, #218
Boston, MA 02210

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Kerry G. Johnson's Spectra #4 has been completed

Following up on yesterday's link to an interview with him,Kerry G. Johnson tells ComicsDC about some local comic book work he's done -

Here is a recent project that I worked on for

I'm the Art Director at the American Physical Society (APS Physics), the parent company of PhysicsCentral. Headquarters in College Park, MD (not on campus)

I recently illustrated the 4th installment of our comic book series, PhysicsQuest: Spectra #4: Spectra Heats Up! (written by Dr. Rebecca Thompson, illustrated by Kerry G. Johnson)

The Spectra series follows the adventures of a teen girl that discovers she has the powers of a laser. Spectra is also the official mascot of the 2010 LaserFest: Celebrating 50 Years of Laser Innovation.

PhysicsQuest is a set of four activities designed to engage middle school students in scientific inquiry. The 2011-2012 activities are linked together via a storyline and comic book. In the fourth issue, Spectra and her friends must combat "mean girl" Tiffany Maxwell and her impish demon. Spectra's super powers are all real things that a laser beam can do. Additionally, the students will learn via the 4 activities and by reading through the comic book.

The FREE comics and science kits are available by contacting



Kerry G. Johnson Design & Illustration
Caricatures by Kerry
Twitter: caricaturekerry

Friday, January 14, 2011

A mom on 'Cars' and a for the record item

Today's Express also has an article about a two-year old's love of Pixar's Cars, -
Kristen Page-Kirby
Express January 14, 2011, p. 29
Yesterday the Post ran a wire story on a Captain America educational comic -
Moore, Matt / Associated Press.  2011.
Suicide help is comic's aim.
Washington Post (January 13): C6

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Comic books at the USA Science and Engineering Festival

Today and tomorrow on the Mall by the Smithsonian, hundreds of scientific groups have set up including ASME's Heroes of Engineering comic panels.





Monday, September 13, 2010

New comics publisher starts in DC

Oddly enough, it's the Government Printing Office:


WASHINGTON—The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) builds on its storied history by publishing the agency’s first comic book. GPO employees created the comic book Squeaks Discovers Type! as a teaching tool for children of all ages. As the agency celebrates its 150-year anniversary, the comic book takes a unique approach to educate readers on the important role printing has played from the beginnings of civilization to today’s digital world. The comic book’s concept, story and illustrations were created at GPO. Jim Cameron wrote the story and Creative Services’ Graphic Designer Nick Crawford provided the illustrations. Squeaks Discovers Type! is available at GPO’s newly designed and renovated bookstore in Washington, DC or available online at:

“GPO serves the communication needs of the federal government, and a comic book is a great way to communicate with young people,” said Public Printer Bob Tapella. “Through the talents of Jim Cameron and Nick Crawford, GPO is able to create a publication that conveys the message that printing is an important component to the history of the world and to our nation.”

The GPO is the federal government’s primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, authenticating, and preserving published U.S. government information in all its forms. GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the federal government. In addition to publication sales, GPO makes government information available at no cost to the public through GPO’s Federal Digital System ( and through partnerships with approximately 1,220 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program. For more information, please visit Follow GPO on Twitter and on YouTube

Monday, March 01, 2010

Reason Magazine sort of recommends government comics library site

The local libertarian chaps at Reason Magazine have noted the digital library of government educational comics at the University of Nebraska - check out Hey Citizens! Comics! by Brian Doherty from the January 2010 issue.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New book on history of medicine as seen in cartoons and comic books

My friend Bert Hansen's got an excellent new book out, PICTURING MEDICAL PROGRESS FROM PASTEUR TO POLIO: A History of Mass Media Images and Popular Attitudes in America that includes a minuscule amount of research from the Medical Museum (and cites me in the acknowledgments, but don't buy it just because of that). I'm about 1/3 of the way through and learning about the history of both medicine and cartoons.

