“We Want Our Land”: A 1976 Stó:lō Land Claims Negotiations Comic

SFU PhD Candidate Madeline Knickerbocker has written a great article contextualizing a very cool piece of comics art about Stó:lō land claims that she found in the archives. Her write-up and the comic can be viewed here:  http://www.champlainsociety.ca/we-want-our-land-a-1976-stolo-land-claims-negotiations-comic/

Madeline Knickerbocker is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Simon Fraser University. Her forthcoming dissertation examines the intersections between Stó:lō cultural curation and political activism in the twentieth century.


New Comic: Stick and Stay, They’re Bound to Pay

Stick and StayStick and Stay, They’re Bound to Pay: The Flint Strike in Comics by Ethan Heitner, Edited by Paul Buhle

The storied Sit-Down Strike in Flint, Michigan has a special significance for today. Led in large part by left-wingers—Communist, Socialist, and Trotskyist alike—it was, more important, the most dramatic part of a movement that swept across the US and Canada. Not so unlike Occupy (or the Wisconsin Uprising), it took everyone by surprise, stunning the participants themselves with their own collective power. Through largely nonviolent action, it changed the landscape for democracy; unlike Occupy, it could halt production and profits. – Paul Buhle

Ethan Heitner is a cartoonist and member of the editorial collective of World War 3 Illustrated, the radical comics magazine (http://www.worldwar3illustrated.org/). More of his work can be seen on his blog, freedomfunnies.com.

Paul Buhle is an US historian and the editor of many graphic histories including Wobbles!, Che, and Bohemians.

View full comic here

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New Comic- the Battle of Ballantyne Pier

Ballantyne PierWe are very excited to release the fourth comic from the Graphic History Project, The Battle of Ballantyne Pier: An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

Written and illustrated by the multi-talented David Lester, the comic examines the history of longshore work and the violent events that unfolded in 1935 on the waterfront of Vancouver, British Columbia.

More than just a passing interest for Lester, there is a family connection to this piece of history. His grandfather was a longshoreman in Vancouver for most of his life, and was there the day that saw “blood-spattered rocks litter[ing] the streets in which the fighting took place…Bandaged and blood-dripping heads were a common sight, both among police and civilians” (as described by Torchy Anderson, Labour Reporter for the Province Newspaper).

You can read the full comic here

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New Comic Book #3- Suzanne Voilquin A Socialist Feminist

The newest offering from the Graphic History Project is the graphic biography of Suzanne Voilquin, a French utopian socialist feminist who, even while facing challenges in her own life, continuously pushed boundaries. Although her political and intellectual engagement had multiple points of interest, one of her main goals was to “prove that women could succeed.” Inspired by the French Revolution, and political and philosophical positions that placed her in opposition to the existing power structures, Voilquin was determined to find a place for women and for herself. Through this commitment she developed three goals: to understand what liberty and equality meant to women; to achieve independence; to leave a legacy.

Here is the link to the comic book: http://graphichistorycollective.com/graphic-history-project/project-3-suzanne-voilquin-socialist-feminist/

Growing out of Linda Kelly Alkana’s PhD research, this illustrated biography of Suzanne Voilquin provides fascinating glimpses into the life of a woman striving for equality and justice  in the 19th century, charting  a journey that took her to Egypt, America and around the world.

Suzanne Voilquin’s story of dedication to these goals should inspire all who pursue social justice and equality.

About this team:

Author Linda Kelly Alkana researches the link between protest and popular culture at California State University Long Beach. She is an Intellectual/Cultural Historian and author of, among others, “Teaching World History with Graphic Novels,” which appeared in the World History Bulletin, Winter 2007.

Illustrator Lorna Alkana is a visual essayist, whose works include a Surreal Coloring Book and multiple blogs. Her works have been shown at various venues in Los Angeles. Her continuously evolving art can been found at www.lornaalkana.com. Follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lornaalkanaart, twitter: https://twitter.com/lornaphone and Instagram: http://instagram.com/lornaphone.

Alex Alkana collaborated on this graphic interpretation of Suzanne Voilquin, with Linda Alkana and Lorna Alkana, assisting with the layout and design. His credits include his entry on “Alias” in Salem Press’ Cultural Survey of Graphic Novels.

