Earlier this year Carlingwood library’s Teen Advisory Group had special guest, Nicole Burton come in to talk about her work in the publishing industry. Specifically, she talked about her work with Ad Astra Comix - a publishing company that specializes in comic books with social justice themes. This week I got the chance to read a brand new comic, published by Ad Astra, called “The Beast”. The new release talks about Alberta’s oil sands, climate change, and Canada’s economy.
Not into comics? Don’t care much for books on social justice? I think you might just love this comic anyway, and here’s why.
How often do you sit down and take the time to read about real issues that Canadians are currently facing. I know that I certainly don’t do it enough and I think most of you would say the same. No one likes to hear the sad, and sometimes even scary, details of the problems the world is facing today. Especially not when those problems are happening in the beautiful country you call home. The truth of the matter is, the only way to solve problems is to address them and that’s why “The Beast” is so important. As Patrick McCurdy says in the books forward, “...if we can’t talk about climate change - the biggest threat humanity has ever faced - in the context of a disaster which was hastened by climate change, when can we talk about it?”. I like this graphic novel because it addresses the topic tactfully yet directly. Nicole Burton has woven the story in a way that displays multiple moral perspectives surrounding the oil sands while still stressing the importance of environmental conservation. It’s informative, but not in-your-face, leaving you feeling educated rather than guilt stricken upon finishing the last page.
So even if you aren’t big into comic books or social justice reads, (I’m not gonna lie, I’m not), I suggest you give “The Beast” by Nicole Burton, Hugh Goldring with editorial and production assistance from Dr. Patrick McCurdy of Ottawa University a try… you may be pleasantly surprised.
To learn more about Ad Astra Comix and the other amazing titles they have to offer, head on over to https://adastracomix.com
Bella Crysler is a Teen Blogger and Teen Advisory Group member from the Carlingwood Branch of the Ottawa Public Library