Educational Data Comics: What can Comics do for Education in Visualization?

Magdalena Boucher, Benjamin Bach, Christina Stoiber, Zezhong Wang, Wolfgang Aigner

Room: 109

2023-10-22T22:00:00ZGMT-0600Change your timezone on the schedule page
Exemplar figure, described by caption below
What can comics do for Education in Visualization? The image shows two simple comic figures sitting at a table, studying a comic and talking about it. In the second panel, both express happiness and seem to have understood something.

This paper discusses the potential of comics for explaining concepts with and around data visualization. With the increasing spread of visualizations and the democratization of access to visualization tools, we see a growing need for easily approachable resources for learning visualization techniques, applications, design processes, etc. Comics are a promising medium for such explanation as they concisely combine graphical and textual content in a sequential manner and they provide fast visual access to specific parts of the explanations. Based on a first literature review and our extensive experience with the subject, we survey works at the respective intersections of comics, visualization and education: data comics, educational comics, and visualization education. We report on five potentials of comics to create and share educational material, to engage wide and potentially diverse audiences, and to support educational activities. For each potential we list, we describe open questions for future research. Our discussion aims to inform both the application of comics by educators and their extension and study by researchers.