Exploring the Graphic Novel: An Example of Multi-Media Education and the Importance of Visual Literacy

Student Author(s)

Stephanie Emanuele

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Elizabeth Trembley

Document Type


Event Date



Though educators have historically denounced the comics medium as detrimental to literacy development, recent research suggests this is not the case. In fact, educators can use comic art to enhance the visual literacy levels of students in all stages of development. This project exposes readers and scholars alike to the benefits of utilizing such a medium. Specifically, the work provides an example of its ability to inform an audience by use of multi-media images and text. This endeavor particularly focused on enlightening the reader on the culture and current events in Afghanistan. The scope of the work included writing an original script and completing illustrations for a graphic novel that communicates the effects of war on a soldier’s mental and emotional state. Research for this project included studying the memoirs of soldiers from the current war in the Middle East, specifically in events pertaining to Kabul, Afghanistan. Digital components of this project involved the use of a Wacom Tablet for completing the artwork and an illustration program used to colorize the pages. The accompanying research paper about the creative project outlines the process and sources used in developing a script. First, it outlines the history of the graphic novel and the conversation surrounding its purpose. The paper then continues to specifically detail the research that influenced the style, context, cultural, social, and political references of my work.

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