1. BRIEF: MDES Design Research Proposal: “The Heroes of Messines”The project will involve designing a graphic novel / comic describing and illustrating the key events surrounding the Irish participation in the World War One battle of Messines on the 7th June 1917. This project has two sponsoring organisations.1.The Verbal arts Centre (VAC): The organisation has a mandate and the technical capacity to support graphic novel design and production. The VAC has been promoting sequential art and supporting comic culture in Ireland for the last three and a half years. The Centre has developed a capital facility for the production of high quality comics and graphic novels.2. International School for Peace Studies (ISPS): The publication will be used in the “Conflict Resolution Messines Experience” for the schools links programmes in Ireland to increase awareness of the story. Background: The publication will help the learner by providing a visually stimulating insight into the story of the battle where the Nationalist 16th Irish Division lead by the Irish Nationalist MP Major William Redmond and the Unionist 36th Ulster Division fought together successfully. The key event of the battle is where the Unionist Private soldier John Meeke risks his life on the battlefield to save the life of the Nationalist Major William Redmond. The mutual respect of both ideologies is forever galvanised in this heroic act. The ISPS “Conflict Resolution Messines Experience” is spearheaded by Glen Barr ex UDA leader, politician and peace activist. The project involves taking young people from different socio-political backgrounds to Messines in Belgium where they find out about the shared experiences of all the Irish soldiers and the Redmond, Meeke story and translate this to their own experiences back home bridging divides and building mutual respect. The key reasons in designing the comic are to provide and easy and engaging learning tool for the students in the ISPS programme and also for the adult education programme. The key outcomes are having a focal point publication and promote cross community working and the potential to engage in a project that has real potential to make a difference in the education of our young peoples shared community history. Additional outcomes may include digital formats suitable for publication.The key challenges and problems to be solved are:Writing and developing the text to meet the editorial objectives condensed into the comic book genreThe stylistic considerations and choices to engage the target audienceThe design and production methodologies and techniques required in developing a graphic novel / comicThe pre-production requirements for digital print and post print finishing for a 16 to 24 page graphic novel / comicThe cost, distribution and marketing of the final product.