The new book from University of Nebraska–Press C’RONA Pandemic Comics is a volume of coronavirus-themed comics aimed to inform and engage readers of all ages, but especially middle-school-aged readers. Entertaining and informative, C’RONA Pandemic Comics spurs youth to ask questions and seek information about the COVID-19 virus and pandemic.
C’RONA Pandemic Comics was created by comic artist and writer Bob Hall, Worlds of Connections (WoC) SEPA senior personnel and science educator Judy Diamond (Professor of UNL Libraries), and WoC SEPA Advisory Board members Liz VanWormer (Assistant Professor of UNL Veterinary Medicine & Biological Sciences) and Judi gaiashkibos (Executive Director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs). In addition to the comics, the book features five related essays. These essays include details about the virus that causes the novel coronavirus disease, the effects of the pandemic on Native American Tribes across the United States, and the interplay of bats, viruses, and the pandemic. WoC SEPA team members Julia McQuillan, Trish Wonch Hill, Meghan Leadabrand, Amy Spiegel, and Wendy Smith contributed the essay “Tracing Connections to Stop a Pandemic.” Their essay explores how scientists use network science to trace and study patterns of disease spread throughout communities across the globe, and how our individual interactions with our social connections (e.g., visiting just one friend) can impact a global pandemic.
The development of C’RONA Pandemic Comics was supported by the National Science Foundation through the RAPID project Using Popular Media to Educate Youth About the Biology of Viruses and the Current COVID-19 Pandemic. Several WoC SEPA team members collaborated on the NSF RAPID, including Diamond (NSF RAPID PI), McQuillan (co-PI), Hill (co-PI), and Spiegel (evaluator). Parts of the publication were also supported by the National Institutes of Health-funded WoC SEPA. The WoC SEPA team is also conducting a research study to assess if the comics help youth better understand COVID-19.
Poster-sized panels from C’RONA Pandemic Comics will be on display at the Nebraska State Capitol through Memorial Day (May 31, 2021). The exhibit is free and open to the public. See the Nebraska State Capitol website for building hours. Read more about the display in Nebraska Today.