Skip to content

The Graphic Truth: History

Our survey of graphic nonfiction continues with history. These books aren’t potted summaries for students seeking a shortcut but fully realized narratives with the illustrations enriching the historical record.

Some recent publications are quite innovative, such as Joe Sacco’s The Great War, July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme, which is a 24-foot-long foldout panorama of the grim battlefield scene. In Bohemians: A Graphic Anthology, various comic illustrators take on historical figures ranging from Walt Whitman to Thelonius Monk. Nadja Baer and Nathan Lueth’s The United States Constitution: A Round Table Comic interweaves the full text of the Constitution with dramatization of the proceedings at the Constitutional Convention.

Check out the following titles from Richland Library’s collection to get your history with graphics.


Amazon Says: The nineteenth-century countercultures that came to define the bohemian lifestyle spanned both sides of the Atlantic, ranging from Walt Whitman to Josephine Baker, and from Ge more...
Amazon Says: The nineteenth-century countercultures that came to define the bohemian lifestyle spanned both sides of the Atlantic, ranging from Walt Whitman to Josephine Baker, and from Gertrude Stein to Thelonius Monk. Bohemians is the graphic history of this movement and its illustrious figures, recovering the utopian ideas behind millennial communities, and covering the rise of Greenwich Village, the multiracial and radical jazz world, and West Coast and Midwest bohemians, among other scenes. Drawn by an all-star cast of comics artists, including rising figures like Sabrina Jones, Lance Tooks, and Summer McClinton, alongside established artists like Peter Kuper and Spain Rodriguez, Bohemians is a broad and entertaining account of the rebel impulse in American cultural history. featuring work by Spain Rodriguez, Sharon Rudahl, Peter Kuper,  Sabrina Jones, David Lasky, Afua Richardson, Lance Tooks, Milton Knight, and others. The ebook edition is expanded from the paperback edition, and includes additional chapters on the swing music scene, La Boheme and midwest bohemians, as well as expanded material on the Greenwich Village intellectuals, Walt Whitman and Harlem jazz club Minton's Playhouse. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: From “the heir to R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman” (Economist) comes a monumental, wordless depiction of the most infamous day of World War I. Launched on July 1, 1916, the Ba more...
Amazon Says: From “the heir to R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman” (Economist) comes a monumental, wordless depiction of the most infamous day of World War I. Launched on July 1, 1916, the Battle of the Somme has come to epitomize the madness of the First World War. Almost 20,000 British soldiers were killed and another 40,000 were wounded that first day, and there were more than one million casualties by the time the offensive halted. In The Great War, acclaimed cartoon journalist Joe Sacco depicts the events of that day in an extraordinary, 24-foot- long panorama: from General Douglas Haig and the massive artillery positions behind the trench lines to the legions of soldiers going “over the top” and getting cut down in no-man’s-land, to the tens of thousands of wounded soldiers retreating and the dead being buried en masse. Printed on fine accordion-fold paper and packaged in a deluxe slipcase with a 16-page booklet, The Great War is a landmark in Sacco’s illustrious career and allows us to see the War to End All Wars as we’ve never seen it before. 24 plates less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: A speck of dust is a tiny thing. In fact, five of them could fit into the period at the end of this sentence.On a clear, warm Sunday, April 14, 1935, a wild wind whipped up mi more...
Amazon Says: A speck of dust is a tiny thing. In fact, five of them could fit into the period at the end of this sentence.On a clear, warm Sunday, April 14, 1935, a wild wind whipped up millions upon millions of these specks of dust to form a duster—a savage storm—on America's high southern plains. The sky turned black, sand-filled winds scoured the paint off houses and cars, trains derailed, and electricity coursed through the air. Sand and dirt fell like snow—people got lost in the gloom and suffocated . . . and that was just the beginning.Don Brown brings the Dirty Thirties to life with kinetic, highly saturated, and lively artwork in this graphic novel of one of America's most catastrophic natural events: the Dust Bowl. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: Presenting the American Revolution in a fun, easy-to-understand fashion, Stan Mack’s illustrated rendition makes history entertaining while providing lucid insight into the more...
Amazon Says: Presenting the American Revolution in a fun, easy-to-understand fashion, Stan Mack’s illustrated rendition makes history entertaining while providing lucid insight into the revolution’s real-life participants, as well as its successes and failures. This graphic account of the birth of the United States stars a chubby, insecure King George III, rebellious and misunderstood colonists, and loudmouthed and insensitive aristocrats, providing information about the Boston Tea Party and the revolt against the status quo. Uncannily relevant to today’s world, this whimsical and informative pictorial history tells the story of the original peoples’ insurgence. less...
Amazon

