15 April 2022

#AntarcticLog: Getting Graphic

Posted by Shane Hanlon

#AntarcticLog is a series of comics by Karen Romano Young. You can find the originals here.
At times the trouble isn’t finding science stories, it’s finding how to tell them. In comics, the words are vital, but the images are, dare I say, even more important.  Why? Because they’re what catches your attention, clues you in, inviting you to read, and — in the best cases — they work to convey aspects of the science that just wouldn’t work as well in words. And, as experts in science education and communication know, the more modes you use to tell the story, the more eyes you’re going to get on your work. 
At times, the story won’t work without a graphic image to cut through a confusion concept — such as the way ice cores bore through geological time. 
At others, the dramatic impact of a story is heightened by an image that lends physicality to an abstract issue. 
And a visual metaphor can transform from a simple concept (piecing together parts of a theory) to a more indirect one (a simple observation leads to a query that leads to a theory), then on to an image that draws a casual reader to bring prior knowledge to a new idea. What does a fashion model have to do with a theory about cloud formation? #AntarcticLog works to clear up the subject. 
Karen Romano Young is a writer, artist, deep-sea diver, and polar explorer. Follow her on Twitter & Instagram