Feb 22nd 2011 By: Aaron Colter
It's no secret that comics as printed periodicals aren't especially green. Many are printed in China, where environmental standards are lower than the U.S. and Canada, few are printed on recycled paper, and even fewer use soy-based inks. Many people are looking toward digital distribution to cut down on environmental impact and excess storage.
But thanks to the wonder of science, we now have The Gardener
and April Showers,
two comics you can actually plant in the ground to grow herbs and flowers
, respectively, thanks to their seed-infused paper. Available online, and at specialty shops, these are comics that hippies, minimalists, and hipsters can enjoy reading, guilt free, while sipping an organic, fair-trade chai.
The seed-infused "comics" are essentially just novelty items. At around $10 a pop, the plantable books are more than twice as expensive as regular issues and only feature two plantable pages wrapped in a satirical superhero style cover. For now, a 24-page comic on such plantable paper would probably prove too expensive for the average pull-box customer. But as advancements in plantable comics continue, production costs could potentially go down, and the chance for affordable content that doesn't make Captain Planet cry might have more potential to reach an audience that ranges from Birkenstock to Stetson.
Until that day, American comic readers can look to Japan for the latest in green entertainment technology. Koshi Kawachi has already developed a beautiful solution to making serialized sequential art more ecofriendly, calling it Manga Farming