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It’s that time again! Our Featured Friday guest is environmental cartoonist Joe Mohr. As you’ll learn, Joe is skilled with words, wit, and illustration. In addition, he’s keeping bee colonies on lockdown and making some tasty honey, which will eventually be sold through Backdoor Harvest. Okay L&O readers, get ready to giggle away in the greenest way.

LC: Your cartoons address a wide audience. Whether you are hoping to resonate with kids, politicians, or the everyday person what main messages do you want to convey?

JM: I want to resonate with all of the above. I want people to make it a habit to consider how each choice they make impacts the environment. I’d like to see more respect in general. Respect for the earth and one another. Oh, and I want to make people laugh…or smile, or smirk.

LC: One of my favorite line of cartoons that you create is Hank D and the Bee. Hank D ties environmental issues to everyday topics in the wittiest of ways. What initially inspired you to create these characters?

JM: I’ve always wanted to be a children’s author and illustrator. As I continually work towards that goal I began a weekly environmental/political cartoon about 3 years ago (Thanks to Jeff McIntire-Strasburg of Sustainablog and Tim Hurst of Ecopolitology). Doing that is fun, but my desire is to entertain and educate kids, so about a year ago I came up with Hank D and the Bee and pitched it to Jennifer Lance of EcoChildsPlay and Derek Markham of NaturalPapa. They both were excited about Hank and post the cartoon on Thursdays . They are both such kind and hard working people.

In creating Hank D and the Bee I was hoping for a ‘green’ kids cartoon that could both educate and entertain. Hank has changed a bit since his inception one year ago. He’s gotten a little more lean and a little less mean. I’m trying to make the green message a bit less overt. I’m having so much fun with it! I look forward to pitching the cartoon series to syndicates soon. I know it’s niche, but I don’t think environmental topics are niche–they’re life.

LC: My favorite is ‘Not Much of a Ladies Man‘. I’m going to use that the next time I go out and get ‘hollered’ at. Have you ever heard of anyone using this reasoning in real life?

JM: Kinda. I read a lot about every environmental topic and overpopulation is written on regularly. I agree with the obvious fact that people have a negative impact on the earth and the more of them the worse the impact, yet I have 2 kids. I adore my wife and could not imagine a world without our 2 children in it. I don’t think that creating loving, respectful, happy people will negatively impact any place.

Also, I hope Hank finds love some day and has little Hanklets…

LC: ‘Dances With the Moon‘ does a great job of addressing macro issues our earth is facing. If the moon were to offer any tidbits of advice what do you think it would be?

JM: If Moon had one thing to say she would stand erect, breathe in deep, and yell at the top of her lungs “I have no oil, water, coal or gold!” Then she should be OK to go about her business in  peace… unless she added “…but I have beer!”

LC: On a semi-related note- you are a bee keeper! That is awesome news for everyone, considering our current situation. Is there any potential for a ‘Mind-Your-Own Green Joe’s Beeswax & Honey’ product in the future? If so, can I call dibs on some jars o’ honey?

JM: You got it. I keep bees with my sister-in-law Marsha. She and my sister Melissa founded Backdoor Harvest 2 years ago. Backdoor Harvest installs and maintains organic vegetable gardens for very cool customers. They are expanding from backyards to rooftops, vertical gardens, chickens, bees, etc… We will eventually sell our excess through Backdoor Harvest. I’m excited to get to the point where we have more honey than we need and can start making some honey money.

LC: Thanks so much for letting us all get to know you a little bit more! Is there anywhere my readers and I can go to buy some of your cartoons via card & envelope style? My brother’s birthday is coming up, and I’m in the market.

JM: Thanks Lola! Yep, I’ve done a few greeting cards for enGreet.

Thanks Joe! I can’t wait for your kids book to come out so I can call up all my teacher friends and tell them about it-while eating yummy honey.


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