From the Classroom to the Internet: New Mediums for Educational Entertainment

Despite the freedom that the American people have, a depressingly low percentage of people understand the fine inner workings of our legal system and the extent of the freedoms they are extended. In order to obtain a better grasp on this knowledge, Nathan Burney started an informative and entertaining webcomic that addresses the workings of our legal system entitled, “The Illustrated Guide to Law” that tackles these difficult questions.

Through the use of a webcomic medium, Burney has made the United States’ law a thing that people would enjoy learning about. This seemingly impossible feat certainly does not seem like an easy task, however, due to the intricate nature of the topic and the discrepancies that arise over the smallest loopholes and other such disagreements. This hurdle is tackled through use of visual examples of crimes, the criminal prosecution process, and aspects of arrest, in addition to an enormous amount of other specific categories designed to create easier navigation through both the comics and an understanding of the law as a whole.

The use of a webcomic as an educational medium, although not a new phenomenon, is one that opens the door for people to have concise and immersive ways of understanding complex ideas and the like. Webcomics like this one and “xkcd” (an intellectual humor webcomic) both show a more “high-brow” type of wit and humor than their lesser developed counterparts such as “Cyanide and Happiness” for example. It opens the door to other potential serious topics to be brought to the webcomic platform, and I believe this could be an incredibly powerful and persuasive medium of communicating information and one that I look forward to referencing myself in the future.