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DISRUPT project launches open call for illustrators of graphic novel

By March 25, 2024March 28th, 2024News, Top Story

Mon 25 Mar 2024 13:37
DISRUPT GRAPHIC NOVEL | Open call for illustrators 

The DISRUPT project is seeking to employ a graphic novelist who will produce a graphic novel that portrays the problems associated with human trafficking and best practices in its prevention and countering. Targeting judiciary and law enforcement, the graphic novel aims to explain the advantages of using digital evidence in judicial responses to cases of human trafficking with child victims. Through the innovative format of Pick-A-Path story, the reader interactively discovers the benefits and potential drawbacks of employing digital evidence in judicial responses.



The graphic novel depicts a provided story of a child victim of human trafficking for sexual exploitation purposes, and the journey through the different stages of the criminal justice system. Through flashback moments, the reader experiences key moments of this journey and will be able to influence the course of the story by picking a certain path. In using this format, the reader discovers the benefits and potential drawbacks of employing digital evidence in judicial responses.

Considering the objectives of the graphic novel, it can be best characterised not only as “Educational” but also needs to emphasise the “Social Justice” aspects. It combines elements of storytelling with a clear educational purpose, aiming to raise awareness about the problems associated with human trafficking and advocate for best practices in prevention and countering. This type of graphic novel is not purely for entertainment, but serves a broader purpose of informing and engaging readers on important social issues.



The story starts in the trial of the child victim and features flashbacks to the past where the ‘jump moments’ will take place. In these flashbacks, the reader chooses a path of which he/she will see the impact in the future (i.e. during the trial).

Jump moments will have three outcomes:

  • Path 1: outcome when working with specialised / trained stakeholders on digital evidence
  • Path 2: outcome when working with stakeholders who are not trained on digital evidence
  • Path 3: outcome without ending

a. Key characters

  • Child victim (gender-neutral image/name) 
  • Perpetrator (symbolic character: amorphous to blur gender, race, etc.)
  • Police / specialised investigation team
  • Judge 
  • Victim support worker

b. JUMP moment 1: Identification of victim

Showcase a situation of a child victim of human trafficking for sexual purposes. The sexual exploitation is promoted on online platforms.

c. JUMP moment 2: Admissibility of the digital evidence for trial 

Showcase the diverse types of evidence that can be brought forward by law enforcement, ranging from digital evidence to testimonies and money flows.

d. JUMP moment 3: Use of digital evidence during trial

Showcase how digital evidence can be use during trials in order to minimalise secondary victimisation.



Human trafficking; judicial response; benefits and challenges in employing digital evidence.



a. Realistic Illustrations

Realistic illustrations are preferred, since they can help portray the seriousness and authenticity of the subject matter. Detailed and accurate depictions of characters, settings, and situations can enhance the communicative aspect of the themes being propagated in the novel.

b. Clean and Clear Artwork

A clean and clear artistic style is essential for conveying information without overwhelming the reader. Simple, well-defined lines and uncluttered panels can make it easier for readers to follow the narrative and absorb the educational content. 

c. Cinematic Style

Employing techniques that emulate cinematic styles, with dynamic panel layouts and angles can make the storytelling more engaging. This style is effective to move the story forward and create a sense of urgency or importance, which can enhance the impact of the social justice message.

d. Colour Palette

Choose a colour palette that complements the tone of the narrative. For a serious topic like human trafficking, muted or subdued colours might be more appropriate. However, using colour strategically to highlight key elements or moments can add emphasis. Colour (or lack of it) needs to be used judiciously to convey the themes, paths etc.

e. Symbolism and Metaphors

Symbolism and metaphors can also be incorporated into the artwork; since these can add depth to the storytelling. Visual metaphors can help convey complex concepts or emotions in a more accessible way.

f. Consistent Visual Language

Maintain a consistent visual language throughout the graphic novel. Consistency in character design, art style, and layout contributes to a cohesive reading experience and helps convey the communicative and educational content effectively.



  • Stakeholders working with victims in the criminal justice system, in particular law enforcement and judiciary.
  • General public, of all ages, to inform and raise awareness about human trafficking 



The graphic novel should include approximately 40 pages, including text and illustrations, and should be delivered in both digital and printed format:

  • Total of 40 pages in A4 format, of which approximately 20 illustrated pages and 10-15 pages of accompanying text (to provide more context and depth to the story; this text will be provided by the DISRUPT project consortium).
  • Digital format: including QR codes might be a good option to guide the readers digitally through their chosen path.
  • Printed format: please provide suggestions for a system to guide the readers through the printed version of the DISRUPT Pick-A-Path story.



  • Illustrator selection process: April – May 2024
  • Detailed script ready: 31 May 2024
  • Illustrating period: 15 May 2024 – 1 October 2024



The available budget for this task is maximum €9,000.



Please submit your application by sending an email to by Sunday 21 April 2024. We particularly encourage illustrators from disadvantaged groups to participate in this call.

  • A digital portfolio of comics and/or graphic novel-related work should be submitted with your application.
  • A finished rough of a single page based on parts of the plotline indicated in this call should also be submitted.
  • It is important the portfolio contains mainly examples of sequential narrative.
  • A provisional timeline, indicating milestones in the drafting process of the 20 illustrated A4 pages


The DISRUPT graphic novel offers a compelling and immersive experience, using the Pick-A-Path format to engage readers in the complexities of combating human trafficking. Through the interactive narrative, stakeholders in the judiciary and law enforcement will gain insights into the critical role of digital evidence, fostering a deeper understanding of best practices in prevention and countering of human trafficking.

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