Overview

I'm Not a Plastic Bag

Review

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I'm Not a Plastic Bag

Credits

  • Words: Rachel Hope Allison
  • Art: Rachel Hope Allison
  • Publisher: Archaia Comics
  • Price: $19.95
  • Release Date: May 8, 2012

An outstandingly assured and confident entry for a first time graphic novelist.

A plastic bag. An old tyre. A lost umbrella. A forgotten rubber duck. Just some of the casually discarded items of rubbish whose journey we follow in Rachel Hope Allison’s ecologically themed debut graphic novel I’m Not a Plastic Bag. Taking an imaginative and unexpectedly playful approach to highlighting humankind’s abuse of the environment, Allison begins with scenes of our cavalier indifference to abandoning our daily detritus. These rejected items of trash are caught up by meteorological forces and become part of the horrific conservationist’s nightmare known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; a massive accumulation of litter polluting the North Pacific Ocean.

Anthropomorphising this floating heap of rubbish, Allison achieves the dual purpose of making it a lost character in its own right and emphasising the human responsibility behind its unfortunate creation. There are obvious comparisons to Frankenstein’s monster that can be made here as the drifting islet of waste struggles to find its place in the world, curiously making contact with the inhabitants of the sea around it but doomed to leave only death and destruction in its wake. Told without words, Allison’s story is both touching and informative, raising awareness with clarity and purpose. An outstandingly assured and confident entry for a first time graphic novelist.

Published by Archaia in partnership with transmedia company JeffCorwinConnect Inc. I’m Not a Plastic Bag is an excellent all-ages tool for educating and communicating issues regarding environmental concerns and our impact on the ecosystem. The comic strip is backed up by accompanying material aimed at younger readers about the questions the book raises, and practical steps that can be taken to reduce our drastic effect on the oceans of the world.

Poignant and thought-provoking, I’m Not a Plastic Bag is an intelligent and topical modern fable that forcefully underlines the ability of the comics form to enlighten as well as entertain.

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