Sato’s Beaked Whale

After nearly three years since I started researching whales for a longer-length comic I knew was going to be bigger than I could dream of. And after spending all this time researching so many avenues, species and areas of history I was starting to get completely and totally lost in academia and writing. With not much to show for it, though I have been keeping a sketchbook going.

And then in May, one of the many articles I absorbed kind of stuck with me as something I could do as a short comic. This article was about Sato’s beaked whales, posted by the fantastic Hakai magazine (they always have great articles, so check them out). And, it got me thinking. Isn’t it nuts that we’re still discovering new species of whales? How did they even do this?

That’s how this comic started.

What it led to, however, is a wonderful community of people who have given their time to help me make this comic the best it possibly could be – including Erich Hoyt.

Erich is not only a researcher, environmentalist and author, but he’s also the research fellow and lead of the Healthy Seas Programme of WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation. He also co-authored the scientific article announcing the first live sightings of Sato’s beaked whale.

I’d also like to thank filmmaker and author of How to Speak Whale, Tom Mustill, for being so pumped about this comic too. You can see the video he made about receiving his physical copy here:

I’d like to share with you something really beautiful that I was lucky enough to come across recently, which is this beautiful comic by Rozi Hathaway who’s a comic artist and illustrator. This is the story of Sato’s beaked whale, which is a really little understood species of whale, and it’s a beautifully realised story here – and a great piece of science communication.

Tom Mustill

Printed copies, titled Karasu: or, Sato’s beaked whale, are now out of stock, but you can read the comic in full via Hakai Magazine.

Read more about my ongoing whale project here.

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