Using narrative to convey the experience of dementia care-giving: I Know How This Ends: Stories of Dementia Care

I Know How This Ends cover (2020)

Today I announced the release of a new output in the Parables of Care series:  I Know How This Ends: Stories of Dementia Care (2020).  This is the second volume in a series that started with Parables of Care: Creative Responses to Dementia Care (2017).

Drawn by Peter Wilkins and Melissa Martins, designed by Simon Grennan and edited by Yours Truly,  I Know How This Ends is a 16-page comic book resulting from collaborative narrative research and co-design sessions with participants.

The book presents, in synthesised form, stories crafted from narrative data collected via interviews with professional caregivers, educators, and staff at Douglas College in Vancouver, Canada, who have cared for relatives and people with dementia in hospital.

[Personal warning: where Parables of Care was a tender, sympathetic and even funny collection of practical strategies,  I Know How This Ends may prove a tougher, darker read. As Peter Wilkins put it in a message to the team, “all of the interviews were about incredible weight, abandonment and suffering”. A someone whose late father had dementia I can relate to such feelings around the care-giving experience, and I Know How This Ends indeed does attempt to represent and interpret the experiences of the care-givers the project team talked to. We believe there is no way to make up the stark reality of dementia, its difficulty and emotional intensity. It would be unethical to do so. Some readers may be disappointed not to find more hopeful optimism in the book. In I Know How This Ends stories are being told and shared, and feeling and emotion, however difficult, are being channeled and processed. I see in this act of storytelling a significant source of hope. Personally I hope the book helps communicate the problematic and painful intensity of the experience of care-giving, saying to those that might be struggling that they are not alone].

The previous volume employed the form of the parable to tell individual stories based in real-life cases as told by carers. As the foreword explains, this new comic is structured like a classical Greek tragedy – with a prologue, three episodes, and an epilogue –because the stories the team worked with had the elements of tragedy: inevitability, stratagems to avoid fate that merely bring it on, and catharsis of negative emotions.

The intention of the book is to show the importance of feeling in care-giving, the professional aspects of which are sometimes at odds with the family systems aspect of dementia.

As we state in the foreword, by 2030, 82 million people are anticipated to have dementia and 152 million by 2050. With this project we aim to continue making a contribution to widen the dissemination of one of the key challenges of our time, following user-centred design and narrative research design methods.

  I Know How This Ends: Stories of Dementia Care  can be downloaded as a PDF file, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, from

As this is a publication made for print please note the PDF file is 130MB; mobile users might prefer to download it and view it from a laptop or desktop.

The free print version of the comic will be available soon and you can request free copies via this form.

My gratitude to all the members of team, as well as other colleagues, friends and family members whose direct and indirect support throughout the development of this phase of the project was essential and is sincerely appreciated.

For a list of credits and thank you’s please look inside the book. ;-)

We look forward to hearing what you think.

Now Receiving Full-Text Submissions. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship: Call for Papers 2019-2020

The Comics Grid logo

I am very glad to share here that The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship is open for submissions once again.

Our Call for Papers 2019-2020 for our tenth volume includes detailed information about the scope of the call, our selection, editorial and peer review processes, authorship attribution guidelines,  information on copyright and licensing and archiving information.

I would like to emphasise the following section of the Call:

We invite energetic writing that is theoretically and interpretively bold. While academic rigour, the inclusion and close discussion of images and citational correctness are important to us as a precondition, a key feature our editors and reviewers will consider is the argument, the discovery, the evidence-based eureka moments conveyed in economical, precise, and, ideally, subtle prose. We believe academic writing about comics should be as striking and immediate as the medium itself.”

I have published our Call for Papers 2019-2020 in the Humanities Commons CORE repository. Metadata below.

The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship: Call for Papers 2019-2020

Kathleen Dunley, Ernesto Priego , Peter Wilkins
Comics Scholarship/Comics Studies, Digital Humanists, Medical Humanities
Comics studies, Publishing, Research, Media studies, Comics, Graphic novels, Popular culture, Visual culture
Item Type:
Online publication
Digital Comics
Permanent URL:
The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship seeks scholarly submissions on the technical, theoretical, cultural, and historical aspects of comics studies that gives vitality to the form and challenges readers’ assumptions about it. This document is the full call for papers published on 30th October 2019 on the journal web site.

