Communicating Research Through Comics: Transportation and Land Development

This project created a transportation comic, "Moving From Cars To People," which offers a succinct and fun introduction to a complicated topic: namely, how the built environment in the United States came to be designed for cars and what we can do about it. The comic includes a dialogue, taking place in various urban settings, between characters Kelly and Kristi who are based on the two principal investigators, Kelly Clifton and Kristina Currans. The two have a long history of collaboration around the data, methods, and processes used to plan for multimodal transportation impacts of new development. This short graphic synopsis is an engaging, approachable way for anyone – no matter their level of expertise in this topic – to learn about their findings. Illustrated by Portland State University (PSU) Master of Fine Arts student Joaquin Golez, the comic was authored by Clifton and Currans and developed in conjunction with Susan Kirtley, director of the Comic Studies Program at PSU, and Portland, OR-based illustrator Ryan Alexander-Tanner, who has worked on academic comics before and drew on his experience to help guide the collaborative process. A Spanish-language version was created with the assistance of Urban Studies PhD student Gabriel Quiñones-Zambrana. In this report, the authors outline the background of the research this comic aims to communicate. From there, the authors describe the tool itself—a comic book—and the process by which the authors developed it. Lastly, the authors describe the recommendations for disseminating and using this comic book as a communication tool.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    National Institute for Transportation and Communities

    Portland State University
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, OR  United States  97207

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Clifton, Kelly J
    • Currans, Kristina M
  • Publication Date: 2023-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Illustrations; References;
  • Pagination: 14p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01891062
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NITC-RR-1532
  • Created Date: Aug 28 2023 8:41AM