The Other Kind of Funnies: Comics in Technical Communication (Baywood’s Technical Communications Series)
by Han Yu (Author)
The Other Kind of Funnies refutes the mainstream American cultural assumption that comics have little to do with technical communication-that the former are entertaining (in a low-brow sense) and juvenile, whereas the latter is practical and serious (to the point of stuffiness). The first of its kind, this book demonstrates the exciting possibilities of using comics in technical communication. It defines comics as a medium and art form that includes cartoons, comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels; provides conceptual and historical backgrounds on comics; and discusses the appeals and challenges of using comics-style technical communication. More specifically, it examines comics-style instructions, educational materials, health/risk communication, and political/propaganda communication. The author argues that comics-style technical communication encourages reader participation, produces covert persuasion, facilitates intercultural communication, benefits underprivileged audiences such as children and readers of lower literacy, and challenges the positivist view of technical communication. An abundance of comics-style technical communication examples, carefully selected from across cultures and times, demonstrates the argument. While the book proposes that comics can create user-friendly, visually oriented, engaging, and socially responsible technical communication, it is also quick to acknowledge the limitations and challenges of comics-style technical communication and provides heuristics on how to cope with them. The Other Kind of Funnies is unique in its interdisciplinary approach. It focuses on technical communication but speaks to design, cultural and intercultural studies, historical studies, and to some extent, education, politics, and art.
Han Yu provides a fine overview of the many productive uses of comics in technical communication and beyond, with brisk, well-conceived chapters covering instructions, maintenance, warnings, education, and propaganda. Well-reasoned analysis and a firm grasp of scholarship are enlivened by frequent and consistently interesting comic panels drawn from a wide range of sources, both historical and contemporary, with strong attention to communication across cultures. –Dr. Stephen A. Bernhardt, Kirkpatrick Chair in Writing and Professor of English, University of Delaware
Han Yu s The Other Kind of Funnies: Comics in Technical Communication effectively repudiates the stigma imposed in the United States on this provocative medium of multimodal communication. International in its scope and interdisciplinary in its theoretical foundations, this book offers a lucid history of comics, examines the challenges and opportunities in both their creation and their reception, and makes a vivid case for their wider adoption in technical communication, with examples from instruction manuals, public awareness programs, educational materials, and political and military campaigns. The reading here is eminently gratifying, with important insights on every page. –Sam Dragga, Professor of Technical Communication, Texas Tech University
A rare book that discovers something fundamental and right under our noses! After reading the book, one suddenly starts to notice the prevalence of comics-style documentation and comics pervasive influence. Yu s book shows how communications that emphasize the role of the user with unique language, culture, demeanor, and appearance can and do benefit from comics-style documentation. Yu analyzes types of comics and their history and then provides a critical overview of examples from multiple languages that illustrate techniques. The analysis is followed by advice for technical communicators. The book demonstrates the possibilities for creating emotional and visceral attraction in technical communication, shows how documentation can be expressed in ways that are effective in outreach contexts, and evokes critical and ethical discussions. It challenges technical communicators to develop creative literacies such as storytelling, persona development, and visualization that they can use to enhance their understanding of risk, process, and technology. –Thomas Barker, Professor, Graduate Program in Communication and Technology, University of Alberta
About the Author
Han Yu is an associate professor of technical communication in the English Department at Kansas State University, USA. Her research focuses on visual communication, intercultural technical communication, technical communication in China, and writing assessment/training. She has published many articles on these topics in leading journals in the field, including Technical Communication Quarterly, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, Programmatic Perspectives, Technical Communication, and Business Communication Quarterly. Her article Putting China’s Technical Communication into Historical Context: A Look at the Chinese Culinary Instruction Genre, published in Technical Communication, won the 2009 Frank R. Smith Outstanding Journal Article Award. Han Yu also edited the collection (with Dr. Gerald Savage) Negotiating Cultural Encounters: Narrating Intercultural Engineering and Technical Communication (IEEE/Wiley, 2012).
Series: Baywood’s Technical Communications
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Baywood Publishing Company Inc (November 30, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)