Plastic poisoning is wreaking havoc on our oceans, land, and the diverse creatures that call it home. According to the United Nations, marine and land trash threaten at least 800 species globally, with plastic accounting for up to 80% of the litter. Every minute, up to 13 million metric tonnes of plastic is projected to wind up in the ocean, the equivalent of a trash or garbage truck load.
And it is not only humans who suffer as a result of this, but also animals. Joan Chan, a 32-year-old Hong Kong comic artist, developed a comic series called “Just Comics” to raise awareness about the state of our world and its inhabitants.
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“Just Comics” is a project aimed at educating and raising awareness about the state of our world, as well as issues such as factory farming and animal abuse. Joan hopes that her educational comics may help to alleviate the suffering of animals bred for meat, clothing, or any other industrial product that requires animals to be raised all year.
“I do these comics because I’m a huge animal lover.”
I knew how intelligent animals are and the extent of their suffering in the agriculture and fishing industries since I worked in animal protection for nearly ten years.
Every day, they are on my mind and in my heart.”
First, we inquired as to whether the artist had any key influences in her life that may have aided in the development and refinement of her style.
“It’s a mash-up.” Since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed reading Hong Kong and Japanese comics like Dragon Ball, Doraemon, and Old Master Q, as well as some old western newspaper comics like Vater und Sohn.My parents own a newspaper store so I read all kinds of comics when I was young and went to the public libraries often.”
Because art, in any form, takes a long time to practise as well as produce, we asked Joan how long it takes her to complete one of her comics.
“I draw slowly, so it typically takes 1-2 days for me to finish.”
Being an artist is difficult; one can quickly experience a lack of inspiration, fatigue, and other issues, therefore we wanted to ask Joan about her comics ideas.
“I’ll consider what issues I want to work on, conduct research, and focus my message.” I’ll try to piece together a storey and see if any new connections emerge. I’ll go on to another issue if I can’t come up with a nice suggestion.
I usually have a lot of ideas, mostly poor ones. The difficult part for me is recognising that it’s not a good idea and continuing to think about it.
I aim to concentrate on the large-scale issues that “producing” animals face, as well as species that humans have a harder time empathising with, such as fish and crabs.