Ten Simple Rules for Drawing Scientific Comics: Rules 6 – 10

May 2, 2018 R.T. Thomason, Ph.D., Figure Editor


Today we are wrapping up our discussion on simple rules for drawing scientific comics (and just a reminder, these rules can apply to design and assembly of your figures).


ICYMI: https://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005845

Citation: McDermott JE, Partridge M, Bromberg Y (2018) Ten simple rules for drawing scientific comics. PLoS Comput Biol 14(1): e1005845. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005845


Continuation from last week:

  1. Tell a story – This is probably my favorite rule! Telling your research like a story (start: what is known in the field, middle: what new information are you providing, finish: where can we go next) helps your reader so much!
  2. Draw on what you know and use your own voice – Don’t be afraid to tell your story from your own knowledge and/or experience. Remember, YOU are the expert in this project.
  3. Use your imagination – Don’t be afraid to use your imagination to draw schematics as one of your figures. Provide your interpretation of your data for your audience.
  4. Sketch and Draft – Especially if you don’t know where to start with your figures, sketch out how you want it to look. Draft your schematics. Talk to colleagues to get feedback.
  5. Practice, practice, practice and have fun – Figure design and drafting can be fun! This goes back to the old adage of “how would you describe your reserach to your grandmother?” and start from there. Your first figures may not be the best, but practice makes perfect.