Paradoxa publishes articles on genre literature: science fiction, horror, mysteries, children's literature, romance, comic studies, the fantastic, best sellers, the occult, westerns, oral literature, and more.

Glyn Morgan


Plastics are a ubiquitous and highly useful material which has become inextricably linked to modern lifestyles. With decomposition times longer than the lifespans of some human cultures, plastics are also a key part of our environmental legacy and a visceral and visual marker of the petrochemical industry’s impact on the world. This paper investigates the manner in which plastics are visualised in often overlooked comic book and graphic novel forms by examining Nick Hayes’s, Rime of the Modern Mariner (2011), Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo’s Great Pacific (2013) and Richard McGuire’s Here (2014) with comparisons to William Gibson’s non-graphic novel The Peripheral (2014). Through examinations of plastic waste, each text draws out our anthropogenic impact on the planet as the legacy of imperial and capitalist projects. By using the genre of SF these authors and artists are able to examine the relationship of plastics to death, extinction, and yet also to permanence and immutability: projecting narratives thousands of years into the future to examine the legacy of the human race.