Comic Creators Play Big Role In Tonight's 'Earth 2100’ Special

Earth 2100From classic literature to political campaigns, comics have always been used illustrate a lot more than superhero stories. Tonight, comics will serve a particularly unique role in an ABC News special about the impact of climate change and global warming -- and they've recruited some notable comic creators to help tell their tale.

The centerpiece of the special, titled "Earth 2100," will take the form of a first-person, fictional narrative by a 91-year-old woman born on June 2, 2009. While the special is peppered with scientist interviews, simulations and user-created videos about the potential effects of climate change, the bulk of the two-hour program will involve the narrator's account of life in the year 2100, told using animated "graphic novel elements."

Among the creators who contributed these comics-style elements are several members of Act-I-Vate, the prominent New York City-based webcomic collective, including Josh Neufeld ("A.D.: New orleans After The Deluge") and Joe Infurnari ("Jersey Gods," "The Process").

Over on his personal website, "Earth 2100" co-writer Neufeld has some fascinating behind-the-scenes info on how the project came about, as well as what viewers can expect from the special. (Oh, and there's a funny story about news anchor Bob Woodruff, too.) Best of all, he has some examples of the art used in the project, for which Infurnari served as lead artist.

Earth 2100

"For the motion comics element, we took scientific concepts spelled out in expert interviews and built a sci-fi scenario around them," wrote Neufeld. "I pitched a dark, apocalyptic future narrated by a 91-year-old woman named Lucy. Looking back on the previous century from the year 2100, Lucy tells of a California under siege from wildfires and apocalyptic cults, a drought-starved Mad Max-esque Midwest teeming with bandits and mercenaries, and a flooded New York City with streets like Venetian canals."

Along with Neufeld and Infurnari, fellow Act-I-Vate comics alum Tim Hamilton ("Adventures of the Floating Elephant"), Leland Purvis ("Vulcan & Vishnu") and George O'Connor ("Kapow!") also contributed to the artistic side of the special, with Neufeld's writing partner Sara Wilson rounding out the team.

Yahoo News has posted a brief preview of "Earth 2100" that offers a taste of what the special will involve, and how the Act-I-Vate crew's animation factors into it.

"Earth 2100" airs tonight, June 2, at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Any thoughts on "Earth 2100"? Sound off in the comment section!