were a labmate working on the very same project and a musi-cian/political scientist of many talents.) I got as much feedback
as possible along the way: make this clearer, add some more
detail there, and a metaphor would be helpful here.
Fine-tuning the language enabled my comic book to satisfy
the expectations and needs of the reader without compromising the detail and truth of the science. I was finding my middle
After I was satisfied with a script, the pictures came easily and
I got to have a bit of fun with it. I included a lot of visual jokes
and salutes to a favorite podcast and video game to break up the
intensely abstract stuff and keep the audience’s attention. After
all, I knew first-hand that uninterrupted focus on the topic was
difficult to maintain.
I worked religiously on the comic in Madison’s coffee shops on
the weekends, scribbling notes while nibbling on scones. Though
the subject matter was exactly the same, it was a welcome break
from writing the chapters of my dissertation. Scripting the comic
book forced me to find the most important thread of information
within all of the often-messy details of the science and strengthened my academic communications as well.
Making the comic book also changed the way I think about
doing the chemistry itself. When planning experiments or calculations, I am constantly considering how each test will fit into our