The artist is producing a serialized graphic novel adaptation of The Worst Journey in the World, Apsley Cherry-Garrard's memoir of the Terra Nova Expedition, in partnership with the Scott Polar Research Institute. This series will introduce the story to a new generation, in an accessible and factually fastidious retelling which foregrounds the expedition's scientific endeavors, the prologue to the scientific work being done by the NSF in Antarctica today. Having already thoroughly researched the historical record, the artist is going to Antarctica to visit the important locations of the expedition, most notably Cape Evans, Hut Point, and Cape Crozier, with visits to or flights over the Beardmore Glacier and the environs of One Ton Depot if weather and operations allow. The aim is to get as full a sense as possible of the environments in which the history played out -- both topographically and experientially -- in order to depict Antarctica as truthfully and evocatively as possible to a wide audience. This research trip will be fully documented and shared (after returning) on the artist's social media. The finished books will be full-color comics with substantial annotations, including information on how the work done in 1910-13 relates to the modern scientific program.

The artist will be based at McMurdo Station, and from there make day trips to Cape Evans, Cape Crozier, the Ross Ice Shelf, and potentially fly over the Beardmore Glacier on a return flight to the Pole. The historic huts at Cape Evans (ASPA 155), Hut Point (ASPA 158) and Cape Crozier (ASPA 124) and visits to Arrival Heights (ASPA 122) will be thoroughly documented in photographs and sketches, as will the areas around McMurdo Station and Scott Base. Flyovers will be documented in photos and video. Travel to Cape Evans and the Ross Ice Shelf will be via snowmobile, and to Cape Crozier via helicopter; flights to the Beardmore/Pole and near 79S (where One Ton Depot was located) will be by helo or fixed-wing aircraft, as opportunity arises. There will be four books in the series, which will average around 250 pages, being approximately 2/3 narrative comic and 1/3 factual endnotes. The endnotes will cite sources and provide supplementary information. The research and development of the project is already being shared online, and it is expected that the finished work will get online distribution before transferring to print. The first volume will be released in late 2020, with succeeding volumes in following years. This is an Antarctic Artists and Writers project supported by NSF's Office of Polar Programs.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Office of Polar Programs (OPP)
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Elizabeth Rom
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Airriess, Sarah Johanna
United Kingdom
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