BOOK REVIEW: The New Plant Parent (comic book and graphic novel)

The New Plant Parent (comic book and graphic novel) is a new age blend of so-called “superhero” adventure involving key life processes of plant growth and development and related matters. The book is loosely written with simple codes embedded. For example, trees are identified by their likes or dislikes and all elements of the botanical kingdom (such as trees, plants, butchered plants, etc.) are mentioned when appropriate.

The illustrations are mind-boggling and are made by combining various genres of character sketches from various eras and cultures. Also, the language is not overly simplistic.

Author Eva Pearce attempts to inculcate a balanced mix of naturalistic illustrations (quality matte style) with illustration using a more digital/high fidelity style by digital artist Christian Siedlak. The important thematic action of the series and its characters are captured well in both styles.

Full disclosure: Eva Pearce is my student/project advisor. I am a producer for the Greenko-TV project and owe her a full disclosure. However, there are limitations and exceptions to the claim that I co-authored the book. Eva worked as a freelance writer, artist, and editor, others at her own level. The publisher is one of the largest independent publishers in the world. It is not a novice to back up her claims, and she makes it clear that she has published a new age/2nd wave show, the Women of Power, which is very similar.

The Greensky-TV website has several articles on the Greenko-TV program. They include profiles of Eva, the creator of the GAP comic strip, and an article on Greenko-TV co-founder, Lidia Yuknavitch, a nationally recognized advocate for plant-based plants and wellness. Also, a profile of the new owners of GAPP, a successful fashion line featuring sustainable, organic products, which will be a Greenko-TV alumna.

Based on my numerous interviews with Christian Siedlak, I believe I have reason to trust that he is a good person who was given the opportunity to pursue this. Also, I have knowledge of the other Greenko-TV professors and believe that Eva is a well-intentioned person. However, the book makes some reference to a derivative of the GAPP magazine and website, the “GAPP Source” (a nonexistent culture), involving discredited and unproven alien and extraterrestrial entities and has been condemned by reputable scientists.

My concerns are that Greenko-TV does not hesitate to ally itself with extremist “pharma-wars” and some of its social media activity closely echoes the pro-GARP, anti-vaccine ideologies of the Autism-Intelligent Design (ID) movement. Also, it has certain associations with Tree of Life Ministries (TOLM), a controversial organization with false and demonstrably unproven beliefs. TOLM was recently named, in 2010, by the CTC as an organization that promotes so-called “Dark Enlightenment” with objectives and values contrary to the interests of children and consumers.

So, I take issue with some of the claims and conclusions in the book. I feel the claims and conclusions, in many ways, are so inaccurate and so factually incorrect as to exclude much of the reader’s ability to make informed decisions about whether the book is reliable or not.

All the same, I would be remiss not to mention that Eva Pearce is an excellent writer and an amazing mentor who has produced some fantastic creative work since her beginning in the San Francisco Bay Area.

None of the issues are major groundbreakers, but what may be unique in the book and that it is written in the type of language most people understand is that the characters and themes have been drawn to have diverse “identities”, if you will. Or, in other words, they’re not one-size-fits-all. That’s a novel concept in comics and graphic novels. Also, in the book the main character, Christina, explores plant reproduction and technology (human interference). That’s an idea that won’t be unfamiliar to those who have read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. Also, we aren’t talking about just early naturalists like Hyrum Cox, or Newton and Charles Darwin, we’re talking about scientists of the last half of the 20th century.

The New Plant Parent (premium bound), is $27.95, but is only offered for $16.99.

View the e-book version here.

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