AJH Blog

Bears in rubbish

Behind the scenes with Captain Polo: the black and white experiment

By Alan J. Hesse | July 9, 2020

Normally when I create a comic book I first finish all the artwork right up to the final, fully colored frames. I then switch over to Adobe Indesign to lay out each frame in comic-style boxes, page after page, adding in the speech bubbles, narratives and texts, and thus create the book. Quite a process.…

Pole to Pole

A new name for Polo, and a new adventure

By Alan J. Hesse | June 22, 2020

My character Polo the Bear, climate change messenger and globetrotter extraordinaire has some important news! He is now officially Captain Polo: concerned polar bear, world citizen, adventurer, explorer and climate change educator. Captain Polo recently went through an Inuit initiation ceremony by special invitation from his Inuit friends. Polo completed the initiation following ancient Inuit…

cairo souk

Behind the scenes with Captain Polo: using surprise to reach the reader

By Alan J. Hesse | May 21, 2020

My mission is to bring environmentally oriented educational facts and inspiration to kids of all ages all the way up to 99 years old. For this to work, I need to be very careful to shake things up all the time. I create comic books, but even a comic book can be boring. At the…

plane ticket

Behind the scenes with Captain Polo: using humour to address complex issues

By Alan J. Hesse | May 1, 2020

As the story unfolds in my educational comic book, The Adventures of Polo the Bear, Polo’s character evolves. Starting out as just another hungry bear, he gradually takes on the role of a celebrity and an activist for climate action. Using humour, often through nameless supporting characters, I get to address technical or complex subjects…

Roof garden

Behind the scenes with Captain Polo: Earth Day 2020 and Climate Action

By Alan J. Hesse | April 22, 2020

Earth Day 2020 is being widely and rightly celebrated around the world as I type. This is good, this is great! But its not nearly enough. One could argue that ‘Earth Day‘ is redundant, for the simple reason that every day should be Earth Day. In the same way that every day should be Mother’s Day or Children’s Day.  If what we…

Clare Shakya

A conversation with Clare Shakya

By Alan J. Hesse | April 20, 2020

I was lucky to have a chat with Clare Shakya for an interview as part of my research for my next comic book, the sequel to The Adventures of Polo the Bear: a Story of Climate Change.  Clare is the director of the Climate Change research group at the International Institute of Environment and Development…

homeschooling resources for parents

Fables of the Amazon book excerpt: Why poo-loving dung beetles are important

By Alan J. Hesse | April 16, 2020

Dung beetles just love the stuff, they do. And its actually quite important, even for you and me! The mysterious reason why is explored in my very first comic book, co authored with Louise Emmons: Fables of the Amazon: Fun Lessons in Ecology. This funny comic book is one of several homeschooling resources for parents…


Behind the scenes with Captain Polo: the vast ocean

By Alan J. Hesse | April 9, 2020

Humanity is in unprecedented global lockdown and kids are bored at home. What a great time to awaken their curiosity about the natural world! This excerpt from The Adventures of Polo the Bear, a fun educational resource for kids, is all about the ocean and its wild inhabitants. Because of global lockdown, the world suddenly…

doom and gloom

Behind the scenes with Captain Polo: Doom and gloom is not cool

By Alan J. Hesse | April 3, 2020

Whether its for COVID19 or the underlying climate crisis, naysaying, denial and despair are not the way to go. Coronavirus will pass, climate change will not. Some of the effects of global warming we will have to learn to live with. By rallying to the cause, by embracing the challenge and switching small things we…

Coronavirus blog

Behind the scenes with Captain Polo: Coronavirus is temporary, climate change is not

By Alan J. Hesse | March 27, 2020

It is vital that society at large does not forget the real emergency humanity is facing. COVID19 is but one more symptom of an already collapsing world. The solutions to arrest global warming and mass extinction DO EXIST, and I for one am very optimistic. But for them to work, everyone needs to get engaged,…

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