Monday, December 1, 2014

Halcolm comics in print!

Today I received my copy of a book that features nine of my comic strips -- Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods (Patton, 2014).  This is a project I'm proud to be a part of.  The story of my involvement is interesting.

I was taking a course on Qualitative Research, and the earlier edition of this book was the textbook.  I was in the middle of a doctoral program, and as soon as I began reading the book, I noticed there was something that made it much different than every other textbook I had ever read.  Though it is full of important information about research methods, the author, Michael Q. Patton also gets points across by telling stories.  The tales are often funny, and in the form of parables.

Imagine that!  A teacher who teaches through stories and humor.  After reading and writing pages and pages of dry, factual "scholarly" writing, this book was like an oasis in the desert.

One of my favorite features are the Parables of Halcolm (pronounced "How Come?").  Often when I read, I can visualize what it would look like as a comic strip.  I couldn't resist quickly sketching it out, and turning it into a comic strip.  I liked how it looked, and thought about sending it to the author.  I couldn't find an email, so I Facebook-friended him, then sent a message.  He liked it and asked to include it in the next edition of the text.

There's something that's positively 21st century about this story.  Here I was taking a course, Facebook friends with the author of the course text, and contributing to the next edition of the text!

Eventually, I was asked to illustrate eight more of the parables.  Each chapter concludes with a two or three page Halcolm parable, like a "meditation" on the theme of the preceding chapter.

Below is one of the Halcolm comic strips.  A link to the rest of them are here