Susan M. Squier

Published On


Page Range

pp. 299–322


  • English

11. The Narrative and Aesthetic Strategies of Climate Change Comics

How do we get the news about climate change to readers resistant to it? As a hyperobject, climate change is too big to think about, too traumatic to envision. Both imagination and reason recoil from this wicked problem. In this chapter, I survey a range of recent graphic narratives about climate change, showing how they address the narrative and aesthetic challenges posed by climate change by drawing on strategies specific to the comics medium. These climate change comics feature a narrative structure which see-saws between large scale non-fiction reporting and small-scale fictional interludes and an aesthetic strategy which toggles between a focus on the individual life course and attention to expansively scaled complexities. Presenting an affectively charged picture of the present while incorporating the biological discourses of ecology, epigenetics, and extinction, these climate change comics challenge our climate denial and offer a template for deep adaptation.