Prince William warns of climate change emergency
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Their Rewriting Extinction comic books stories are attracting millions of viewers online. One story about an albatross feeding its chick plastic got 50 million views. And in October the full collection, The Most Important Comic Book on Earth, will go on sale to raise money for conservation projects around the world. Among the contributors are Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart, TV naturalist Chris Packham, model Cara Delevingne and Hollywood superstar Leonardo di Caprio.
TV naturalist Steve Backshall’s contribution shows how many of us unwittingly eat sharks when we go to the fish and chip shop by ordering choices such as huss or rock salmon.
Steve told the Daily Express: “This generation sees the world in a graphic novel format. Punchy prose, stark imagery, superheroes and arch-villains.
“It’s a language I didn’t speak before getting involved in this project, and I can’t believe what I’ve been missing – as a tool for communicating conservation crises it is pretty much without equal.”
The project is the brainchild of graphic designer Paul Goodenough who has also written scripts for many comedians and the BBC’s Have I Got News For You.
He has poured his life’s savings into the project after feeling he had to do something to help save the planet.
Paul, 43, from Wiltshire, said: “The stories are intended to inspire and educate people about the environment.
“We are writing them as really simple comic book stories so we can penetrate into the general consciousness of the public.
“There are 200 species going extinct every day. If there’s anything in the world that is truly innocent of the problems facing us, it is animals and insects.
“This campaign is intended to buy us as much time as we can to save as many species as we can until world leaders and businesses change their ways.”
One of the most successful Rewriting Extinction cartoons was by German web comic artist Jenny Jinya who portrayed a mother albatross and her chick dying from eating plastic and cigarette ends floating in the ocean.
This story went viral and rapidly got 50 million hits.
This month cartoons being released online include ones by Andy Serkis – Gollum in Lord of the Rings – Chris Packham and Steve Backshall.
In an earlier release Lord of the Rings and Lost star Dominic Monaghan warned: “Insecticides and pesticides are destroying the tiny creatures that give us life.”
On the same page Chris Packham said: “In Britain alone, we have lost the bear and lynx and wild cat, and hedgehogs are teetering on the brink.”
Sir Ian continued: “But stop, take a moment and allow yourself to imagine…”
Sir Patrick added: “A world where your home is as wondrous and alive as the Serengeti.”
Mr Monaghan said: “Comics/graphic novels have always been able to deliver such clear messages with their words and images.
“Being able to entertain while also spreading an important environmental knowledge has always been so close to my heart, and comics and this comic in particular nails it!”
Projects that will be supported by funds raised from the sale of the 352-page Comic Book include a Wildlife Trusts scheme to accelerate the return of beavers to the UK, Born Free efforts to protect gorillas, lions and tigers and the World Land Trust’s work to protect Guatemala’s Laguna Grande Reserve which is home to jaguars, tapirs and manatees.
* To pre-order the Comic Book (£20) please go to rewritingextinction.com.
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