Health Comics by Us!

Aug 12, 2014 · 3 min read

A collaborative post between @joyclee, @TheTrevorTorres, and @jakiebones

Meet Trevor, patient advocate, Diabetes Evangelist, and sophomore at the University of Michigan, and Jacob (“Jake”) Dwyer, interactive comic book artist with a passion for superheroes, and a junior at the Penny Stamps School of Art & Design.

Trevor and Jake paired up this summer to create a really cool comic book inspired by Trevor’s personal story of diabetes and Jake’s talent at comic book/superhero creation.


After my previous experiences with making comics and working with children, it seemed like a no-brainer to me that I would be making a comic to educate and enforce positive attitudes for kids with diabetes. I also love all things superhero-related, so the chance to work on my own superhero comic book to promote healthy living was too good to pass up. My collaboration with Trevor allowed me to focus on the art and interactivity of the comic while he handled the writing. I am very glad for our partnership, as his writing style and experience with diabetes made the character seem so much more genuine and realistic. ­

Here’s an excerpt:

Excerpt from Jake and Trevor’s comic book!


One of the fun things we did when putting this comic together was weave in two different stories — one in which the main character tries to be positive about diabetes, and another in which he really deals with it in a more negative way. The reader can choose to read it as two different characters, or make a combined story out of both elements. The page above shows a few different challenges the main character faces. First he has to decide whether to check his blood sugar in front of his friends at lunch, or go to the bathroom so his friends won’t see. Then he has a high blood sugar, and has to give himself more insulin. He can either rotate his injection sites (which is healthier), or inject himself in the same spot every time (which doesn’t hurt quite as much). This comic was really personal for me, because I try to be as positive about my diabetes as possible. I actually like having it, and I recommend it to everyone! Hence the “Diabetes Evangelist” nickname. I tried to portray that in this story, but I had to grapple with the fact that lots of people with diabetes have trouble keeping their spirits up.

Trevor and Jake will be showing off their co-creation at the Fest, but they wanted to invite you to join in the creation. They will be sponsoring an activity at the fest, called Health Comics by Us! Check it out below:

Come meet Jake and Trevor at the We Make Health Fest on August 16th, 2014 in Palmer Commons at the University of Michigan! Please follow @healthbyus on Twitter!

This work was generously supported by the Charles Woodson Research Fund, a FIGs grant, the provost office at the University of Michigan.


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