A decade later it’s here: The Strip Hay(na)ku Project. A collaborative experiment in sequential graphic poetics (Meritage Press & L/O/C/P, 2019)

The Strip Hay(na)ku Project book cover

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

The Strip Hay(na)ku Project.  A collaborative experiment in sequential graphic poetics

Edited by Ernesto Priego

With contributions by John Bloomberg-Rissman, Sam Bloomberg-Rissman, Amy Bernier, lola bola (Jane Ogilvie), Horacio Castillo, Ira Franco, Ernesto Priego, and Ginger Stickney.

Foreword by Eileen R. Tabios

Introduction by Ernesto Priego

ISBN 978-1-934299-13-5

Release Date: April 2019

Page Count: 48 pages, full colour.

Price: US$14.00 or equivalent

Distributor: Lulu (Laughing/Ouch/Cube/Publications account)

For more information:



Meritage Press and Laughing/Ouch/Cube/Publications are pleased to announce the release of The Strip Hay(na)ku Project, a collection of hay(na)ku poems in comic strip form, edited and co-created by Ernesto Priego with contributors John Bloomberg-Rissman, Sam Bloomberg-Rissman, Amy Bernier, lola bola (Jane Ogilvie), Horacio Castillo, Ira Franco, Ernesto Priego, and Ginger Stickney.

“Hay naku” is a common Filipino expression covering a variety of contexts—like the word “Oh.” The “hay(na)ku” is a 21st century poetic form invented by Eileen R. Tabios. It is a six-word tercet with the first line being one word, the second line being two words, and the third line being three words. Poets around the world have used the form and have created text and visual variations of the form, including the “chained hay(na)ku” which strings together more than one tercet as well as the reverse hay(na)ku where the word count is reversed. Ernesto Priego started co-creating “strip hay(na)ku” poems in 2008, inspired by examples of Slovenian “strip haiku”.


About The Strip Hay(na)ku Project:

“Hay(na)ku, a 21st century fixed verse form, has inherited haiku-sensibility (with its caesuras or paradigm shifts) and added to it a new kind of game, with 1, 2, and 3 words, perfect for the special needs of alphabetical writings. The inventive collaborators of this book successfully transplanted hay(na)ku – not only its basic form but its spirit as well – into the field of visual writing, and what we get is new and exciting. The book contains real comic strips but almost as soon as I started reading/watching the panels I had the strong impression that instead of the usual multitude of voices, speakers, actors etc. we have only two “heroes”, so to speak, inside and outside, and even they are not so different, to say the least. There is no comic strip without a story, and this time we are told and shown (but the texts and images don’t explain each other, their connection is inspiringly dissociative), how those heroes or perspectives keep changing places. It happens gently, almost invisibly…”

-Márton Koppány



Ernesto Priego is a lecturer at the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design, City, University of London. He is the founder and editor in chief of The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship. He co-curated, with Ivy Alvarez, John Bloomberg-Rissman and Eileen R. Tabios, The Chained Hay(na)ku Project (Meritage Press and xPress(ed) 2010). He is also the author of Not Even Dogs. Hay(na)ku Poems (Meritage Press, 2006); the amazing adventures of Gravity & Grace (Otoliths 2008); The Present Day. The Mañana Poems (Leafe Press 2010); Ahí donde no estás. De nombres propios y otros fantasmas (Instituto Veracruzano de Cultura 2013); and, with Simon Grennan and Peter Wilkins, the non-fiction comic Parables of Care. Creative Responses to Dementia Care (City, University of London, University of Chester and Douglas College, 2017). He posts things online whenever he is able to on his blog,, and on Twitter @ernestopriego.

