Cartoonist of Sherman’s Lagoon, Jim Toomey, Wins Best Animation in the Blue Ocean Film Festival

by Carolyn Sotka

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The Blue Ocean Film Festival held their annual awards show last week in St. Petersburg, Florida. Among the honorees was veteran cartoonist Jim Toomey and author of Sherman’s Lagoon.

Using just 2 minutes and his stellar animation, Toomey addresses critical threats to the ocean and what you can do to help. The winning short is focused on nutrient run-off and its negative impacts, but other shorts hit major issues such as climate change and adaptation to sea level rise; the ‘true value’ of the ocean; ocean trash; and shark conservation.

For the past 20 years, Jim Toomey has been writing and drawing the daily comic strip, Sherman’s Lagoon, which is syndicated to over 250 newspapers in North America, including The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and Toronto Star.

Sherman’s Lagoon is an imaginary lagoon somewhere in the tropics, inhabited by a cast of sea creatures whose lives are curiously parallel our own. Through his comic strip, he explores many of the issues that we face daily in our world on dry land.  The strip combines Toomey’s two lifelong passions: drawing and the sea.

In this six-video series, Toomey partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to raise awareness of the importance of oceans and the coastal environment. Here is Toomey’s winning video.

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For a complete list of winner and links to nominated films’ trailers visit the Blue Ocean Film Festival.

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Check out Toomey’s Strip and the world of Sherman’s Lagoon  and his TED talk on Learning from Sherman. – CS

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