Topolino and environmental education. The ecological commitment of the comic between fiction and non-fiction
Comics are a literary form that demonstrate a great artistic and pedagogical potential. Through its immediacy and through the cooperation of texts and images, comics often present complex issues in a direct, simple way. The present paper aims to highlight the educational potential of this literary form as it addresses ecological topics such as eco-literacy and sensibilization to natural forms. Among those comics that build on the research field of ecocriticism, this study specifically analyses Italian comic Topolino, a long-lasting publication that has been addressing different generations of Italian readers. After underlining the historical commitment of the comic in dealing with ecological issues right from its early publications, the paper outlines three levels where ecological subjects are developed: narrative works of fiction (stories, comic strips and cartoons, that will be explored in their most recurrent and meaningful themes); non-fictional works (columns, in-depth analysis and gadgets); works between fiction and non-fiction (Junior Woodchucks Guidebook). The study wants to show Topolino’s wide and concrete commitment to a ‘mission’ of ecological awareness.
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