A Close Encounter Led to a New Educational Graphic Novel About the Challenges of Bears in our Modern World

Author and illustrator Ted Rechlin has been drawing pictures and telling stories since he was three years old. Like most young kids, he loved stories about superheroes, dinosaurs, and wild animals. While his drawings have gotten much better over the years, his love of storytelling and wild creatures hasn’t changed—and bears are one of his favorite things to draw and craft stories about. 

Rechlin’s newest educational graphic novel Bears takes readers of all ages on three exciting adventures that illustrate how three different bears live in our modern world. When asked about what started his fascination with bears, Rechlin replied, “When I was a teenager, I was hiking in the Canadian Rockies and I got bluff charged by a grizzly bear. It was one of the single-most amazing—and terrifying—moments of my life!” 

“The bear was massive,” Rechlin continued. “I remember hearing the sound of his feet pounding the ground as he ran. He covered the distance between us, maybe as long as a football field, in seconds. He was close enough that I could smell his breath, fresh with the aroma of his ground squirrel breakfast.”

“I was transfixed by that animal,” Rechlin recalled. “It was kind of like the feeling of being star struck. I couldn’t look away. Fortunately in my mesmerized state, my feet were planted in the dirt. I didn’t run, and the big bear broke off from his charge and moved away.” 

“Not long after that, I moved to the Greater Yellowstone area and never looked back. I’ve spent more than a decade learning all I could about these incredible animals, with countless hours in the backcountry watching bears—what makes them tick; how they handle situations; how they hunt, forage, sleep, and play; and perhaps most interesting, how no two bears are alike. They are more like us than most people would think.”
“Maybe the coolest thing about bears is that they are living holdovers of a more wild time on Earth. The three bear species featured in this book are North American bears: black bears, grizzlies, and polar bears—all survivors of the last ice age. They lived alongside saber-toothed cats and woolly mammoths! And they are still here today! This book is about how these ice age bears survive in modern times. I hope it inspires people to want to conserve and protect nature and the wild creatures that call it home.” 

Ted Rechlin’s stunning, full-color illustrations throughout Bears engage and educate readers of all ages within an exciting graphic novel format.

Bears (ISBN: 978-1-59152-186-0, $19.95, Rextooth Studios, 2016) is available at local bookstores and gift shops, and through online retailers.  

About the Author/Illustrator

Ted Rechlin loves to tell stories and draw pictures of wildlife and natural history. Ted got his professional start drawing for DC Comics at age 19. He has been working as freelance author/illustrator for more than a decade. Ted founded Rextooth Studios, a publishing house, which began releasing titles in 2016. He currently lives in Montana with his wife, Annie and their rescue dog, Marco.