Research programme commissions leading artists for climate comic

Conversations between polar bears and penguins, haunted museum exhibitions, and arguments with sceptics all feature in a major new public information campaign. 

Working in collaboration with The Lakes International Comic Art Festival, CONSTRAIN – an €8 million, four-year research programme led by the University of Leeds – has drafted three leading satirical and comic artists for a new project, which is intended to share climate science information with a wider audience.

Darry Cunningham, award winning author of Psychiatric Tales, Science Tales, and New Yok Times bestseller Supercrash: How to Hijack the Global Economy, has contributed the first story. Degrees of Change aims to present details of how differences in future global average temperatures that seem relatively minor – 1.5C compared with 2C, for example – present wildly different outcomes for life on the planet. 

Nottingham-based illustrator and educator, Sayra Begum, author of the graphic novel Mongrel, has developed the second comic. The Extinction Room sets its scene in a museum after dark, with in-depth information conveyed through compelling storytelling and imagery. A final piece, Move by War and Peas comes from Elizabeth Pitch, and looks and takes a shorter and sharper approach to delivering the overall message. The comics will be used in campaigns, including during the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference, COP28.

‘We want to make sure our research can reach as many people as possible and this means finding new and creative ways to tell climate change stories. The artists’ response to our challenge has been incredible and we are delighted to be able to share the results for all to see and read,’ said Dr Debbie Rosen, Science & Policy Manager at CONSTRAIN. ‘This project has demonstrated clearly that comics are a powerful way to communicate the biggest challenges our planet and humanity face.’

You can access the complete collection of CONSTRAIN Climate Comics here. 

More on communications: 

How to celebrate organisational sustainability and avoid ‘greenhushing’

Here’s looking at you, Qatar: Water management in a desert state

Maui ‘climate-debunking’ disinformation should alarm local authorities


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