Sherman’s Lagoon is an imaginary lagoon somewhere in the tropics, inhabited by a cast of sea creatures whose lives are curiously similar to our own. Through his comic strip, cartoonist Jim Toomey explores many of the issues that we face daily in our world on dry land. By putting them in a different context, he helps us laugh at ourselves. His characters attempt new business ventures, go on disastrous dates, try fad diets and read the latest best-selling books. But, they also have problems that are unique to fish. Should you bring shrimp to the holiday party? Will shrimp be there?
Sherman, the main character, is a great white shark who is completely unaware of how intimidating his species can be. He gets pushed around by the other characters, namely: Hawthorne the hermit crab, Fillmore the sea turtle, and his wife, Megan, who is another great white shark, of course.
There is also an educational aspect to the strip that gives it a unique place in the comics. Toomey explores environmental themes in a light, apolitical way. And, he takes his characters on road trips, where they explore different parts of the ocean and meet native animals along the way.
Sherman’s Lagoon appeals to adults and children alike. Children, pre-teens and teens enjoy its underwater theme and the sometimes rough-and-tumble world of life in the ocean. Adults enjoy the social commentary that is a common thread in the strip.
Awards and Distinctions:
Jim Toomey has been twice awarded the Environmental Hero Award, given by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration “for using art and humor to conserve and protect our marine heritage.”
Sherman’s Lagoon has been made into a high school musical, which premiered at the Bentley School in Lafayette, Calif.
Toomey has currently published 18 Sherman’s Lagoon books through Andrews McMeel.