Eco-focused comic strip started as a response to BC’s old-growth logging public consultation process in 2020.
Can a comic save a forest? B.C.-based cartoonist Lorne Craig hopes so. So do we. In January 2020, Craig wrote, inked and uploaded a new Old Growth cartoon strip every day, and submitted them to the B.C. Government Old Growth Review Panel as part of the public record.
These strips have now been published in book form for the first time.
“The statistics really alarmed me,” Craig says. “90% of B.C.’s valley-bottom old growth is gone. They are cutting down thousand-year-old trees. I wanted to use whatever power my pen has to get people involved.”
Craig draws Old Growth in his studio at Lillooet Lake and Vancouver, creating a whole ecosystem of characters, including a passionate Douglas Fir tree, a capitalist squirrel, a raccoon whose mill job was shut down and a bear who just wants to hibernate. The book also features research into complex forestry issues and stakeholders, and includes links to online resources for further action.
“Everyone should continue to make their voices heard”, Craig adds. “I can draw a happy ending for my book, but we’re all authors of what happens in the real old-growth forests.” The cartoons have been viewed online over 10,000 times, while forest activism increases on the ground and in public.
The Old Growth characters will continue their adventures; Craig is working on two new comic series for upcoming publication.
Old Growth is available at Armchair Books in Whistler, at The Book Warehouse in Vancouver and online at unitoons.ca. Follow Lorne Craig on Instagram @OldGrowthCartoon