Cover of the graphic novel Won’t Get Fooled Again: A Graphic Guide to Fake News

Even a seemingly straight-forward news story can be misleading or spreading misinformation. Therefore in this age of free access to news and information it is important to identify bias and fake news, as well as consume a variety of media sources. And what better way to improve your critical analysis of information than reading about it in a graphic novel from a trusted professor of sociology in an engaging visual artist.

Dr. Erin Steuter, a professor of sociology at Mount Allison University, has spent her career researching how misinformation spreads and decided it was time to help everyone fight back. In a recently published graphic novel, Won’t Get Fooled Again: A Graphic Guide to Fake News, she helps readers understand what fake news is, where it comes from, and how to check its accuracy.

“It’s possible to find misleading information in all news outlets. The best way to protect ourselves is to learn how to check the facts and the motivations of the people presenting them.”

Dr. Erin Steuter

She has teamed up with Moncton illustrator and painter Alex Spinney. He is also the author and illustrator of the comic book series Brittle Hill. From the sample we received below, his art style has a sketchbook charm and possibly even courtroom sketches which emphasizes the seriousness and reality of the subject matter.

“The topic was timely, and the size of the project was impressive. I drew using a comic book art style, and did it ‘old school’, that is, pencil and marker on paper. It allowed me to keep the drawings expressive but easy to read and understand.”

Alex Spinney

Steuter said she chose a graphic novel format instead of a traditional book because it’s more engaging for audiences. “Using a comic book format allowed us to show how we all experience fake news,” Steuter, said. “Readers identify with the diverse characters, and immediately recognize these situations in their own lives.”

The book is published by Toronto based publisher Between The Lines. This organization has been publishing political and historical content since 1977 and tackles important social issues with different perspectives. You can order the book directly from the publisher or look for it at your local bookstore.

  • Paperback / softback, 192 pages
  • ISBN 9781771134637
  • Published May 2020

About Erin Steuter (Author):

Erin Steuter is professor of sociology with a focus on critical media studies and ideological representations in news and popular culture. She has won multiple awards for her teaching and research and is the author of three books about the media and the war on terror including Pop Culture Goes to War: Enlisting and Resisting Militarism in the War on Terror. She regularly offers workshops for schools and community groups that engage the public in contemporary media literacy issues.

About Alan Spinney (Illustrator):

Alan Spinney is a graphic designer and illustrator with a background in advertising. He is the author and illustrator of the comic book series Brittle Hill. He lives and works in Moncton, NB.

About Between The Lines:

Between the Lines books present new ideas and challenge readers to rethink the world around them. Its authors offer analysis of historical events and contemporary issues not often found in the mainstream. It specializes in informative, non-fiction books on politics and public policy, social issues, Canadian and world history, international development, gender and sexuality, critical race issues, culture, adult and popular education, labour and work, environment, technology, and media.