Health Comics by Us


At the We #makehealth Fest, we had a booth that featured the awesome Diabetes Superhero comic book by Jake Dwyer, interactive comic book artist and student at the Stamps School of Art and Design and Trevor Torres, Patient Advocate, "Diabetes Evangelist", and student at the University of Michigan.  Similar to our mobile app prototypes, we created an activity that would allow patients and caregivers to create their own health comics. We plan to share these at Mott Hospital as well in the near future!

Here are the instructions for the template below. 


Diabetes Superhero Comic Book


Jacob Dwyer, interactive comic book artist and student at the Stamps School of Art and Design and Trevor Torres, Patient Advocate, Diabetes Evangelist and student at the University of Michigan paired up to create an interactive electronic comic book that aims to educate children and families about diabetes management, discuss attitudes both positive and negative about health, and empower patients with type 1 diabetes. Check out our blog post here and download a version of the full comic here.

"After my previous experiences with making comics and working with children, it seemed like a no-brainer to me that I would be making a comic to educate and enforce positive attitudes for kids with diabetes. I also love all things superhero-related, so the chance to work on my own superhero comic book to promote healthy living was too good to pass up. My collaboration with Trevor allowed me to focus on the art and interactivity of the comic while he handled the writing. I am very glad for our partnership, as his writing style and experience with diabetes made the character seem so much more genuine and realistic." ­ – Jake

"One of the fun things we did when putting this comic together was weave in two different stories — one in which the main character tries to be positive about diabetes, and another in which he really deals with it in a more negative way. The reader can choose to read it as two different characters, or make a combined story out of both elements. The page above shows a few different challenges the main character faces. First he has to decide whether to check his blood sugar in front of his friends at lunch, or go to the bathroom so his friends won’t see. Then he has a high blood sugar, and has to give himself more insulin. He can either rotate his injection sites (which is healthier), or inject himself in the same spot every time (which doesn’t hurt quite as much). This comic was really personal for me, because I try to be as positive about my diabetes as possible. I actually like having it, and I recommend it to everyone! Hence the “Diabetes Evangelist” nickname. I tried to portray that in this story, but I had to grapple with the fact that lots of people with diabetes have trouble keeping their spirits up." –Trevor

Here is an excerpt from their comic: 

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