May 8, 2016

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Graphic Nonfiction: Olivia Birdton Weasels into the Nonfiction Nature Field

I'm always on the lookout for new creators to add to my rotating stable of potential features for this column, and when Steve Lieber and Lucy Bellwood were bantering and used a comic from Olivia Birdton, I immediately seized on the chance to show off Birdton's work to you.

With a new Tumblr called "Science Adventure Times," Birdton is providing a mix of her own comics along with a few other posts about science and the natural world. 




As this is a new project for her, Birdton notes that she's still working on how the formatting will look, and for those of us getting to her new feature early, part of the fun will be in watching how it grows and changes over time.

What I really like here is that she doesn't go overboard, sticking to four panels, giving the reader enough to start with, but not requiring a long-term reading commitment or burying her art in text. Her thin, flowing lines work well for animals as well, and there's no "talking" by the subject creature, though we do get a few cute hearts, which is adorable. I'm not quite able to tell how she is coloring the work, but it's definitely complementary, adding depth but not feeling unnatural.

This is a cool project that I hope she continues. You can see the full comic here. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled, and expect to feature Ms. Birdton again soon.