Spineless: The Newcastle Science Comic (2015)

Spineless: The Newcastle Science Comic is our 16 page, 7-creator comics anthology created in partnership with Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle, as the childrens exhibition guide to their Spineless exhibition about invertebrates (minibeasts, bugs, beasties…) in summer 2015.
We’ve printed 20,000 newsprint copies of Spineless (and a full digital version: go to the Newcastle Science Comic blog and click the cover image on the right of the screen).

Panel 1 of our Spineless cover comic by Jess Bradley

Each chapter of Spineless-the-comic supports a section of Spineless-the-exhibition, and was created as a collaboration between comics creators and the exhibition’s guest curators. Both the comic and the exhibition are free.

We’ve published Spineless with a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence. This means you can share the comic (physical and digital versions) with others as long as you credit our project, but you can’t change the comic in any way or use it commercially. We hope this will make it easy for children, adults, teachers and other professionals to read and share Spineless – and, of course, ensure that the science research and natural history can be credited back to GNM: Hancock’s guest curators!


The exhibition ran from 1st August- 1st November 2015. Spineless was our second Newcastle Science Comic title, following Asteroid Belter which was created as part of the 2013 British Science Festival (and still available to read free on our Newcastle Science Comic blog).

Here are our top team of Spineless contributors and the minibeast habitats in their comics:



Academic publication based on this project:

  • Wysocki L. (2018) Farting Jellyfish and Synergistic Opportunities: The Story and Evaluation of Newcastle Science Comic. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, 8(1), 6. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/cg.119

Asteroid Belter (2013)

Asteroid Belter: The Newcastle Science Comic was a 44-page, newsprint, 10000 copy print run comic for the British Science Festival 2013 hosted by Newcastle University. It was produced as collaboration between a total of 76 artists, writers and scientists, led by our editorial team: Lydia Wysocki, Paul Thompson, Michael Thompson, Jack Fallows, Brittany Coxon and Michael Duckett. The comic put university science research and concepts into the hands of children in ways that were meaningful, interesting, and inspiring to them.

Our first reader

Asteroid Belter is available to read in full online on the Newcastle Science Comic blog (click the cover image at the top right of the blog homepage).

Read our writeup of Asteroid Belter as an education and research/community engagement project: http://comicsforum.org/2014/09/23/epic-themes-in-awesome-ways-how-we-made-asteroid-belter-the-newcastle-science-comic-and-why-it-matters-by-lydia-wysocki-and-michael-thompson/

Read our fantastic review from Richard Bruton at Forbidden Planet International: http://www.forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/2013/review-astroid-belter/

(photo by Sarah McIntyre, used with permission)

Academic publications about Newcastle Science Comic:

Asteroid Belter launch day

Science FACT-ion (2013)


Ahead of the British Science Festival 2013 we developed a downloadable activity pack available as a PDF from the Teachers’ Toolkit. Download the kids’ pack and adult helpers’ pack here – the competition has closed but the activities remain awesome.

Science FACT-ion drawing challengeScience FACT-ion used the medium of comics to show 8-13 year olds how science fact and science fiction are both separate and interrelated, then check this understanding.  We also challenged readers to design their own inventions, with the winning drawings published in Asteroid Belter and exhibited at Newcastle City Library.


Newcastle Science Comic (2012, ongoing)

Newcastle Science Comic is our heading for all things science + comics: Asteroid Belter, Science FACT-ion, The Science of Comics exhibitions, and other workshops.  We sometimes still do projects as Newcastle Science Comic, but we’re not only Newcastle Science Comic.

Since 2012 we’ve broadened our horizons to include other subject areas.  We began with Newcastle Science Comic so it’ll always have a special place in our comics collections.  Hearts.  In our hearts.

Academic publications about Newcastle Science Comic: