Using comic strips to get across a disaster preparedness

I am experimenting with using comic strips in order to generate interest in disaster preparedness. I have purposely decided on having a young girl in a wheel chair as my main protagonist, who is at first a little frightened about what to do in an earthquake, when the message is 'Drop, Cover and Hold On!' She comments in the first comic strip: 'If I do that in a wheelchair, I will end up on the floor!' There is an important message here about disaster preparedness with all sections of the community included (see the work of June Isaacson Kailes for more information in this area). As the comic strip develops we meet May's friends and family as they learn to be prepared together. We also meet Dad (who is a bit clueless), Mom ( a worrier) and Grandma (a bit grumpy and a little hypocritical). As time goes on I hope to develop more stories. Today I wrote and put together three. I found the software through a flash based comic creator called: http://www.makebeliefscomix.com. I will be making at least one a day and I hope that:

  1. You like them!
  2. You find them funny or at least amusing (I personally like the third one)
  3. You give me ideas to make more!!

I am inserting the three from today here, as well as putting on the Twitter feed so that it will embed with the Edu4DRR daily newspaper which will be fairly unique at having its own regular disaster based comic!

UPDATE FOR 2017: Following the initial positive response, I created a series of 52 disaster preparedness comic strips that can be viewed here: http://www.edu4drr.org/profiles/blogs/here-is-silly-timmy-comic-str... 

AND...

It is now available in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Turkish as well as the first few in Fijian and Indonesian. Have a look in the Blogs section for more, but I am attaching several versions of one strip below these original pilot comic strips. The comic has also been turned into a book by UNESCO Pakistan and distributed in Pakistan, While a pilot eduction project carried out by myself and another researcher, was carried out in a kindergarten in Tehran, Iran, where children showed excellent understanding of appropriate preparation and response to disaster threats!

If you would like to translate for YOUR COMMUNITY, click here: 

http://www.edu4drr.org/notes/Updated_Silly_Timmy_comic_strip_templa...

There are PowerPoint files with the original comic strips in English as well as blank version. Instructions on the page also show how you can insert text boxes to place translated texts!

THANK YOU!

Constructive feedback is ALWAYS welcome!

Pilot Comic Strips:

Episode One: 

Episode Two

Episode Three:

Silly Timmy Disaster Comic Strips in MULTIPLE languages! 

In English when a lightning storm is near:

In French when a lightning storm is near:

You can see the rest here: http://www.edu4drr.org/profiles/blogs/silly-timmy-in-french-silly-t...

In Spanish when an earthquake occurs outside :

You can see others here: http://www.edu4drr.org/profiles/blogs/silly-timmy-in-spanish-en-esp...

In Portuguese when an earthquake occurs when in bed:

You can see the rest here: http://www.edu4drr.org/profiles/blogs/silly-timmy-em-portugues

In German when an earthquake occurs when in bed:

You can see the rest here: http://www.edu4drr.org/profiles/blogs/silly-timmy-disaster-comic-in...

In Italian - Meeting the characters:

You can see the  rest of these here: http://www.edu4drr.org/profiles/blogs/silly-timmy-disaster-comic-in...

In Turkish after an earthquake and the importance of washing hands:

P.S. We only have FIVE of these in Turkish, so any help translating (see the link to the PowerPoint files will be much appreciated! 

In Fijian when an earthquake occurs:

P.S. We only have FOUR of these in Turkish, so any help translating (see the link to the PowerPoint files will be much appreciated! 

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Comment by Edmund G. Villareal on October 9, 2018 at 10:59am

Drop, cover and hold on is not enough. While doing it, one should SCAN, ASSESS AND REACT. SCAN the surroundings, ASSESS the situation and REACT calmly but swiftly. Vulnerabilities of children will be reduces if they will be taught how to do these properly. DCH+SAR. 

Comment by Justin Sharpe on December 10, 2012 at 11:40am

For your information: All the Silly Timmy Disaster comics were created on an iPad using an App called Toon ToolKit (more information can be found here) while the characters were created by John A Abbott of Jot Studios. The story lines and montages/scenes were created by me (Justin Sharpe), using the excellent App! I hope you enjoy reading!

