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Children’s comic competition celebrates ‘misunderstood’ spiders

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Spiders have a bad reputation that is undeserved and often results in them being squished. A comic book competition sought to address that

If ever a creature was in need of a PR overhaul, it’s the spider. Stepping up to the task is author Jane McGee, who organised a comic strip competition to encourage children to create stories that portray arachnids in a positive light.

“Spiders have a pretty bad reputation because they look so different from humans and just about any other animal we know,” said McGee. “They are a vital part of the ecosystem but unfortunately they often get killed for no reason except irrational fear.”

McGee’s children’s book Cobweb Capers was designed to challenge the phobias that children inherit from adults, and now she hopes the competition will do the same. 

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Launched on her Facebook page, it received a boost when TV naturalist Chris Packham shared it. “Let’s help to raise the profile of a very misunderstood and misrepresented creature,” he wrote. Entries came flying in.

The competition had two categories. The winner of the category for three to five-year-olds was Luna. In her comic strip, a spider shares a home with a lady who keeps trying to squash her – until the arachnid foils a burglary by spinning a web around the robbers.

The winner of the category for six to eight-year-olds was Amie, whose spider superhero saves a forest from destruction. 

Owing to the success of the competition, McGee is now planning another competition.

Main image: Dev Leigh

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