Never before has the adage “not all superheroes wear capes” been more apt than it is today.
Doctors, nurses, frontline workers and teachers are just some of the heroes who have been going out of their way to ensure our health and safety throughout this unprecedented global pandemic.
Then there are the parents who are juggling working from home, schooling their kids and trying to stay sane as restrictions change the way we live our lives.
In an effort to highlight the super human efforts many have been making these past few months, streaming service BINGE employed the services of Aussie artist and illustrator Chris Wahl to pay tribute to them in a form that has celebrated heros for decades — the cartoon strip.
Wahl, whose comic work has been published by the likes of DC, The Phantom and MAD magazine, to name just a few, says this project was close to his heart.
“The last six months has made us rethink and appreciate even more those we see as essential workers,” Wahl says. “These comic strips emphasise the ‘human’ in superhuman.”
The scenario in the first strip, will be familiar to many parents who have endured the chaos of working from home whilst also playing the roles of teacher’s assistant, chef, psychologist, partner and — sometimes as in this case — rescuer.
And his second strip pays tribute to the medical staff doing it so tough now.
Wahl, of the NSW Central Coast, says it wasn’t a stretch to turn the mum in his comic into a superhero.
“It wasn’t hard to make ‘Mother Zoom’ — the work at home mum from the comic strip — seem heroic, her actions spoke for themself,” he says.
“I just had to draw it in a way using a lot of the comic book tropes to make it a bit more dynamic.”
BINGE has recently added a range of popular DC titles to its streaming platform and that sparked the idea of questioning what a real superhero looks like today.
“BINGE is serious about streaming the world’s best superhero shows from the DC Comic Universe, but we’re also serious about the real life heroes that are stepping up to help us get through what’s been a difficult 2020,” executive director Alison Hurbert-Burns says.
“So we decided to partner with Chris to create a unique comic series that celebrates the real life heroes.
“We depict the doctors and nurses keeping us safe as the real Superheroes of today. And in the first series we recognise the mums and dads trying to do it all; juggling kids and home-schooling with work and the endless ZOOM calls!”