A symbolic bridge of words and images: The "Silver Scorpion" and medical communication
Words are imprecise tools. From doctor to doctor, doctor to patient, across shifts, and across cultures, symbolic messages are misunderstood. Drawing from the academic fields of rhetorical studies, intercultural communication, health communication, and popular culture, the authors of this paper claim that the rhetorical form of comic books and graphic novels have the potential to create iconic images that stimulate memory, imagination, and build symbolic bridges between people of different cultures, offering novel applications for medical communication. As specific evidence of their claim, the authors offer an examination of the intercultural superhero comic, "Silver Scorpion."
Daniel J. O'Rourke is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio. Professor O'Rourke has previously published essays on the intercultural contexts of "Spider-Man in India" (with Pravin A. Rodrigues) and the epideictic rhetoric of the Superman origin in "The Man of Steel" (with Morgan B. O'Rourke).
Pravin A. Rodrigues, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Ashland University, Ohio, grew up immersed in Indian, British and American comics. Comics constructed the fantastic worlds he resided in during his childhood and nourished the idealism of his youth. His research interests include intercultural communication, rhetoric, and the Asian Indian identity.