Master of Science
Department or Program
Mass Communication and Media Arts
Veenstra, Aaron S.
Comic books are a popular form of creative storytelling. Through sequential juxtaposed panels, comics have the unique ability to interact with the reader through time and space. The context within comics is the constrained amount of panels a typical comic book page allows, and the space that exists between the panels encourages the reader to manipulate meaning. Through this unique process of interaction between the narrative and the reader, comics have proven to be a creative medium to promote meanings of social change. Throughout history, comics have utilized their entertaining guise to mask underlying themes of social injustices and political upheavals. More so, through the use of the technological advances and the Internet, Webcomics now have the ability to provide an interactive experience that encourages reader engagement within the narrative, while expanding widespread communication. This project seeks to understand how interactive Webcomics can promote social change. This research project consists of a self-created interactive Webcomic involving a fictional narrative that depicts the dangers of hydraulic fracking; the comic is intended to promote social change and awareness on the issues of fracking. A focus group has been conducted in order to better understand the effects the comic has on participants knowledge, awareness and advocacy on the dangers of hydraulic fracking. The concluding results show that Webcomics do have the potential to promote social change.