I’d never expected my go-to book for environmental concerns to be a comic book, but here we are. It’s fitting, in a way — comics largely got their foot in the cultural door through the adventures of heroes in fancy outfits, and climate change is as tremendous a problem as any Spider-Man had to contend with. (The outfits we have to work with aren’t quite as flamboyant, tragically. But I digress.)
The book focuses on the author’s musings on the structure of civilization and its reprecussions, while other passages amount to essentially an illustrated documentary, as drawing of real-life experts debate and discuss the issues. What I appreciate about Squarzoni is how he writes about global warming with understated tact and elegance, at once aloof yet confessional. The writing is accompanied by evocative black-and-white drawings with straightforward panel arrangement, conveying a seemingly-effortless assurance from an artist in control of his craft. The result is a work whose awareness does not come at the cost of its readability.
Most remarkable about the work is that, by presenting his own issues and fears alongsde the facts and figures, Squarzoni manages the difficult task of keeping said issues personal and real, rather than transforming them into faraway concerns. Squarzoni’s concerns are all relatable, frequently echoing our own fears and worries about the costs of civilization. As a result, the comic feels wholly sincere and balanced in its appraisal of what’s needed both in micro and macro level reform.
Climate Changed is a comic narrow in focus, but grand in design and execution. By guiding the reader through the creator’s own experiences in learning about climate change, the work culminates in messages at once direct and powerful. Comprehensive and relatable, I would recommend this book to anyone.