Spearheading a new green initiative in the graphic novel industry, Archaia Entertainment announced the upcoming release of Rachel Hope Allison’s I’M NOT A PLASTIC BAG, an original graphic novel published in association with JeffCorwinConnect Inc., a transmedia company co-founded by biologist and philanthropist Jeff Corwin, well-known as the Emmy Award-winning host and executive producer of ABC’s Ocean Mysteries.
The spellbinding story, told entirely without words, follows the journey of a few pieces of discarded trash—a supermarket plastic bag, an old umbrella—all the way out to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where they join together into a tragic and destructive island of trash that searches for its place amidst the fragile beauty of nature. The tale is an artistic imagining of a very real phenomenon known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an accumulation of human consumer waste that floats in an area between Hawaii and the California coastline.
“I found out about the Pacific Garbage Patch kind of randomly, just stumbling on an article about it,” said Allison, who, in her day job, works as a strategist for Big Duck, a firm that helps nonprofit organizations raise funds and awareness through smart communications. “Like a lot of people, just learning that something so big and dangerous existed out in the ocean was kind of a shock, and the image of all that debris, trapped in such a remote part of the ocean, really stuck with me. That said, even some of the most disturbing pictures of the Garbage Patch also had a kind of beauty to them, and it got me thinking that the island itself might be a sympathetic character, that this might even be a love story of sorts.”
To emphasize the real-life environmental issues of marine debris and ocean pollution that the Garbage Patch embodies, I’m Not a Plastic Bag also includes eight pages of educational material on topics such as threatened wildlife and things readers can do to decrease their footprint on the environment.
“If this story can inspire anyone else to put the power of their own imagination toward tackling the environmental challenges we face today, then I can’t imagine any higher honor,” said Allison.
Joining Allison in the quest to get people involved in the fight to save our ocean and waterways is Jeff Corwin, who, in addition to hosting Ocean Mysteries, is a regular science and environmental correspondent for MSNBC and NBC News and has had his wildlife and conservation work featured on The Today Show, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Oprah Winfrey Show, among many others.
“Despite the fact that U.S. citizens take up only 5% of the world population, we generate 40% of our planet’s trash!” wrote Corwin in the Foreword to the book. “The good news is that each one of us, no matter where you are from, or how old you are, has the power and the responsibility to keep our Earth clean. Rachel Allison’s incredible and almost ethereal story of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will not only engage and awaken your spirit, but will empower all of us to save our precious planet from falling prey to garbage and waste.” The partnership between Archaia and JeffCorwinConnect plans for I’m Not a Plastic Bag to be the first of many books to come. The two companies plan to collaborate on additional titles, across various environmental themes, to help raise education and awareness of the conservation challenges and wins of our planet while building a new generation of environment stewards amongst the youth.
“Just as Archaia Entertainment endeavors to bring people together through books, JeffCorwinConnect seeks to connect people to the planet, its species and the ecosystems they live in, creating education and awareness about key issues facing our environment. Our companies’ mutual interest in education and enriching the social consciousness makes our relationship with JeffCorwinConnect an extremely exciting one,” said Archaia CEO PJ Bickett. “In joining forces with JCC, we look to create a line of books that raises awareness about many incredibly important issues concerning our environment and wildlife. We couldn’t ask for a better first step in this new initiative than Rachel’s beautiful story in I’m Not a Plastic Bag.”
Anurag Agarwal, co-founder and CEO of JeffCorwinConnect Inc. added, “Partnering on a venture like this gives us the tremendous opportunity to connect and grow our community of global citizens. With the growing acceptance and use of graphic novels in the education and the retail markets, we believe that we can highlight critical environmental issues through this exciting format.”
The book will also debut Archaia’s new printing initiative in conjunction with Global PSD. Through the efforts of American Forests® and the Global ReLeaf® Program, for each tree that is cut down for the printing of I’m Not a Plastic Bag, two trees will be planted.