Captain Polo is devastated. His precious boat is in pieces, lying at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, and he is locked in the hold of a fishing vessel, destined to be sold to a zoo in China... How will he get out of this?!
In this sequel to Part 1, Captain Polo continues his epic journey around the world. He faces countless dangers and obstacles on a path that will take him across China, up the mighty Himalaya mountains into the forbidden monasteries of Tibet, through the swampy delta of Bangladesh, and into India. On his voyage Polo meets many colourful, informative, heroic, kind, mischievous and also dangerous characters, ranging from an enlightened Chinese farmer to a jealous Fakir, a disgruntled Bengal Tiger to the Dalai Lama himself. On his way Polo also meets and learns from a character drawn from legend...
Every step of the way Polo hones his understanding of the causes and effects of climate change, the true meaning of global warming and how it is affecting all living creatures and human societies. Polo also witnesses the heroic efforts of individuals, human groups and governments who are learning to adapt to a changing world, reduce their carbon footprints by innovating in the use of cutting edge technology and becoming leaders in the adoption of clean energy.
Based in biodiversity-rich Ecuador, Alan wears several hats: he is an author-illustrator, an educator and a conservation biologist. Alan’s work is inspired by the majesty and fragility of nature and the need to do everything we can to protect it.
Alan combines his artistic creativity with his technical experience and knowledge to create scientifically accurate, educational children’s books full of quirky, comic humour and fun action, and usually bearing a message about how everyone can help preserve Nature.
Alan draws the artwork in his comic or picture books by hand and then edits it all digitally.
He is the author of five educational comic books for middle grade children, among which his main ongoing focus is the Captain Polo series about climate change.
Alan is also the author of 3 climate change-themed picture books for children within the 6-8 age range.
Check it all out on Alan’s website, AJH Education Comics and Cartoons: https://alanhesse.com
The excerpt I want to share this week is about Polo's capture by a Chinese tuna long liner. This is a kind of fishing vessel, very common especially in the western Pacific Ocean, which is where this scene takes place.
The state of the world's oceans is deplorable, and its not only the plastic trash. Another major problem is overfishing, which also directly affects endangered species. China, among other nations, takes a lot of blame for unregulated fishing, much of it in foreign waters. I hope this page clearly brings attention to this serious issue.
To add story-telling zest and humour I was inspired by a typical sequence seen in Hergé's Tintin, with the exploding radio. (Author's revelation: the sign the blown-up radio operator is reading originally said 'Made in China'. My editors convinced me to censor that out...). I really enjoyed drawing that radio blowing up!