TED TALK - How Cartoonist Jim Toomey Infuses Sketches with Activism

jim toomey photo

Photo via TED

We've featured the work of cartoonist Jim Toomey before. He has a knack for educating readers on the issues surrounding marine litter and ocean pollution without the lecture-y tinge that too often turns people away. But how does he do it, and why? Toomey was on the Mission Blue Voyage with other Tedsters earlier in the year, and gave listeners insight into how he created Sherman the talking shark and other favorite sea creatures. Plus, he sketches a few up onstage, which is always fun to watch. Check out the video after the jump.
From TED: "Sherman's Lagoon is a combination of Toomey's two lifelong passions: drawing and the sea. He's been engaged in the former activity since he could hold a crayon, and his love affair with the sea dates back to his early childhood. The inspiration for the comic strip can be traced back to a family vacation in the Bahamas where he saw a real shark swimming in a remote lagoon."

Toomey explains how his trip to the Bahamas changed everything for him, and how the ocean already holds more diversity and fantastic life than his vivid childhood imagination could conjure up. It's the ocean as a source of fascination and wonder that keeps him passionate about educating people -- in a fun-loving way -- about what's going wrong, and what we need to do to make it right.

TED's Mission Blue Voyage brought together some of the best minds in marine biology to figure out how we can -- and if we can -- save our seas. Here are some of the other amazing talks that came from the trek to the Galapagos:

Brilliance of Octopus Inspires Filmmaker Mike deGruy To Save the Ocean (Video)
TED Talk: Penguins Are Our Ocean Sentinels (Video)
TED Talk: The Incredible Ways Marine Mammals Use Sound
TED Talk: Ocean Photographer Brian Skerry Reveals Amazing Images (Video)
Everything you Never Wanted to Know About Our Oceans - Hint: We're Screwed. (Video)
TED Talk: Follow the Mercury Trail From Sea Floor to Dinner Table
TED Talk - Edith Widder Discovers New Deep Sea Life By Mimicking Bioluminescence (Video)
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