«A Frozen-Ground Cartoon» is a scientific outreach project that aims at presenting and promoting international permafrost research via a series of comic strips and illustrated media products. The project is officially supported by the International Permafrost Association as a targeted ‘Action Group’ (http://ipa.arcticportal.org/activities/action-groups) and will run from February 2016 to January 2018. The scientific aspects will be coordinated by a core group of permafrost researchers from Canada and Europe (Germany, Sweden, and Portugal).
The final outcome of the project will be a series of comic strips, each ranging from 5 to 10 pages (letter/A4 format). These strips will show the diversity of permafrost research activities at the international level, with a special emphasis on fieldwork. The target audience is the general public, focusing more specifically on teenagers and young students who have to choose career paths at high school or college levels.
The Action Group is looking for comics artists (1-2) to build a narrative and to create characters and content within a framework of scientific context. The artist(s) will be working closely with the scientists, who will overview the scientific outreach content, but will be free to create the surrounding backstory and characters.
Comic strips will be released both electronically and on paper media through national and international research networks. Final products and selected portions of the strips will be disseminated as: a web site, on social media, and in the form of posters and graphic novel magazines for schools and libraries. All generated material will be released under a creative commons licence (CC) and made available to the public.
Illustration artists will be selected through a two-step process.
First, anyone interested to participate in the project must send a one-page letter of motivation (A4 or letter format), presenting his/her past experience and own vision for this particular project. Also, a few portfolio samples or link(s) to online material must be provided.
Secondly, 3 to 5 selected artists will be asked to produce a preliminary plate (‘pitch’) including a few characters and/or action place(s). Further indications will be provided to the selected artists. This step will be paid (200$CAD or ~125 euros). One or two artist(s) will finally be selected to participate in the project.
Deadline to submit a one-page motivation letter and portfolio samples January 31, 2016
Deadline to submit a one-page ‘pitch’ (selected artists only) February 28, 2016
Decision from the selecting committee April 4, 2016
Presentation of preliminary drafts June 12, 2016
Presentation of the final comic strips November 27, 2016
Each page will be paid 175 EUR, for a maximum of 1750 EUR per story (5 to 10 pages). A first amount (50%) will be paid upon submission of preliminary drafts (June 2016), and the other half will be paid at the beginning of the project’s second year (February 2017).
This project is open to any independent illustrator or cartoonist. To be eligible to the ‘pitch’ compensation, the artist must be a freelance worker earning less than 30,000$ (CAD) per year for this particular type of job.
Selection criteria include: overall quality of the application; originality; profile diversity and complementarity.
PAGE21 project fieldwork blogs
INTERACT Stories of Arctic Science book (45.0 MB)
Research in Physics Cartoon
What is permafrost? (IPA website)
Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost (UNEP)
Why Permafrost Is Thawing, Not Melting
All about frozen ground
Frozen Ground (UNEP)
What is permafrost? (Natural resources Canada)
Permafrost - The Circle (WWF)
More information here.