Our Spaceship Earth–Needs More Fuel!
Gulliver Publications (1977)
There are no credits given because this isn’t your typical comic. If you see it in a comic store and are curious what it is I’ll make it easier for you. There are no characters, there’s no story, and it’s all caption boxes and images. This is a PSA comic produced by Gulliver for use by various local energy companies. (Here in Connecticut that was Northeast Utilities at the time. Your state may have something different.) They produced a number of these things, some of which actually had characters and I may well bump into more eventually. So what is it?
The comic is basically about energy conservation. Unlike something more recent where you might be hit with scare tactics by some environmental group this is a bit less scary and more informative. It’s also rather boring. I’m sure it would bore a kid because it bored me just trying to read it. There are some interesting things about this. Nuclear energy was new and not treated as a threat to the planet. There’s talk about coming up with methods to clean up fossil fuel emissions, which exist today but you never hear about them, even for the more polluting fossil fuels like coal. There are ways to burn that cleaner and they do try to come up with yet better, but that didn’t stop Obama from going after the coal industry. I promise that’s it for political commentary.
There is also talk of the alternate energy sources available or examined around this time period, like solar panels, geothermal (you don’t hear about that much anymore), electric cars, and something called “magneto-hydrodynaics”. If I heard of this before it was because I picked this up at some event in my elementary school but I wouldn’t know what it meant. Actually, I still don’t. The comic concludes with ways to save energy in your home.
The art is rather good for the time and what it is. It’s too bad the artist or art team aren’t credited because it looks okay as the “story” travels from caveman days to modern times discussing the history of energy, finding alternate sources as fossil fuels run low (and there’s no date for when it will run out, like eco-nuts, the extreme arm of otherwise well-meaning environmentalists, so no surprise we still have access to them today), and ways to save energy. But the only reason to really get this is if you just like curiosities like this. There’s no story, no adventure, and a whole lot of reading. I don’t know how hard they are to find, regardless of who gave them out in your area, but it’s not a must-have.