2,000 hours of video calls and 22,000 emails — that’s how long it took writer and producer Paul Goodenough to bring Rewriting Extinction, a philanthropic collaborative project backed by some of the most famous comic stars and artists on Earth, into existence. The project includes 15 charities and more than 300 people from around the world, united in their pursuit of one goal: to work together to try to reverse the extinction of species through the power of storytelling.
The 12-month campaign focuses on publishing engaging cartoons that raise awareness of the life-threatening issues faced by animals around the world. Beloved celebrities such as Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart, Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais and Cara Delevingne came together to lend their creativity and support. Alongside them stand some of the biggest names in contemporary comics, including the legendary Jenny Jenya, Elizabeth Beach and Jonathan Koons of War and Peas, Cho Hon Lam of Buddy Gator, Nicholas Gorewich of The Berry Bible Fellowship, and others.
Bored Panda brings you an exclusive look at Jenny’s latest powerful comedy “Mama Bear,” co-created with Rewriting Extinction and World Animal Protection, about the horrors of the yellow bear trade. Be warned, though, that just like her other stories, this one is true. I had a friendly chat with both Jenny and project founder Paul, so be sure to read Bored Panda’s in-depth interviews with both.
Take a look at these awesome, powerful comics by Jenny and other artists, and tell us what you think about them and the issues they address, dear Pandas. If they make you think about the future of all of us sharing this blue jewel of the planet, consider making a donation here. 100% of any donation goes to projects sponsored by Rewriting Extinction.
Global Animal Protection explains that the bile industry is causing “extreme and unjustified suffering” to bears across Asia.
“Bear bile is extracted in incredibly cruel and inhumane ways, often by people who don’t have veterinary qualifications and don’t care much about animal protection. Some bears face this cruelty their whole lives. That can mean 20 years of torture — unless the bears succumb to infection or Tumors or self-inflicted wounds. Bile-making bears often groan out of great anxiety. Many have had broken teeth from biting the bars of their cages.”
Bear bile is used as a traditional medicine, however, there are a lot of alternatives to it – synthetic and herbal.
It’s about that emotional theme painted by comedian Jenny Hevczyk, aka Jenny Jenya, whose comic strips of Loving Reaper Bored Panda have appeared widely over the years, as a sentimental comedy. Jenny told me she had the impression that many people had never heard of raising yellow bears before.
“You can’t blame them, it’s rarely reported. Like all the other subjects I paint, this one was very difficult to take up on. But reading about the suffering and psychological damage of these poor bears is really something else, especially when you know there are alternatives. Cruelty-free for the time being. I hope our efforts raise awareness of this issue,” Jenny told Bored Panda in an exclusive interview about how emotional working on this piece was.
“This storyboard took longer than most before it, but that was because some changes needed to be made. However, I take my time, and treat my comics with the same respect I treat the subject matter itself.
Jenny revealed to Bored Panda that Rewriting Extinction contacted her last year and introduced her to the extremely ambitious project. “I was really amazed how many celebrities and artists are involved in the project, so many people with the goal to improve something for our environment and (endangered) animals. World Animal Protection is one of the organizations that partnered with Rewriting Extinction and proposed the bear bile subject,” she shared.
“I hope my comic does justice to the issue and I am honored to be a part of the project of Rewriting Extinction. We will also use the comic to raise funds for World Animal Protection, which is actively addressing this issue. I just hope we can educate as many people as possible, another small move for a better future, for a better world,” Jenny told me. She suggested that anyone hoping to help fight against the bear bile trade should consider supporting World Animal Protection or Animals Asia, avoid using products that contain bear bile, and do what they can to raise awareness about the topic.
There’s no doubt about Jenny’s drawing skills and talents. However, I was curious to find out how Jenny approaches drawing animals that she’s not as familiar with as others. She said that she’s drawn some animals like cats, dogs, and birds so many times throughout her life that the process is smooth and quick.
“For some animals I’ve never or rarely drawn, I have to look at different references. For example, I had to look more closely at how the snout of a shark is shaped, it’s not just pointed, it goes up at a bit of an angle in some species. Or that in suckerfish, the surface for sucking is on their head and they don’t just use their mouth, I didn’t know that before because I never dealt with the fish before. But such details are important and I want to take them into account,” the comic artist pointed out that she believes the details are vital.