Behind the EnhanceMicroAlgae Comic

Following on from a successful presentation at the EnhanceMicroAlgae Webinar, we have asked comic book author  Xulia Pisón a few questions to find out more about her:


How/why did you become an illustrator, and how long have you been one?


My career as an illustrator is a bit atypical, because it starts in nursing school. When I finished high school I didn’t dare to do anything related to arts because I was afraid I wouldn’t be good enough. I worked in the hospital field for about 6 years until one day in 2015 I decided to give myself the opportunity to do what really made me happy: draw for living. I quit my career and studied Design in Illustration, and before I finished my studies I was already working professionally.

Even so, I do not regret those nurse years because that scientific training has ended up being very useful to understand all the bibliography on microalgae necessary to carry out this project.


What’s been the most rewarding aspect of your work as an illustrator?


Like I always say, since I started drawing I’m poor but happy. The poor thing is not totally true, of course, but you do give up economic stability when you make a decision like mine. But even so, my profession as an illustrator has given me a sense of personal and professional fulfilment.

I was a beginner illustrator when I joined your EMA Project, and it was a career opportunity that most comic book artists don’t have. It would be great if the scientific and artistic communities started to collaborate more often on projects like this, because I think it’s a great source of mutual benefit.

And I’m a bit of a science geek myself so this was a great project to participate in!


We’d like to thank Xulia for her comments, and her participation in the webinar. If you would like to see Xulia presentation you can find it on our YouTube channel here, and if you’re interested in the comicbook, it can be found in private bookstores that sell through Amazon but the main distribution is done by UCD. You can find information on their website:

The Portuguese and French editions are in process and are being edited by FCUP and the University of La Rochelle. Stay tuned.