I'm really enjoying his look at the graphic history (including editorial cartoons and comic books) of medicine. Bert's explanations of the shifting cultural view of medicine resulting from mass media, especially regarding both the transmittal of knowledge to a wider audience than ever before, and, as he points out most convincingly in this book, for the public support of science and medicine, is wildly overlooked in the field at large. His website has reproductions of some of the cartoons and he's planning on adding to it. One of Burt's articles on comic books, "True-Adventure Comic Books and American Popular Culture in the 1940s: An Annotated Research Bibliography of the Medical Heroes," ran a few years back in the International Journal of Comic Art, Vol. 6, No. 1, Spring 2004 and you can still buy the back issue.

Here's the official PR:


A History of Mass Media Images and Popular Attitudes in America
Bert Hansen

“Bert Hansen’s rich exploration of the intersection of popular culture and the history of medicine opens wide a window on a time between the 1880s and the 1950s when physicians, nurses, and scientists were highly regarded warriors against disease and human suffering. It is a major contribution to our understanding of how medicine’s cultural authority was established and expanded in the United States, vital to scholars and valuable to those who hope to spark a renewed enthusiasm among Americans for the study of science and medicine.”
—Alan Kraut, professor of history, American University

Today, pharmaceutical companies, HMOs, insurance carriers, and the health care system in general may often puzzle and frustrate the general public—and even physicians and researchers. By contrast, from the 1880s through the 1950s Americans enthusiastically embraced medicine and its practitioners. PICTURING MEDICAL PROGRESS FROM PASTEUR TO POLIO (Paper $37.95, ISBN: 978-0-8135-4576-9, July 2009), by Bert Hansen, offers a refreshing portrait of an era when the public excitedly anticipated medical progress and research breakthroughs.

PICTURING MEDICAL PROGRESS FROM PASTEUR TO POLIO is a unique study with 130 archival illustrations drawn from newspaper sketches, caricatures, comic books, Hollywood films, and LIFE magazine photography. This book analyzes the relationship between mass media images and popular attitudes. Bert Hansen considers the impact these representations had on public attitudes and shows how media portrayal and popular support for medical research grew together and reinforced each other.

“This book is analytical, nostalgic, sensitive, and just plain fun. Bert Hansen's meticulous privileging of the visual is a pathbreaking achievement for methods in the social and cultural history of medicine. You can be rewarded simply by looking at the wonderful pictures, but you will ‘see’ so much more in his lively prose.”
—Jacalyn Duffin, Hannah Professor, Queen's University, and former
president of the American Association for the History of Medicine

“Even as a long-time collector of medical prints, I learned a lot from this extraordinary book. Hansen's digging has turned up many discoveries, providing a new perspective on graphic art in popular culture. The images are wonderful, but this is not just a picture book; it's a great read as well, filled with remarkable insights.”
—William Helfand, trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

“PICTURING MEDICAL PROGRESS FROM PASTEUR TO POLIO is an authoritative, well-written account that will be a significant contribution not only to the history of American medicine, but to the history of American popular culture.”
—Elizabeth Toon, Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester

BERT HANSEN, a professor of history at Baruch College, has published a book on medieval science and many articles on the history of modern medicine and public health.

A History of Mass Media Images and Popular Attitudes in America
Bert Hansen

Paper $37.95 | ISBN 978-0-8135-4576-9
Cloth $75.00 | ISBN 978-0-8135-4526-4 | 350 pages | 7 x 10

Publication Date: July 2009

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

OT: Flu comic book

In my professional life, I dabble in medical history. Dave Lasky's done a comic book "No Ordinary Flu" about the 1918 influenza epidemic for King County in Washington State. You can download it as a pdf in multiple languages. Their website reads:

To promote pandemic flu preparedness, Public Health - Seattle & King County has developed a 12-page comic book on pandemic flu. Targeting readers of all ages, this story tells the tale of a family’s experience of the 1918 influenza pandemic. It also explains the threat of pandemic flu today, illustrates what to expect during a pandemic (such as school closures), and offers tips to help households prepare.

You can also hear Lasky on KUOW's Sound Focus for August 6th - "No Ordinary Flu and Recipes for Peaches." Here's a direct link.

Thanks to cartoonists Scott Gilbert and Scott Faulkner for the tips!