Lewis & Clark by Nick Bertozzi
Amazon Says: Two of America's greatest explorers embark on the adventure that made their names―and sealed their fates.In 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark departed St. Louis, Miss more...
Amazon Says: Two of America's greatest explorers embark on the adventure that made their names―and sealed their fates.In 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark departed St. Louis, Missouri, for one of the greatest adventures this nation has ever known. Appointed and funded by President Jefferson himself, and led by a cadre of experts (including the famous Sacajawea), the expedition was considered a success almost before it had begun. From the start, the journey was plagued with illness, bad luck, unfriendly Indians, Lewis's chronic depression, and, to top it all, the shattering surprise of the towering Rocky Mountains and the continental divide. But despite crippling setbacks, overwhelming doubts, and the bare facts of geography itself, Lewis and Clark made it to the Pacific in 1806.Nick Bertozzi brings the harrowing―and, at times, hilarious―journey to vivid life on the pages of this oversized black-and-white graphic novel. With his passion for history and his knack for characterization, Bertozzi has made an intimate tale of a great American epic. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: The History of SDS as You've Never Seen It BeforeIn 1962 at a United Auto Workers' camp in Michigan, Students for a Democratic Society held its historic convention and more...
Amazon Says: The History of SDS as You've Never Seen It BeforeIn 1962 at a United Auto Workers' camp in Michigan, Students for a Democratic Society held its historic convention and prepared the famous Port Huron Statement, drafted by Tom Hayden. This statement, criticizing the U.S. government's failure to pursue international peace or address domestic inequality, became the organization's manifesto. Its last convention was held in 1969 in Chicago, where, collapsing under the weight of its notoriety and popularity, it shattered into myriad factions. Through brilliant art and they were-there dialogue, famed graphic novelist Harvey Pekar, gifted artist Gary Dumm, and renowned historian Paul Buhle illustrate the tumultuous decade that first defined and then was defined by the men and women who gathered under the SDS banner. Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History captures the idealism and activism that drove a generation of young Americans to believe that even one person's actions can help transform the world. less...
Amazon

Amazon Says: In late 1995 and early 1996, cartoonist/reporter Joe Sacco travelled four times to Gorazde, a UN-designated safe area during the Bosnian War, which had teetered on the brink o more...
Amazon Says: In late 1995 and early 1996, cartoonist/reporter Joe Sacco travelled four times to Gorazde, a UN-designated safe area during the Bosnian War, which had teetered on the brink of obliteration for three and a half years. Still surrounded by Bosnian Serb forces, the mainly Muslim people of Gorazde had endured heavy attacks and severe privation to hang on to their town while the rest of Eastern Bosnia was brutally 'cleansed' of its non-Serb population. But as much as Safe Area Gorazde is an account of a terrible siege, it presents a snapshot of people who were slowly letting themselves believe that a war was ending and that they had survived. Since it was first published in 2000, Safe Area Gorazde has been recognized as one of the absolute classics of graphic non-fiction. We are delighted to publish it in the UK for the first time, to stand beside Joe Sacco's other books on the Cape list - Palestine, The Fixer and Notes from a Defeatist. less...
Amazon
Print

Comment about this page...