“I’m examining the stability of the coast before they begin repopulating native species” — Jory, Capture Creatures, n. pag.
|Creator(s)||Frank Gibson (author); Becky Dreistadt (pencils); Kelly Bastow (inks); Tracy Liang, Joseph Bergin III, Lin Visel, Becky Dreistadt, Katy Farina (colors); Britt Wilson (letters)|
|Environmental Themes and Issues||Animal Captivity, Animals in Danger, Conservation, Earthquakes, Extinction, Habitat Destruction, Hostile Environment, Hunting|
|Protagonist’s Identity||Tamzen: Teenage girl with dark skin|
|Protagonist’s Level of Environmental Agency||Level 5: High Environmental Agency and Activism|
|Target Audience||Middle Grade|
The comic Capture Creatures centers on protagonist Tamzen, an adventurous teenage girl who lives with her father, Professor Buttercup, on the Pacific Coast. Decades ago, war ravaged the environment and wiped out all of the animals. Now, Buttercup works with the Forest Rehabilitation Service to replant trees in the dangerous earthquake-stricken Reclamation Zone hopes of eventually restoring the local wildlife populations. Though the Zone is supposed to be off-limits, Tamzen defies the Forest Rangers and sneaks inside the fence with Jory, her father’s teenage intern. While exploring the Zone, the teens encounter a red panda-like creature with a flaming twig on its head, which they name Bon Bon. They realize that Bon Bon wants to return to a nearby island, and they convince Teddy, an adult Ranger, to sail them to the island. However, a strange whale devours their boat, stranding them on the island. They discover that the island is populated by peculiar, and sometimes hostile, creatures that have strange power, similar to Pokémon. For instance, a large leopard-like cat with electric powers attack the humans as they camp on the island, and Teddy befriends an axipoddle, a bipedal creatures that resembles an axolotl.
As the humans try to find a way to escape the island, they discover that the Hunters–a group of strange, faceless people–are controlling some of the creatures on the island and capturing others. They find cages inside of a cage and later witness the faceless people loading cages full of creatures onto a boat. Jory confesses that he helped build the cages, stating that Buttercup and the Rangers “were planning to start breeding them. But it was just a plan! I didn’t say anything because I thought they came back naturally… then I saw the cage. I thought it was just a homework assignment! I didn’t know they’d use it! I didn’t know there was anything to put in them!” (Gibson n. pag.). Tamzen, Jory, and Teddy work together with the island creatures to fight a Hunter, though the other faceless people still manage to escape with the captured animals. The comic concludes with the humans setting off to explore the rest of the island in hopes of learning more about the creatures, the true nature of the scientists’ activities in the Reclamation Zone, and the Hunters’ motives. By centering on the Reclamation Zone and the creatures that return to inhabit it, the comic promotes environmental conservation. The main characters seek to study and befriend the animals, even the creatures with dangerous powers, and criticize the Hunters’ exploitation of the environment.
Stump, Laura. “Let Capture Creatures Capture Your Imagination.” Women Write About Comics, 20 March 2018, https://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2018/03/let-capture-creatures-capture-your-imagination/.