Eileen R. Tabios has released over 50 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in nine countries and cyberspace. Her books include a form-based “Selected Poems” series: The In(ter)vention of the Hay(na)ku: Selected Tercets 1996-2019; THE GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL: Selected Visual Poetry (2001-2009); INVENT(ST)ORY: Selected Catalog Poems & new 1996-2015, and THE THORN ROSARY: Selected Prose Poems and New 1998-2010. Recent poetry collections include HIRAETH: Tercets From the Last Archipelago, MURDER DEATH RESURRECTION: A Poetry Generator, TANKA: Vol. 1, and ONE TWO THREE: Selected Hay(na)ku Poems which is a bilingual English-Spanish edition with translator Rebeka Lembo. Forthcoming is WITNESS IN A CONVEX MIRROR which will inaugurate Tinfish Press’s ”Pacific response to John Ashbery.” She also invented the poetry form “hay(na)ku” whose 15-year anniversary in 2018 is celebrated at the San Francisco and Saint Helena Public Libraries. More information about her works is available at


Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Parabeln der Pflege: new translation of Parables of Care makes comic about dementia care available to German-speaking audiences

Cover of the German version of Parables of Care
Cover of the German version of Parables of Care

A new translation of Parables of Care makes comic about creative responses to dementia care available to German-speaking audiences


Download Parables of Care (original English version) from City Research Online, City, University of London:

Download Parabeln der Pflege. Kreative Reaktionen in der Demenzpflege, von Pflegenden erzählt [Parables of Care German version] from City Research Online, City, University of London:

This new German translation is also available to download from ChesterRep, University of Chester:

Parables of Care. Creative Responses to Dementia Care, As Told by Carers is a research-based comic book originally published in English in October 2017.

Parables of Care has now been released in German translation, translated by Dr Andrea Hacker, from the University of Bern, Switzerland.

About working on the German translation, Dr Hacker said:

“I wanted to share Parables of Care not only with my family and the wonderful carers that help us but with a wider German-speaking audience: Alzheimer, dementia – these affect hundreds of thousands of families in the world regardless of language. Widely sharing our experiences of what works will give everyone a chance to make the best of the affliction – patients and families alike.”

[Read our Q&A with Andrea here].

The comic book was created by Dr Simon Grennan, from the Department of Art and Design, University of Chester, UK; Dr Ernesto Priego, from the Centre for Human Computer Interaction Design, City, University of London, UK; and Dr Peter Wilkins from Douglas College, Vancouver, Canada.

The short comic book includes 14 informative and touching stories, drawn by Simon Grennan with Christopher Sperandio, which were adapted from more than 100 case studies of real-life dementia care situations described by a range of carers. These case studies are available at

The small international team looked to expand the accessibility of this archive of carers’ stories and found that by creating short graphic art stories they could portray the emotional power of these situations. Each story is only four panels and just one page long.

Unlike clinical descriptions, this form enhances the affective aspects of each story, putting the reader at the centre of situations that often verge on incomprehensibility, but which are all resolved. In this respect, each story is universalised and becomes a parable.

The book is available open access to dementia carers and the general public as part of ongoing engagement, training and development programmes at City, University of London, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and The Faculty of Health Sciences at Douglas College, Vancouver, Canada.

About the Translator

Dr Andrea Hacker is an editor, translator and open science professional who lives in Switzerland where she works at the University of Bern. She has previously lived and worked in the US, Russia, Ireland and Germany. She was mentored in literary translation during her graduate studies at UCLA by Michael Henry Heim.

Download Parables of Care (original English version) from City Research Online, City, University of London:

Download Parabeln der Pflege. Kreative Reaktionen in der Demenzpflege, von Pflegenden erzählt [Parables of Care German version] from City Research Online, City, University of London:

Q&A with Andrea Hacker on her Parables of Care translation:

For more information, please visit:

Press enquiries contact: John Stevenson, Senior Communications Officer, City, University of London

This post was originally published on the Parables of Care blog at

New Publication: The Question Concerning Comics as Technology: Gestell and Grid

Still from Rear Window (dir. Alfred Hitchcock 1954). © 1954 Universal Pictures.
Still from Rear Window (dir. Alfred Hitchcock 1954). © 1954 Universal Pictures.

This week saw the publication of a new journal article coauthored by Peter Wilkins and yours truly:

Priego, E. & Wilkins, P., (2018). The Question Concerning Comics as Technology: Gestell and Grid. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship. 8, p.16. DOI:

In glorious open access.

