Penguins Chill Out at North Pole
Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
The penguin characters in Alex Hallatt’s syndicated comic strip Arctic Circle aren’t surfers, but they share the same environmental interests and fears of global warming. After all, the ice cap is their home.
Hallatt’s strip, which King Features first syndicated in August 2007, is about three penguins who have migrated from the Antarctic to the small town of Snowpeak within the Arctic Circle. In their adopted home, the penguins’ neighbors include a polar bear, a snow bunny, a lemming and an Arctic tern.
Together, from their Northernmost vantage point, they make the best of all the modern day issues of the 21st Century from climate change, new technologies, relationships and ocean pollution to genetically modified organisms gone wild.
As for how she happened to put her penguins in the Arctic Circle, Hallatt explains in the book she co-authored, The Art of Cartooning, that when she first started the comic strip “I didn’t really enjoy drawing. I thought the Arctic would give me lots of lovely, white, blank space with no complicated backgrounds.”
Since then Hallatt says her attitude toward drawing has changed and “I’ve engineered my Arctic universe to include a lot more than snow, sea and ice.”
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel love Arctic Circle’s mix of humor and ecology, which reflects Hallatt’s background. The British-born cartoonist has a degree in biochemistry and she worked in the pharmaceutical industry before deciding she was destined to be a cartoonist.
An artist and adventurer, Hallatt currently resides in New Zealand and has also lived in England and Australia. So you never know what she will draw on for her daily comic strip.
Whatever it is, you can count on the penguins and their friends to put their own, slightly quirky spin on it.
Whether you read Arctic Circle online or in your morning newspaper, it’s definitely the way to jump start your day. Thought-provoking and laugh-evoking, it’s the perfect way to chill.
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