Australian comics artist Stuart McMillen has begun publishing The Town Without Television, which profiles a classic psychological study from the 1970s.

The Town Without Television
A classic study into the impact of television on a community. In 1973, researchers studied the last remaining Canadian town without TV reception, and ran ‘before’…

Weaver-Hightower, M. B. (2017). Losing Thomas & Ella: A Father’s Story (A Research Comic). Journal of Medical Humanities, 38(3), 215–230.


Perinatal death, Grief, Fathers, Stillbirth, Sequential art, Comics-based research, Narrative research, Qualitative research, Research comics

ABSTRACT: “Losing Thomas & Ella” presents a research comic about one father’s perinatal loss of twins. The comic recounts Paul’s experience of the hospital and the babies’ deaths, and it details the complex grieving process afterward, including themes of anger, distance, relationship stress, self-blame, religious challenges, and resignation. A methodological appendix explains the process of constructing the comic and provides a rationale for the use of comics-based research for illness, death, and grief among practitioners, policy makers, and the bereaved.

This comic was created as a draft/proposal for a graphic journal article, however, it wasn’t accepted. Standpoint epistemology is an extremely useful framework for anyone in the “business” of knowledge production to consider — academics, scientists, journalists, writers, artists… Autobiographical comics, in their representation of a subjective world lend themselves well to communication of academic/scientific work, because they have no pretense of objectivity (unlike the traditional typeset texts, which at times erase their author).

Cover art for The Beast, courtesy of Ad Astra Comix. Art by Nicole Burton

Published in April 2018 by Ad Astra Comix, The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet is a unique combination of scholarly research and creative writing with the comics medium.

From the press kit:

“The Beast was born from a concern that there is a lack of genuine public…

Read the comic in its entirety here[58 pages]

A classic behavioural psychology experiment. In the 1970s, researchers took eight strangers and shut them inside a dark room for an hour. What happened next?

This comic by Australian cartoonist Stuart McMillen covers the infamous “Deviance in the Dark” experiments conducted by Swarthmore College Department of Psychology’s Ken Gergen and Mary Gergen, published in 1973. Extra scholarly info about Deviance in the Dark is in the text on the extreme right of the comic, beneath the video.

Originally published at on June 19, 2018.

Read Rat Park in its entirety here [40 Pages]

A classic experiment into drug addiction science. Would rats choose to take drugs if given a stimulating environment and social company?

This comic by Australian cartoonist Stuart McMillen covers the infamous “Rat Park” drug addiction experiments conducted by Professor Bruce Alexander and three of his Simon Fraser University colleagues in the 1970s and 80s. Extra scholarly information about the experiments, and Stuart McMillen’s process as a science communicator comics artist are in this “making of” blog post: A bustle in the cage-row: the making of Rat Park

Originally published at on June 19, 2018.

In order to help promote graphic social science and identify best practice, we’re seeking to create a comprehensive database of scholarly comics. If you have suggestions of examples to add to the list then please e-mail Can Yalcinkaya ( with the details needed for a listing. This should include title, creator, blurb and links to more information. We are particularly interested in hearing directly from creators and would be enthusiastic about the possibility of hosting extracts directly on the Graphical Social Science Network website with links to the full work.

The Graphic Social Science Research Network

The Graphic Social Science Research Network was established in June 2017 to help advance the practice of Graphic Social Science.

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