Spiders are incredible creatures that play an important part in our eco-systems, however, they are often linked to feelings of dread and disgust, resulting in them being prematurely squashed for no reason other than irrational fear.
Author Jane McGee believes that spiders need to go through some rebranding so that they can be appreciated as the inspiring creatures they are. She has already published a children’s book that challenges the phobias children inherit from adults called Cobweb Capers. The book follows the adventures of five friendly spiders who live in a shed. To continue this movement, she proposed a comic strip competition to encourage children to see spiders in a positive light.
She launched the competition on her Facebook page, where it was noticed by TV naturalist Chris Packham who then shared it with his followers. His post reads, “Let’s help to raise the profile of a very misunderstood and misrepresented creature.”
The competition was split into two categories—one for participants between the ages of three and five, and the other for those between ages six and eight.
The winning comic from the first category featured a spider who shares a home with a lady who keeps trying to squish her, that is until the spider stops a burglary by spinning a web around the robbers. The winner of the second category is a spider superhero who saves a forest from destruction.
McGee, happy with the success of this initial event, is planning to launch another eye-opening competition that will continue to promote spiders as positive and valuable critters. Though McGee aims to change the minds of children, perhaps her efforts will inspire adults to think twice before rolling up their newspapers and ridding their homes of arachnid tenants, too.