Unlike commercial broadcasters, the affiliates of PBS have a more community-oriented purpose in mind, using the power of television to educate and enlighten their viewers. Recognizing the power of images to educate, some have even chosen to supplement their content with another visual medium: comics.
The makers of the science program Nature have created a special comic book to enhance and expand upon some of the concepts introduced in a few of their episodes, namely “Silence of the Bees,” “Valley of the Wolves,” and “The Beauty of Ugly.” Some of the segments in the book are more factoid-based, while others, like the wolves story and the second bees story, convey narratives with an underlying message.
The comic isn’t some generic product of an anonymous list of contributors, either. Mark Evanier, R. Kikuo Johnson, and Rick Veitch all perform writing and/or art duties, with even Todd Klein stepping in for lettering on two of the stories. This project wasn’t an afterthought; it’s serious business.
Though available on the website as a freely downloadable PDF, the quality is poor; if an educator wants to use this book to supplement their own lessons, they should order copies direct from WNET—the books are free of charge.