Canadian Publisher Ad Astra Comix Launches Original Graphic Novel “The Beast” Exploring Alberta’s Oil Sands & Corporate Advertising
Ad Astra Comix is pleased to announce the release of ‘The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet’, its fifth publication and first original title. Produced in partnership with Dr. Patrick McCurdy at the University of Ottawa, ‘The Beast’ explores the way advertising shapes our perceptions of the Alberta oil sands, the climate and the Canadian economy.
From environmentalists to oil sands workers, this book has something for everyone to chew on. Driven by economic uncertainty to work in Alberta, protagonists Callum and Mary struggle with doing good while making a living. While Mary flourishes doing oil sands advertising, Callum is dying of the exposure he’s paid in. Their crossed paths to success push them into conflict with each other and ultimately with themselves. Along the way, the book explores the advertising cliches that define oil sands discourse in Canada, from ‘Fort MacMurray is Mordor’ to ‘Diluted bitumen is good for the planet, actually.”
‘The Beast’ is a 112 page black and white graphic novel with six full colour ads that satirize real images produced by environmental NGOs, energy companies and grassroots oil sands supporters – yes, they’re real! Written by Hugh Goldring and illustrated by Nicole Marie Burton, ‘The Beast’ was released in February, 2018 and will launch on Earth Day – April 22nd, 2018.
‘The Beast’ is available through Ad Astra Comix’s online store, on Amazon and through AK Press in the US. Review copies available upon request.
MEDIA CONTACT: Please send correspondence to adastracomix at gmail dot com, addressed to either
Title: The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet Publisher: Ad Astra Comix, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-9940507-8-6 Additional Specs: 118 pages, black and white (with full-colour satirical ads at the front and back of the book). Meta tags: environmentalism, media literacy, advertising, communications
This graphic novel is based on the research of Dr. Patrick McCurdy, Dept of Communications (Ottawa University)
From environmentalists to oil sands workers, this book has something for everyone to chew on. Full of difficult questions and imperfect answers, ‘The Beast’ offers the kind of uncomfortable chuckle that comes from the creeping tendrils of existential dread tickling our sense of uncertainty. Join Callum and Mary as they drift through bars, strip clubs and vegan wing joints not so much struggling to answer life’s difficult questions as doing their best to avoid having to ask those questions in the first place. Peppered throughout the narrative is a dismantling of the glib cliches that make up our current, intractable discussion of energy policy.
Author: Hugh Goldring Illustrator: Nicole Marie Burton Production Assistance: Patrick McCurdy Recommended reading level: 16 and up (depictions of drinking, smoking, and sexual harassment in the workplace)