The creator of the “Sherman’s Lagoon” comic strip will help launch an exhibit about shark finning at the Aquarium of the Bay by offering cartooning lessons at 2 and 3 p.m. June 26.
How long have you been a cartoonist? I’ve been doing the “Sherman’s Lagoon” strip for about 18 years and I was a political cartoonist before that for my hometown paper in Alexandria, Va.
What will be displayed at the shark-finning exhibit? A series of cartoons I did about it about two years ago addressing the issue of finning. I felt the comic strip was a good vehicle for developing public awareness of this issue.
Is the capture of sharks for their fins a problem? A lot of the Asians’ and Europeans’ fleets are really going after these shark fins.
Do people care about sharks? The public perception of sharks is changing. In the “Jaws” era, [there was] a prejudice against sharks, but I think people’s attitudes are changing towards sharks and starting to appreciate that they are a very vital part of the ocean ecosystem.
What is your interest in sharks and oceans? I’m a big diver. I like to dive when I travel, and my last dive was in the Galapagos. I used to live in San Francisco and I would dive all the time in Monterey.
— John Upton