Newswise — Cindy Ticknor, Columbus State University professor of mathematics education, and Nathan Long, CSU art major, just made math more fun for local 5th graders with the creation of a math themed comic book.

The comic, The Mysterious I. D. Vide in Newton’s Nemesis, focuses on fractions - a topic that Ticknor says is one of the most challenging for future teachers in her classes. The idea for the comic first developed nearly two years ago when Ticknor, whose husband is an avid comic book collector, ran across a math graphic novel in Oxford. “It was just incredible, and I was looking for a medium that children would like,” said Ticknor. “I just want to make it fun to learn fractions. Math should be fun!” 

A professor and Dean of CSU’s Honors College, Ticknor began using her spare time to draft the story for the comic.  She incorporated 5th Grade Common Core Standards for Mathematics and focused primarily on getting students to understand that “a fraction is just a little division problem.” She also included a bit of math history and geometry, and she developed worksheets, games, and puzzles to reinforce the concepts in Newton’s Nemesis.

 With the content complete, Ticknor hired CSU art major Nathan Long to bring her story to life through illustration. “He has been so fantastic to collaborate with,” said Ticknor.

Ticknor and Long are now finished with the first of the comic’s three-part series, and the comic will be used in classes at Clubview Elementary, Forrest Road Elementary and Johnson Elementary later this year. Ticknor is also distributing a limited number of free copies to parents and teachers, in hopes of gaining valuable feedback for future editions.

For more information on Dr. Ticknor and her comic series visit