I have also deposited the article at the following open access repositories:

This article’s peer review and editorial processes were managed independently by Benoît Crucifix, Björn-Olav Dozo, and Aarnoud Rommens.

We are very grateful to the editors and peer reviewers for their rigorous, robust, extensive and thoughtful critical review and feedback, which enabled us to significantly improve the original submission into its present form.

We have had an overwhelmingly kind and positive response so far– thank you everyone for reading and for your feedback.



The Power of Sharing in English, Spanish and French

Symbola Comics Logo


I am happy to announce that today we published ‘The Power of Sharing‘, a comic resulting from the collaboration between figshare, Symbola Comics, and LaGrúa Estudio (1).

You can view the comic, download it, cite it, comment and share it from

Concept and story by Francisco De La Mora & Ernesto Priego

Art by Cristina Durán La Grúa Estudio

Design by Daniela Rocha

The comic is also available in Spanish (2):

and French (3):

The whole set, including the whole InDesign package, are available in a figshare collection (4) at:

As you know I strongly believe that sustainable open access to research and open research data can break barriers of all types and empower the researchers of the future.

I personally hope we’ve been able to share an optimisitc message of empowerment and encouragement.

There’s too many reasons to get dispirited and to just get with the programme. We can change the future by the actions we take in the present- sharing and collaboration are inherently optimistic expressions of trust.

I have faith that what we do today, no matter how apparently insignificant, will have an effect on others tomorrow.


  1. de la Mora, F., Priego, E., Durán, C., Rocha, D., and Hardeman, M., 2018. The Power of Sharing. Available from:
  2. de la Mora, F., Priego, E., Durán, C., Rocha, D., and Hardeman, M., 2018. El Poder de Compartir. Available from:
  3. de la Mora, F., Priego, E., Durán, C., Rocha, D., and Hardeman, M., 2018. Le Pouvoir de Partager. Available from:
  4. de la Mora, F., Priego, E., Durán, C., Rocha, D., and Hardeman, M., 2018. The Power of Sharing. Available from:

Open Insights Interview

empowoa open insights logo

Thank you to Martin Eve and James Smith from the Open Library of Humanities for interviewing me for their Open Insights series today, part of their EmpowOA programme.

The URL for the interview is:

Make sure to follow the #EmpowOA hashtag for the whole series. Find out more about the Open Library of Humanities’ EmpowOA programme here.

New: Scholarly Publishing, Freedom of Information and Academic Self-Determination

On February 1, 2015, the global information and analytics corporation Elsevier and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) established the agreement UNAM-Elsevier contract DGAJ-DPI-39-081114- 241, which saw the transfer from UNAM to Elsevier for the “production and hosting, advertising and support” of 44 Mexican open access academic journals published by UNAM.

On Saturday 25 November 2017 we published a pre-print that documents said contract and describes a Freedom of Information Request enquiring the total cost of the contract and its corresponding response. It also shares a series of considerations that, based on this case, can be helpful to other institutions that may face similar circumstances in the future. We conclude scholarly publishing and academic self-determination are interdependent and a crucial point of future debate for the future of University presses and Open Access worldwide.

You can download the document from figshare at

Cite as:

Priego, Ernesto; McKiernan, Erin; Posada, Alejandro; Hartley, Ricardo; Rodríguez-ortega, Nuria; Fiormonte, Domenico; Gil, Alex; Logan, Corina; Alperin, Juan Pablo; Mounce, Ross; Eglen, Stephen; Trigueros, Ernesto Miranda; Lawson, Stuart; Gatto, Laurent; Ramos, Adela; Pérez, Natalia (2017): Scholarly Publishing, Freedom of Information and Academic Self-Determination: The UNAM-Elsevier Case. figshare.

I made a remote presentation on this article at OpenCon Santiago 2017, held at the Universidad Autónoma de Chile, on Saturday 25 2017. With many thanks to co-author Ricardo Hartley for making it possible.
Open Con Santiago 2017 logo

Parables of Care: A Comic About Dementia Care, Available for Free

Parables of Care unboxed

I am very pleased that Parables of Care. Creative Responses to Dementia Care, as Told by Carers is now available. It is a 16-page publication presenting true stories of creative responses to dementia care, as told by carers.