Comment by Justin Sharpe on November 22, 2012 at 4:40pm

New Silly Timmy in Indonesian Language - Translated by Risye Dwiyani (Iche)>>>>Aragato Iche san! 

Iche decided to translate the ones she like best, but I hope to see the rest when she is less busy with her Bandung Disaster Group! 

Comment by Justin Sharpe on November 20, 2012 at 11:57pm

Here are the first four comic strips translated ( by Pardeep Lal from Fiji) into Fijian! using the file stat I added as a note to this page! He has promised to send these next in Hindi and I will hopefully be able to add them too!

Silly Timmy Episode One - in Fijian:

Silly Timmy Episode Two - In Fijian:

Silly Timmy Episode Three - In Fijian:

Silly Timmy Episode Four - In Fijian:

Comment by Justin Sharpe on November 20, 2012 at 10:46am

Pardeep,

Thanks for the support! It is fine to use the comic strips. I think it is positive that the more languages the better. When you have translated into Fijian, please post back onto the website here as it would be very cool to look at and also for other to get inspired! Look out for more again soon! I am up to episode six now  and when i ma at eight, I will produce a further document with the original text and one with blank speech bubbles etc for use by our community! Keep up the good work!

Comment by pardeep lal on November 19, 2012 at 7:05pm
Hi Justin .This is fantastic work! thank you so much. It really makes sense and i know it will make a lot of sense to kids when they read someting like this. i am writing resource book on Natural DRR hoping it would be used at some time later in primary schools here in Fiji and i would like to use your comic strips. Can I? Apart from English language, I will also try to translate this into Fijian language and will ensure that the content remains the same- this is important.Please do let me know .And i would like ot read a few more comics on flooding and tropicla cyclones in the near future. Great work. Keep it up.
best regards.
Pardeep.
Fiji
Comment by Justin Sharpe on November 19, 2012 at 4:24pm

Cool photograph, Yoli! I am glad you are well! I hope you liked the comics!

Comment by Yolanda (Yoli) McGlinchey on November 19, 2012 at 4:22pm

Justin these are great! FYI, we started doing more Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Trainings and it has been very successful, so much so that we are now doing more Spanish CERT Classes. It's been started by the University of California's Santa Barbara's Emergency Manager, his name is James Caesar and he is a big advocate for creating a "Culture of Preparedness" among the youth. With so many things happening in the United States we are really pushing grass-roots preparedness.

 

Hope things are well for you. It's been a while since I've written you but I look at your site at least once a month and share it with other. Keep up the good work!!!

Comment by Justin Sharpe on November 19, 2012 at 11:32am

I am also adding a word document with my comic strip and a blank version so that you could edit for your own region or in your own language, on Facebook as well as on here .(I'll let you know where as I can't upload to this page for some reason!) Please credit Edu4DRR if you use these and let me know so that we can promote through the site! Thank you!

Link to word document page is now live

Comment by Justin Sharpe on November 19, 2012 at 11:08am

Okay here are a set of four that I worked on over the weekend and have a clear narrative and a new character 'Silly Timmy' and a 'Fairy Godmother' that rescue him from his scrapes...shame we don't all have one of these!

Silly Timmy - Episode One

Silly Timmy Episode Two:

Silly Timmy Episode Three:

Silly Timmy Episode Four:

Episode Five

Episode Six:

Silly Timmy - Episode Seven:

Silly Timmy -Episode Eight:

Silly Timmy - Episode Nine: 

Silly Timmy -Episode Ten

Silly Timmy - Episode Eleven

Silly Timmy - Episode Twelve:

Silly Timmy - Episode Thirteen:

Silly Timmy - Episode Fourteen:

Silly Timmy - Episode Fifteen:

Silly Timmy - Episode Sixteen

Silly Timmy - Episode Seventeen:

Silly Timmy  - Episode Eighteen:

Silly Timmy - Episode Nineteen:

Silly Timmy Episode Twenty:

Silly Timmy Episode Twenty-One:

Silly Timmy episode Twenty-Two:

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