Part 4: Genres & Styles RT: Part 4

Research Task: Life Stories

I looked at examples of the suggested educational comics: Look and Learn, Chick tracts and Government Issue: Comics for the People, 1940s-2000 (although I could not find many examples online for the latter).

As the Look and Learn comics were created from the 1980s-1960s, I felt the illustrations looked quite dated and the style of drawing was not really appealing to me. However, it was clear how the comics could be used as a tool to provide often complex, historical information in a visual format, although text-heavy captions were also included.

The reaction I had from looking at some examples of the Chick tracts was mainly disbelief! However, it was interesting to see how comic books/strips can be utilised for any purpose and that hundreds of millions of copies of these have been bought! The tracts use combination of illustrations and text (both captions and speech bubbles) to convey the information.

I also found a couple of other examples of educational/biographical comics/illustrations:

Practical Money Skills Comics – which uses the characters from the Marvel universe in scenarios that relate to personal finance educational for children. I thought this was quite a clever way of engaging young people in what can often be viewed as a ‘boring’ subject.

Steve McGarry – creates single page biographical illustrations of famous people and characters from films, etc. The visual style is realistic. Again captions with quite a lot of text are also included on the pages.

Personally, I was not very keen on the style of illustrations in most of the examples that I came across and they put me off wanting spend time reading the captions ( I also felt that I would have felt that way even more when I was a child). I tend to prefer the style of drawings as seen in the Horrible Histories series of books, for example, by Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown, which include humour and are a more ‘simplistic’ cartoon style (although still have a striking resemblance to the real life individuals).

It was clear to me that comics can and should play more of an important role in educational material for both adults and children as the visual style allows for the information to be more universally understood rather than just providing paragraphs of text.

A couple of areas of interest from my life that I would be interested in developing into comic format would be sustainable living and veganism.


Chick Publications, (n.d.). Chick Cartoon Gospel Tracts Make Witnessing So Easy! [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 November 2021].

Look and Learn, (2005-2021). Historical Picture Archive, History Images, Vintage Pictures & Illustrations – Look and Learn . [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 November 2021].

Martin Brown (n.d.). Martin Brown Illustrator. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 November 2021].

Practical Money Skills, {n.d.). Educational Comics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 November 2021].

Scholastic, (n.d.). Horrible Histories – Scholastic Shop. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 November 2021].

Steve McGarry, (2021). Steve McGarry: Cartoons & Illustrations. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 November 2021].

Wikipedia, (n.d.). Jack Chick. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 November 2021].

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