header image, a tuna points to the right and the words comics by emily appear near the top-left corner

Trash Comics

In February of 2018, a young sperm whale died with more than 60 pounds of garbage in its digestive tract. That whale was not the only to suffer from human-made trash: most, if not all, marine animals have eaten plastic. This fact goes for fish of all kinds, even those dwelling at the bottom of the oceans. We dump between 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic into the world’s oceans annually.

Trash Comics is my artistic response to this massive problem.

As part of my Master’s capstone work, I created 25 comics touching on food-related plastic and its dangerous persistence in the oceans. The first five give background on the problem and highlight pieces of information found during my research.

The other twenty strips take focus on a single piece of plastic. I collected plastic at home from kitchen-related packaging for a week, finding items from yogurt tubs to cookie packaging and much more. These twenty strips take on different attitudes to each plastic, investigating my relationship to the food and the packaging’s place in the environment once I toss it.

Each comic is 12” by 6”, done in pen, watercolor, watercolor pencils, and watercolor markers.

The Trash Comics were completed in the spring of 2018.

title image for trash comics. Two bags of chips and a watercolor jellyfish frame the words trash comics
Read the comics:
trash comics 1-5 trash comics 6-10 trash comics 11-15 trash comics 16-20 trash comics 21-25