Many young people love comic books. Their visual appeal is readily apparent through their arresting imagery and technicolor hues. Their stories can even transcend the limitations of the natural world, conjuring up fictional worlds unbounded by the very real constraints of time and space. In short, comics speak to the wild imagination of youth in ways other media simply cannot.

Teachers College graduate Nick Sousanis is a talented educator and comic creator who has used his artistic abilities to appeal to a broader array of learners and shake up the status quo in academia. His dissertation Unflattening examines the way that people tend to become "flattened" by daily life. It also ponders the separation between the visual arts and academics. On a similar note, by its very existence, Unflattening becomes a commentary on its academic origins and raises an interesting question: Why has education disregarded visual arts, such as comic books, despite their potentially highly inclusive nature?

Have you integrated the arts into academia or other non-traditional venues? What can art achieve that pure academics cannot? Why is there such a paucity of visual arts within traditional academic spaces? Tell us your thoughts in the ongoing discussion on Vialogues.

Excerpts from the discussion:

@00:42 AbdulMalik:The act of writing is indeed a very effective way of conveying any sort of information. The visual aspect of this author's work will certainly appeal to more readers.

@00:50 dagboda: it shows how someone[‘s] idea could be of benefit to millions of other people, impacting people with [one’s] own creativity and uniqueness.