‘Squidtoons’ makes a splash at City College

Heder Casas

Living surrounded by the beach and aquatic parks and not knowing anything about it? There’s no better way to learn more about the ocean, how it works and everything that lives on it that by someone who lives, breathes and loves the ocean like anyone else.

Growing up influenced by comics through his childhood, Tsz Fung Kwan, better known as Garfield Kwan, started drawing and making his own comics at the early age of seven. His fascination for comics began when he started reading “Garfield” in the comic section of the newspaper.

“I loved watching ‘Garfield’ because even though everything was in English and I didn’t understand anything about what they were talking about, I had an idea by just watching the drawings,” Kwan said.

The admiration for the cat Garfield was so big that when he and his family moved from Hong Kong to the Los Angeles, he decided to change his name for Garfield. “I felt like Garfield was my only friend though those years.”

Kwan then moved to San Diego and graduated from University of California, San Diego with a bachelor’s degree from the marine biology program at the Scripps institution of oceanography.

At 24 years old, he is in his first year as a Ph.D. student in the Martin Tresguerres lab doing research on the marine animals and their normal behavior, and the real life consequences vs. scientific method of the ocean and fish.

“I might not save a life, but i can save a fish,” Kwan said.

But it wasn’t until now that his passion for the ocean and comics became a dream come true when he mixed them and created “Squidtoons,” where he also got the name from one of his first studies on squids.

According to Kwan, “Squidtoons” is “a website that is not just about science, it is about everything around you. It illustrates in a better friendly and appealing way all the marine animals names, species and their composition through comics.”

Even though there are many ways to illustrate something, and if you were wondering why “Squidtoons” was through comics, it’s because, “Comics can be found in almost every culture, it’s not limited by spoken language, the message it’s understood from youths and beyond and it’s pretty hard to misinterpret.”

“It is just a way to support scientist with illustrations, provide teaching aids to educators, and educate the public, kids and everyone interested about science,” Kwan said.

Kwan and his team just have a website so far, but they are looking forward to expand “Squidtoons” into an app, a book, art work, clothes and everything they can.

For more information visit www.squidtoons.com