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Rosemary Mosco’s Hilarious Comics Blend Nature, Science and Fun
There’s something magical about learning and laughing at the same time – especially around nature and wildlife. Visiting Rosemary Mosco’s website or Facebook page encourages both with great success. She’s a refreshing blend of comic artist and educator, mixing the often disparate worlds of science and humor. While making comics that make us laugh, she simultaneously creates helpful resources that remind us of key concepts presented in the natural world. From her Poison Ivy Quiz to her If You Find a Baby Songbird Out of the Nest readers will find the refreshing combination of learning and fun.
Rosemary has always loved animals and was taught by her mom at a young age to love and respect all critters, even the ones described as “creepy” like bats and snakes. She was kind enough to answer some of our questions… so read on and make sure you check out her work.
(1) Where did you grow up? Did you draw much as a kid?
I grew up in a few spots in Canada. I’ve almost always lived in the northeast. I drew all the time as a kid, and I always carried a big heavy sketchbook with me.
(2) When did you first begin using drawing and humor to educate about the natural world?
I’ve been making comics forever, but I started publishing nature webcomics in 2004 with my first (and longest) cartoon, Bird and Moon. That one opened up a whole world of incredible indie comics and creators, and I started making video games, podcasts and other outreach projects too. I feel like art and humor have the ability to deepen our love for nature, and what we love, we protect.
(3) Do you have a favorite comic?
If you mean comics that I like, I adore Jay Hosler’s Clan Apis – it’s a biologist writing and drawing a cartoon about bees! I also love the funny, pastoral webcomic Buttercup Festival. For my own cartoons, I’m pretty proud of Parts of the Bird, which is a fake anatomy diagram. It’s totally ridiculous.
(4) How do you find inspiration for your work?
I work in science communication and conservation, and I hike all the time. I watch birds, snakes, dragonflies, butterflies… I read as much as I can.
(5) Where is your favorite nature spot to visit?
I don’t have a favorite spot, but can tell you my favorite kind of habitat! I never, ever get tired of bogs and fens. Before I visited my first bog, I associated that word with a dank, mosquito-infested place. But they’re surprisingly fresh-smelling, delicate and so colorful. They’re mysterious – you’re floating on an acidic mat of vegetation, and if you fall through the peat, you’ll never return! There are so many carnivorous plants. Bog boardwalks are so special.
(6) Which comic or project are you most proud of?
I’m proud of my climate change comics, because I worked hard to pick metaphors that helped explain this heartbreakingly complex issue. I’m also really proud whenever somebody tells me that a comic helped them – for example, a couple of weeks ago I made a chart about what to do if you find a baby bird, and people used it. I felt like I was able to make a small difference.
(7) Which species would you most like to study and learn more about?
Oh boy, this is easy. It’s not a species but a family – the beaked whales. We know so little about them. They live in the deep ocean, and many of them are huge and have tusks. So we’ve got these giant, mysterious, tusked whales that almost nobody has ever seen, and for the most part we have no idea what they’re doing!
The National Wildlife Federation truly appreciates talented cartoon artists (considering we were founded by one!). From our founder, Ding Darling to hilarious bear champions like Matthew Inman, we have a soft spot for cartoonists who make us laugh around wildlife and bring up important issues. Big thanks to Rosemary for sharing her wit and talent!