Since 2016 the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies has produced a number of public information comics, many of them dealing with healthcare issues and science communication. When the Coronavirus pandemic took hold in early 2020, sending the world into lockdown, communities and individuals have done amazing things to help themselves and others, from observing social distancing rules to supporting the NHS. The University of Dundee’s response has been similarly amazing, with scientists working to assist the global effort to find a vaccine, and nursing students volunteering to join the front line. In the light of these inspiring tales of dedication and determination the comics team have mobilised to tell these stories in the best way we know how – through a comic!
Pandemic Tales: Responses to Covid-19 and Lockdown collects stories about these strange and challenging times. In the first instance the stories created for this anthology will be released individually as webcomics on our social media. Eventually we will collect them into one volume. Many thanks to all those who are supporting this project, from the writers and artists creating these stories, to John Rowan, Clive Randall and Kaye Lister at the University of Dundee who have assisted with funding the project.
The first story to be produced, ‘Lost, and Found, in Transitions’ was written by Anj Snape and Divya Jindal-Snape, with fabulous artwork by Ashling Larkin (www.ashlingdraws.com/). ‘Lost, and Found, in Transitions’ tells the story of the transitions of a girl that were triggered by the abrupt school closure, lockdown and cancellation of Advanced Higher exams (final year of secondary school exams in Scotland). It outlines how normative and expected transitions that she was looking forward to were disrupted by COVID-19, triggering (different) academic, social and psychological transitions. The story highlights the positive and negative transition experiences, and strategies used by her (and her family) as she adapts to the changes over time. This story pulls together a number of young people’s experiences of the lockdown and ‘the last day of high school, EVER!’. Below is a preview of the comic, but you can download the full comic for free by following this link!
Anj Snape is a secondary school student from Scotland. Divya Jindal-Snape is Professor of Education, Inclusion and Life Transitions at the University of Dundee. Ashling Larkin is a Dundee-based comic artist and illustrator.
We look forward to sharing more of these stories with you.
Professor Christopher Murray
Scottish Centre for Comics Studies
University of Dundee