The Graphic History Project is a collective effort to tell the often forgotten or buried stories of radical history. Artists, writers and historians collaborate to make the history of radical struggle come alive via the medium of graphic novels. This is the third such collaboration. Earlier releases are: Dreaming of What Might Be: The Knights of Labor in Canada 1880-1900 and Portland’s Black Panthers. Upcoming works include comics on labour struggles in Canada during the Great Depression, the history of Live-In Caregivers in Ontario, the history of slavery in New Brunswick and many more!

Follow us on twitter (https://twitter.com/GHC_Comics)  and facebook (https://www.facebook.com/GraphicHistoryCollective)  to see new comics as they appear. Suzanne Voilquin - pg 1  : http://wp.me/P1WO5O-50

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New Comic Book – Project #2- Portland’s Black Panthers

Check out Project #2 of the The Graphic History Project by artist Khris Soden and journalist Sarah Mirk: Portland’s Black Panthers.

GHC- Black Panther Comic in Indesign5


















Full comic book available here

Praise from Paul Buhle for Dreaming of What Might Be and The Graphic History Project

Dreaming of What Might Be: The Knights of Labor in Canada 1880-1900, a finely-crafted, historically informed and sensitive comic in itself, offers a magnificent beginning in what is certain to be a landmark project in comic art treatments of labour and working people’s lives and experiences, past and present.

Paul Buhle, editor of A People’s History of American Empire, Wobblies! and other radical comics

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Dreaming of What Might Be: Introducing the Graphic History Project as a New Initiative for Radical History and Comics


Illustrate! Educate! Organize! The Graphic History Collective (GHC) is pleased to announce the launch of their new comic book about the Knights of Labor in Canada called Dreaming of What Might Be: The Knights of Labor in Canada 1880-1900. The comic book is now available as a pdf download or for viewing on the GHC Website.

Dreaming of What Might Be examines the contentious but significant history of the labour organization known as the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor. The comic book shows how the organization took root in Canada and “encouraged people to ‘dream of what might be’ and take action on the job rather than give into the poor conditions and lack of control others said were natural and unchangeable.” Dreaming of What Might Be does not shy away from some of the Knights’ discriminatory practices; however, in the end, the comic book suggests: “Though not without its faults, the Knights of Labor can still be drawn upon for inspiration. Today, as we work to develop new cultures and movements of opposition, the Knights’ call to ‘dream of what might be’ reminds us that an alternative society is always possible.”


 Dreaming of What Might Be is the first comic book to be published as part of the larger initiative known as The Graphic History Project. The GHC believes that comics can be used to tell important stories about the past in ways that can inspire new struggles and spark much-needed conversations about how to change the world. To this end, in the fall of 2012, the GHC made a call for proposals to start a new project called The Graphic History Project. Our goal was to encourage writers and illustrators to come together to produce, on a volunteer basis, a number of short—approximately 10-page—graphic histories of resistance that illustrated the various ways peoples from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences have fought for economic and social justice around the world, and in Canada in particular. These new comics would be made available for free on the GHC website and potentially collected, edited, and published with a progressive press.

Since that initial call, the GHC has been working with renowned American historian and graphic history guru, Paul Buhle (Wobblies; A People’s History of American Empire, etc.), and a number of activists, artists, academics, and designers to produce new politically relevant historical comic books as part of The Graphic History Project. In addition to Dreaming of What Might Be, new comics will be posted on the GHC website every few weeks in the coming months. The comics will examine such disparate topics as slavery in Atlantic Canada, the experiences of Filipina women today in Canada’s Living Care Giver Program, the life and times of French feminist Suzanne Voilquin, the Ontario Days of Action protests of the 1990s, socialist-feminist union organizing in Canada in the 1970s and 1980s, The Battle of Ballantyne Pier in Vancouver in 1935, and the experiences of Indigenous longshoremen working on the Vancouver waterfront in the early 1900s, to name but a few. And projects and proposals for The Graphic History Project continue to roll in. The GHC, as the administrative committee for the project, continues to encourage everyone to get graphic with the activist past.

Follow the Graphic History Project at the GHC website GHC Website.

And like the GHC on Facebook.  

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