A Graphic Novel Review: The Big Belch — Thought-Provoking, Scary, And Lots Of Fun

Will a major oil company’s greed and foolishness spawn an environmental disaster so serious it could threaten the earth itself? And can this horror be foiled by a most unusual team: two baby boomers, a parrot, and a French bulldog, who take on the company to save the world? That’s the plot of a new graphic novel, The Big Belch.

The Big Belch is a very amusing and innovative project of artist Kay Wood that’s just been posted on the Kickstarter funding platform. Its title refers to a huge methane-based explosion with potential global consequences — a kind of big belch — the product of a corporate experiment gone very badly awry.

What’s innovative about this project? The global environmental threat in this novel is a serious subject indeed, but Wood has managed to meld this threat perfectly with her own brand of quirky humor.

Most other graphic novels with environmental themes are usually sited in distant worlds or galaxies, and set in times long past or in the far future. Wood places her own environmental graphic novel in today’s Gulf of Mexico — a present time when big spills not only happen regularly there. A major one was reported on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg this very day.

The team of environmental problem solvers she has created is a real hoot. No heavily muscled young heroes here, but a pair of feisty baby boomers and their two pets. This is a human-animal team whose charm and spunk make you think that maybe our present world might be worth saving after all.

As for the villains who threaten to bring about a global destroying big belch — what makes these greedy and bumbling characters so scary is how recognizable they are: Corporate executives who put their company’s bottom line above safety issues; young entrepreneurs so anxious to make a fast buck they sell a highly dangerous and untested biological; harried scientists and sell out bureaucrats. It’s a gaggle of not-so-bad-individuals who collectively create a very, very bad situation.

Check out The Big Belch on Kickstarter. Maybe kick in a few bucks, too, to help author-artist Kay Wood get this most worthwhile project fully funded.

The Big Belch Kickstarter Project

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/704467087/the-big-belch-graphic-novel

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