According to the Kickstarter page for LAST OF THE LONGNECKS, "Worldwide giraffe populations have plummeted from an estimated 140,000 in 1999 to just 70,000 in 2014. Essentially their numbers have been cut in half in only 15 years. To date, no documentaries have been produced which raise awareness about this silent march into giraffe extinction." It's with the mission of correcting that problem that director Ashley Scott Davison of boutique movie production company Iniosante Inc. is looking for Kickstarter crowdfunding to complete LAST OF THE LONGNECKS, a documentary that aims to raise awareness about critical threats affecting giraffe conservation. Davison sat down for a brief interview with The Outhouse, the world's foremost comic book and wildlife conservation website, to help spread the word about the project.
Tell us about Last of the Longnecks. What kind of comic book is this?
I mean it’s basically a comic book… but without all the pages, or illustrations, or onamonapias. Plus its moving… like a movie or better yet, like a documentary! LAST OF THE LONGNECKS is actually a documentary that raises awareness about critical threats affecting GIRAFFE conservation.
Yeah a documentary, giraffes are in trouble! We all assume that giraffe populations worldwide are healthy and stable because of the way they are portrayed in media. This couldn't be further from the truth. As Kenyan giraffe researcher John Doherty put it, "Giraffes are marching silently into extinction." There are nine different types of giraffes, and of those nine, the Reticulated Giraffes of Kenya seem to be fairing worst of all; their populations have declined by more than 80% in the past decade alone. That's the equivalent of losing 4 out of every 5 people you know in just ten years. Super sad for sure.
It's heartbreaking. But do you think the world is ready for a giraffe superhero?
Probably, but giraffes don’t do well with capes; their long necks get in the way. Giraffes do really need a superhero to start fighting for them, or just regular people who want to be heroes for giraffes. To date, there have been zero films, or comic books, made documenting the terrible population losses suffered by giraffes all over Africa.
I'm sensing that this has nothing to do with comic books.
Your senses are correct. Are you a superhero?
That's classified. Let's stick to the subject matter. So we have to kill all the elephants so the giraffes can live?
That is what a super-villain would likely do. So no! Actually, most of the large herbivores in Africa are suffering losses. The problem is that nobody knows about what’s happening to giraffes. Currently in Africa, there are six times as many elephants as giraffes.
What are some of the rewards, besides helping to save a species from extinction, that people will get for contributing?
If you visit our Kickstarter crowdfunding page, you will find different benefits such as Last of the Longnecks wristbands, tshirts, copies of the official DVD, mentions in the credits, use of Last of the Longnecks branding, and much more. But the greatest gift is knowing that you helped make a difference in raising awareness for giraffe conservation. Giraffes need a hero to stand up for them and YOU can help.
And also, a comic book.
Possibly, we’re working on it.
Is there any danger to helping the giraffes? If we give them too much power, couldn't the human race end up enslaved by an advanced species of intelligent giraffes, kind of like Planet of the Apes, but with longer necks?
Um. I mean no. Unlike the apes, they don’t really have opposable thumbs, so that might be difficult for them. They do have a prehensile tongue which they use to grab things. And its true that giraffe necks are super strong, but unlike the dolphins from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, giraffes can’t just fly away when the earth goes to pot.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Good luck with your comic book.
Thank you! I am glad we got to speak and get the word out giraffe conservation. I hope your readers will stick their necks out to become the heroes for these gentle giants, helping end their silent extinction
Oof! With puns like that, there's no doubt that Ashley picked the right comic book website to promote this project. Find out more about LAST OF THE LONGNECKS at the Kickstarter page. Not only is it a very worthy cause, but the team behind it were willing to put up with our nonsense to help get the word out there, which is nothing if not proof of their conviction. The project is looking for $100,000 in funding over the next 30 days, so consider contributing a few bucks and making a difference in the world.