About the penguins

   Here they are: My emperors!

   Not only one of them, but many.  Not one main character, but the animal as is.  “POLE” illustrates the human in the penguin without humanizing the animal, the unnamable something that makes penguins such popular fellows.  All of them seem to be the same, none owns more than the other … nonetheless, their world has both upsides and downsides and they are trying to cope – at 60 degree F below zero despite Global Warming.

   My penguins – in contrast to many other animal characters in comic strips – carry no human attributes, such as clothing, sun glasses, or the gift of spoken word.  The comic strip “POLE” uses the natural environment of the emperor penguins, Antarctica; thus, there are no humans.  Antarctica allows almost no life except for the emperors, the heroes of my strip.  And the emperor penguins all look the same, as do their eggs. To differentiate one from the other, they “sing” – well, I definitely wanted to spare my readers from that.

   So I made them think, at least once in a while. Mostly, my strip lives from its drawings, which brings the human reader closer to the animal and makes them understand and sympathize, or even symbolize.  There you go … bored on your long-awaited vacation, dreaming of the day that never comes, breeding and feeding, or simply taking life as it is.

About the strip

   I created the strip “POLE” in 2005. It was first published in the same year by the New York Press.

   Since then, the penguins were published in newspapers, magazines, books, and the Internet in the USA and in Europe.

   They were part of seven exhibitions in the USA and in Germany. In 2009, they took part in the “Monsters of Webcomics” exhibition at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, CA.

  Based on the strip I created the Graphic Novel “The End is Here” for the mature reader. You can read the web version at ACT-I-VATE.com for free.  An edited version came out in print at the end of the year 2009. A second edition is now available here.

About the artist

   Thomas Baehr, born 1968 in Germany.

   He lives with his wife and a pet rabbit in the USA since 2004.  His comic and cartoon work is published in 4 countries in various books, magazines and newspapers.  Thomas is a member of the web comic collective ACT-I-VATE.

Thanks

   The comic strip “POLE” would have never been possible without my wife Ilona.  Because I never could have created it without her faith, support and love.

   My thanks go also to Todd H. Page for all his technical help with creating this website. It would have never happened without his computer wisdom. Check out his amazing photos at his own website.