Awesome ‘Possum is a series of natural science comic anthology run by Angela Boyle (that’s me, FYI). In January, the third volume, bigger and better than ever, went up for sale. It clocks in with a whopping 45 creators and 398 pages, including an index and bibliographies.
Angela has run the anthology since 2014 after graduating from a natural science illustration certificate program at the University of Washington. She currently works as a production assistant at Chelsea Green Publishing, just down the street from the main CCS buildings.
All volumes of Awesome ‘Possum are available for sale on Angela’s store and through Ingram if you would like to ask a larger book store to carry them. Volumes 1 and 2 are available through Comixology; volume 3 should be available soon.
The anthology includes bunches of talented people, including many CCS alums.
- William Scavone is the life drawing teacher at CCS. His first comic ever, “Apis meliffera and Varroa destructor,” is in volume 3 and it is down-right fantastic.
- Moss Bastille, graduating this spring, reviewed this history of ergot in “Holy Fire.” His beautiful and stylish art style takes the reader through the story of how ergot has worked itself into human history.
- Hedj, also graduating this spring, wrote two comics! In “Don’t Call It a Comeback,” they introduced us to the coelacanth—an amazing evolutionary throwback that was presumed extinct—and the intelligent and hardworking woman who made the discovery. Hedj also shows us in “Living Large” that the largest being on Earth is right under our feet.
- Ross Wood Studlar, who illustrated the king fisher comic written by Stephen R. Bissette in the previous volume, introduced us to his toad and showed us the resurrection powers of various plants and animals.
- Catherine Garbarino, another student graduating this spring, awed us with the hunting prowess of the great white sharks in “Apex.”
- In “Terrors of the Deap Sea,” Shashwat Mishra scared us with the most interesting creatures found in the depths of the ocean.
- Tom O’Brien explored the unique powers of flight in bats, showcasing their evolutionary adaptations and explaining why the crazy things hang upside down. And can remain there even after they are dead.
- Kelly Swann, one of the driving forces behind the vet project, held our hands through the relationships and childhood of seahorses in “Underwater Tails.”
- Salakjit introduced us to an elephant matriach who took us on a tour of her family, showing us how they communicate and how much they love each other.
- Allison Bannister looked back through time in “Xiphactinus” to show us the Fish-in-a-Fish fossil from her hometown. We get to see how the fossil was created eons ago, then more recently discovered and transported.
- Bridget Comeau, gnomes extraordinare, brings it to the real world with a discussion of degus, a newly popular pet rodent.
- Angela Boyle breaks the myths of the idiotic dodo bird in “Extinction Superstar” and shows how evolution lead to a docile, happy island bird. With CCS lab manager Abe Olson, also her partner, they discussed monotremes, an old order of animals with only five species: four echidnas and the platypus.
- In “Moose Mortality,” Stephanie Zuppo, CCS’s resident moose expert, explained the problems that the moose population is facing in New England.
- Iris Yan looks into the strange (to humans) mating behaviors of spiders, including the giving of gifts, in “How I Met Your Father.”
Cover inks were done by Stephen R. Bissette, and Angela colored it and laid out the design.
Photos courtesy Abe Olson.