Views from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Tranexamic acid manga offers comic relief for medics

As a new study on the use of tranexamic acid to treat trauma patients for bleeding is published in the BMJ, the researchers have produced a comic designed to be useful to emergency teams.

Download (PDF, 9.86MB)

Read more about the comic and the research


  1. Matt

    This is a cool way to bring attention to this drug. It’s always great when complex, dry material can be made more relatable to the public. I sure wouldn’t have had any interest in reading through a research paper on TXA. I hope we can see more innovations like this.

  2. Miranda Brown

    I would not classify this as manga. For starters it has more than one color shade. And if read as manga, it does not make any sense.
    But as a comic, and as a medical action one with educational purposes, I would say it has a great potential. I know several medical students who would rather read and see doctors in comic books such as this, rather than in over the top TV dramas.
    One recommendation I would like to make is the Bechdel test, to avoid tropes against women, and to include main characters from different ethnical backgrounds. As it is now, it comes off as another white-washed, token female comic.

    • Alexander Hay

      In fairness, it was only recently that English translations of Manga began to be printed left to right, rather than right to left.

      Back in the Studio Proteus days, Manga was ‘flopped’ so western readers could read them like other comics of the time.

  3. Tintin

    Interesting. Not the first approach I would have thought of, even as an avid fan of graphic novels, but really interesting. I’d like to think this is the start of academia taking graphic literature more seriously as a way of engaging readers with scientific information, but who knows?

    On whether it’s a manga – well, it can be considered to be one on the grounds that Tokyopop and other purveyors of manga in the West have/did for years commission manga that were by Western authors and published originally in English. The key there was they felt the plot, art style and ethos was much more influenced by and similarly aligned to Japanese manga than to Western comics. It can be argued that they don’t always succeed at looking EXACTLY like a ‘real’ Japanese manga (indeed, this one doesn’t, either) but that doesn’t make them fit into the Western comics category if they’re very obviously styled totally differently.

    There’s nothing specifying manga HAVE to be in one colour – most have colour pages or even colour issues. The main reason is cost – the good old anthologies they are published in are printed on relatively low-quality paper in black and white to save money.

    As for this one, it’s published online, so it doesn’t HAVE to be in black and white. I thought the use of red (the colour of blood) was a nice way to make it more dynamic.The artistic style is, like many Western manga- influenced comics not entirely typical of manga (but then many Japanese manga also aren’t). What matters here is the generally monochrome colour scheme, clean lines and angled anatomy and minimalist panelling that all scream ”manga” to a reader.

    It also doesn’t read like Japanese manga because it doesn’t ”need” to be flipped. From a Western reading perspective, the action is more easy to follow if the panels are set out the way we read words (left to right). Understanding WHY the conventions of manga are as they are lets you see why this has been adapted.