Philadelphia is home to a rather unique graphic novelist, Aaron Birk. Surrounded by the urban cityscape of Philly, he was suddenly struck by inspiration in 2003 to write and design a graphic novel about the merging of hope and cynicism, about how urban cityscapes can become pocket gardens and areas of artistic wonder. It offers a carefully optimistic look in to what the future of city living could be, and he created it all almost completely by hand.
The original and pioneer look at urban living was done with lithograph and pencil, with almost no assistance from computers. The lone exception to this rule are the page numbers. The city featured in “Pollinator’s Corridor” is a fictional New York City, set in the future, though Birk drew most of his inspiration instead from Philidelphia. The merging of the concepts of these two cities proves the universal quality of Birk’s message.
The eight years it took to create such a project shows the meticulous care Birk took with the opening novel of what promises to be a fascinating look at urban rejuvenation. It blends hard science with an almost mystical sense of wonder. The project already has an incredible amount of support. It’s funding comes almost exclusively from the incredibly popular website Kickstarter, where an artist of any kind can go to get small donations from thousands of enthusiasts of independent projects.
The author of Pollinator’s Corridor educates children once a week on the importance of natural life to our everyday existence, and why urban renewal is so important.