Thought Bubble 2021: ‘Rewriting Extinction: Comics To Save the World’

by Olly MacNamee

Being the first panel of the day, let alone the weeknd can be a tough gig. Like the warm up band for the main act, but Paul Goodenough rose to the occasion with his enthusiasm for the subject matter, Rewriting Extinction: Comics to Save the World and The Most Important Comic Book On Earth. A 300. Page graphic novel that has seen him travelling this past week to COP 26 where he met some rather interesting people. None more so than Leonardo DiCaprio!

Rewriting Extinction was compared to Comic Relief, but for the environmental and through the medium of the graphic novel. A nifty analogy with all profits going to support such causes as buying land for indigenous people to save them from being removed, rehoused and

Every book will but 3 metres of rain/cloud forest and every tree cut down to print the book, Goodenough and his team will plant four more. If they can get to 1 million pounds they can save 1000 species.

Ram V’s involvement came just as he was starting to write The Swamp Thing. So it was. No-brainer to get him involved. Ram relates a story form his teen years. A trip to America and a rural retreat. Fast forward to today and he was left pondering how long it would be until such simple experiences are no longer able to be shared. His story, “Future in a Plastic Cup,’ is based somewhat on that experience.

Artist Guillermo Ortego, collaborated with writer Peter Milligan. Focusing on the way corporates try to greenwash their own reputations with seemingly worthy initiatives. It’s all done with the satirical bite Milligan often includes into his work with an imaginary fake internal report looking at which areas of environmental concern is the most marketable. Cynical satire at its best and one that has landed well with environmentalists. 

Goodenough went on to speak about the inclusion of celebrities. Their contribution helps get the message out to the biggest possible audience. So, Taika Waititi’s contribution helps bring in a readership who otherwise may not pick up this book. Or know about project and its longterm goals. Maybe something that helped it get to No.1 on the Amazon bestseller list. The comic strips they have posted on social media have already notched up 110 million views. With all these strips and art posted being able to be used With 80 – 90% having never engaged with climate concerns before. Now that’s getting the message out there! A very well thought out and executed publishing plan that can only help in both the short term and long-term. With lots of various projects locally too, such as revegetating urban areas. 

What also came across was Goodenough’s passion for this cause. Something I know from personal experience of speaking with him in the past that he has acted up for many years. He not only talks the talk, but walks the walk too. 

As for the next stage, keeping the momentum up, Goodenough is still swamped with submissions. But, plans to partner up with Children in Need is a good start.

The book is both entertaining and informative giving good advise on what we can all do to change our ways and support the cause. And, certainly having picked up a copy, do look out for a forthcoming review. Just be patient, after all it is 300 pages long.

If this is the first time you’ve heard about the book and the causes its helping become a reality, then go buy a copy from your local bookstore or online now. And you can follow Rewriting Extinction on Twitter and Instagram.

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