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When we think about comics, we usually think of grandiose superheroes and villains. It’s easy to fall for the good guy vs. bad guy theme, but being a true comic connoisseur, you know that good vs. evil isn’t the only style of comics out there; comics can be political and educational and contain a whole host of other messages.

It’s a known fact that 65% of the population are visual learners, and visual aids have been proven to benefit the learning experience. What if comics were used as an educational tool or curriculum? Would the dynamic of learning change?  The layout of comics is visually enticing and creates a natural guide for the brain to follow a story, no words needed.

With some research, I’ve found a fairly decent collection of educational, DIY, and Maker comics. Why wasn’t this around when I was in school?

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“Howtoons” is a comic combining projects, DIY, inventing, and making. You may recognize Howtoons as a regular feature here at Make:. Howtoons is the creation of several creative and talented folks including Othermill’s Saul Griffith. The comic follows a brother and sister team that build and invent together with projects that you do as well.

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“The Manga Guides” are another great example of active learning comics. This series features comics on everything from how electricity works to mathematics and even biochemistry. Each book is different with unique nerdy adventures.

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Photo: Otaku Study

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Photo: No Starch Press

“Spectra” is an impressive example of how physics can be made into a fun-filled adventure series. Follow Lucinda Hene as she dives through the different areas of physics and beyond.

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Photo: Physics Central

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Photo: Physics Central

Hopefully we’ll continue to see more educational and technical comics. I think it’s important to pay attention to the fact that the standard learning objective may not be so standard after all.