  • Parables of Care can be downloaded as a PDF file, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, from City Research Online:
  • If you live in the UK you can request printed copies at no cost here.

The stories were adapted from a group of over 100 case studies available at

Parables of Care is a project of the Centre for Human Comuter Interaction Design, City, University of London, The University of Chester, UK, and Douglas College, Vancouver, Canada.

Parables of Care was edited and adapted by Dr Simon Grennan (University of Chester) Dr Ernesto Priego (City, University of London) and Dr Peter Wilkins (Douglas College).  Parables of Care was drawn by Dr Simon Grennan with Christopher Sperandio.

Research has shown that comics have the potential to have a positive impact on the health and quality of life of people who engage in comics reading and creation, contributing to transform attitudes, awareness and behaviour around illness and contributing to create new opportunities for empowerment and more positive behaviour (Cardiff University 2014). Parables of Care explores the potential of comics to enhance the impact of dementia care research in particular.

Parables of Care seeks to make a contribution to enhancing the public impact of the best practices in dementia care resulting from City HCID research by exploring and embracing the communicative affordances of graphic storytelling in general and graphic medicine in specific.

We hope that Parables of Care contributes to enabling stronger links between academia, dementia care practice and comics scholars and practitioners.

The response so far has been amazing. Read this review by John Freeman at the British Comics site Down the Tubes, published shortly after we announced the comic publicly.

Stay tuned for news regarding distribution points, events and more information about the project!

Parables of Care received funding from the MCSE School Impact Fund, City, University of London 2016-2017.


New Article: Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?

New peer reviewed, open access article, published on 13 August 2017:

Who is Actually Harmed by Predatory Publishers?

Martin Paul Eve* and Ernesto Priego**

*Birkbeck, University of London, London, UK

**City, University of London, London, UK

Download the PDF from tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique. Open Access Journal for a Global Sustainable Information Society


tripleC is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal (ISSN: 1726-670X). All journal content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.

Also available at City Research Online:

and at Birkbeck Institutional Research Online:

Abstract: ‘Predatory publishing’ refers to conditions under which gold open access academic publishers claim to conduct peer review and charge for their publishing services but do not, in fact, actually perform such reviews. Most prominently exposed in recent years by Jeffrey Beall, the phenomenon garners much media attention. In this article, we acknowledge that such practices are deceptive but then examine, across a variety of stakeholder groups, what the harm is from such actions to each group of actors. We find that established publishers have a strong motivation to hype claims of predation as damaging to the scholarly and scientific endeavour while noting that, in fact, systems of peer review are themselves already acknowledged as deeply flawed.

Keywords: Open Access, Scholarly Communications, Predatory Publishing, Evaluative Cultures, Academia

Acknowledgement: The authors wish to thank Ross Mounce and David Prosser for helpful comments on the manuscript of this article. Parts of this article on the problems of peer review are derived from and share a narrative with a chapter by Eve that is currently under submission.


Chronicle of a Death Foretold: At Nieman Storyboard, My Translation of an Interview with Slain Journalist Javier Valdez

Javier Valdez. Photo via Río Doce
Javier Valdez. Photo via Río Doce

“Tell them not to kill me, Justino! Go on and tell them that. For God’s sake! Tell them. Tell them please for God’s sake.”

“I can’t. There’s a sergeant there who doesn’t want to hear anything about you.”

“Make him listen to you. Use your wits and tell him that scaring me has been enough. Tell him please for God’s sake.”

Juan Rulfo (1917-1986), Tell Them Not To Kill Me, 1951

I‘ve just published a translation of an interview with the slain Mexican journalist Javier Valdez at Nieman Storyboard (Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University).

The tragic situation that Mexican journalism iexemplifies a level of impunity that no degree of mass media coverage or social media engagement seems to be able to deter. However, as Valdez put it, “the truth must be told”, and remaining silent is being complicit.

I translated the interview into English because I think it offers insights into what motivated Valdez and that it’s important that English-speaking readers learn more about his life, work and commitment to journalism.

It won’t take you long to read it if you click on the link. If you do, thank you.


Descanza en paz, Javier, y muchas gracias.