FIBROHOOD: 'The Lost Linoleum Highway' commythology: mythology and comics as a means of creating awareness about asbestos

2017-02-28T01:05:56Z (GMT) by Roszak, Paul
Asbestos remains one of the greatest man made industrial disasters ever that will eventually claim over 10 million lives through asbestos related disease. This silent killer still lurks within millions of domestic and commercial orbits across the globe. The pro-asbestos industry has both formally used and currently still uses myth as an agent to disguise this A1 grade carcinogen as being safe. The industry and its allies were, and in some nations still are, successful in suppressing the dangers of this deceptive 'magic mineral' using a range of furtive strategies. For much of the 20th century information about the dangers of asbestos overwhelmingly remained in the genres of non-fiction and documentary. While this research does not serve to discredit the incredible work that has halted much of the world's use of asbestos and raise consciousness about its culture, it does however aim to liberate the issue from its literal textual and visual paradigm. This research investigates how myth can be used to actually dispel myth, a kind of counter-mything process. Mythology has been an expressive language that has evolved to tell the story of humanity from its darkest to its most glorious times. Comic books too have been an expressive medium using verbal-textual languages that have both recorded and popularized some of the greatest and gravest issues in history. I will examine the use of mythology and comics as a powerful combination in dispelling those pro-industry myths about asbestos that have led to this global crisis. The complementary trio of mythology, visual art, and literature could in fact be a formula that finally resurrects this somewhat misunderstood and anomalistic catastrophe from its deadly secretive abyss.