I am extremely excited to announce the launch of a new venture that I am involved in:
The Take-Home Message is a new web comic that tries to graphically represent interesting and fun ideas from the world of biology, with a special focus on genomics and bioinformatics. It was partly inspired by the growing trend towards journals that require graphical abstracts, though we hope to be entertaining as well as informative.
The driving force behind THM (as it will surely become known) is the very talented Abby Yu. Until very recently, Abby was working hard as a Graduate Student in our lab at UC Davis. Abby's amazing artistic talents were always on evidence whenever she presented in our lab meetings. But she isn't just a great artist and illustrator, she uses those talents to be a great science communicator too.
After obtaining her PhD and getting a job in the real world TM, Abby approached me with the idea of starting a web comic together. We should all be grateful that she didn't suggest that I do any of the drawings! I play more of an editorial role and will help come up with the ideas and write the explanatory text that accompanies each comic. You can see more of Abby's amazing artistic creations on her Tumblr: Oh THAT sketch blog.
The first issue of THM is now online and concerns the Tuxedo Suite of bioinformatics software. We are provisionally aiming to have a new comic online every two weeks. As well as reading the comic online, you can also subscribe to the RSS feed, have the comics emailed to you, or follow us on Twitter (@takehomemessage).
To celebrate the launch of issue #1, Abby has prepared a little celebratory version of our banner image: