Dark Horse Releases Free Digital Earthquake Comic

Without Warning

In conjunction with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Dark Horse Comics has put out a free short digital comic to teach earthquake preparedness to teenagers. Without Warning! is written by Althea Rizzo and Jeremy Barlow and illustrated by David Hahn. The idea is that the comic format will be more interesting to kids than other types of educational material.

Now, it’s still a public interest comic. You won’t find great character insights or a compelling plot here. Instead, it shows us how Angie, a teen in a coastal town in the Pacific Northwest, uses her prepared backpack kit of emergency supplies to calm her friends, rescue a stranded motorist, and reunite with her family after an earthquake and flood.

Without Warning!

The art is very journalistic, plain and straightforward, with no showoffy disaster panels, just one full-page post-event portrait of water in the streets and debris everywhere. Instead, the emphasis is on everyday people. You may wonder what happened to Heather, who ignored her better-prepared friend and drove away without knowing how bad/flooded the streets were. Careful attention reveals part of the answer.

It’s a great idea, given the amount of industry talent living near Portland, to do an outreach comic. Particularly since the PR tells us that “experts predict a large 9.0 or higher earthquake could strike Oregon at any time.” That’s a pretty scary possibility. The comic also has some websites to check out and additional educational information on preparedness.


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