Public Information Comics

Research output: Other contribution


The ‘Public Information Comics’ project develops Herd’s research into comics as collaborative creative practice, autobiography and life narratives, as told in comic form. Herd has been a key member of the multi-disciplinary Scottish Centre for Comics Studies (SCCS) team at University of Dundee since the inception of the project in 2016, as workshop lead, artist, script writer editor, and production designer.

Herd’s research examines authorial truth/fiction games within autobiography, and how stories are shaped and ‘fictionalised’ through repetition. The performative aspect of autobiographical comic creation also informs his workshops and the DEECap project.

The primary research methodology, the ‘Comics Jam’ facilitated by Herd, involves working with adults with learning difficulties, young people with experience of bereavement (including young offenders), and nursing students to encourage comic-making as a valuable method to tell their individual stories. Many participants have not drawn since childhood, so initial workshops are based on the ABCD methodology of creating comics. Workshops are designed to allow participants genuine control over the finished product through narrative and character creation, thus empowering and endowing a sense of agency to those with different expertise and perspectives.

Herd has presented the research at the Performing and Picturing Patienthood symposium at London College of Communication (2019) and in Studies in Comics, ‘Comics Jam: Creating healthcare and science communication comics –A sprint co-design methodology’.

Fibromyalgia and Us has been downloaded over 13,000 times in over 75 countries and featured on US-based healthcare website The Mighty and on BBC and local radio and was praised in an Early Day Motion in the UK Parliament in 2019. In October 2020, Herd, along with two other project leaders, edited a special edition of Studies in Comics journal on the theme of ‘Comics and Education’, which featured the SCCS ‘Public Information Comics’ project.
Original languageEnglish
TypeMulti Component Output
PublisherUniversity of Dundee
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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