American History, the comic book version
August 1, 2011 5:55 PM   Subscribe

Are there any comic book versions of History that you know of which could give High School students a good background in the subject? In particular, my colleague is interested in American History 1840-1968 but any period of American History would be most welcome.
posted by Tarn to Education (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Larry Gonick's "Cartoon History of the United States". His stuff is excellent, and high schoolers will appreciate his funny little asides and details.
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:07 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Larry Gonick -- wonderful -- really wish his stuff had been around when I was growing up. On preview -- er -- seconded...
posted by kmennie at 6:09 PM on August 1, 2011

Gonick is fantastic and exactly what you're looking for. I did a post on him a couple months ago rounding up all his stuff -- Cartoon History of the United States and perhaps relevant chapters of Cartoon History of the Modern World Part 2 would be best for your friend's purposes.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:16 PM on August 1, 2011

Harvey Pekar's history of the SDS is great.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:23 PM on August 1, 2011

...but I should add that it's got a few fairly adult pages so it's probably better for the older classes of a high school.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:48 PM on August 1, 2011

Kyle Baker did a short comic about the Nat Turner Rebellion, which was 1831 but he might like it. I don't have it on hand to review how adult the content it, but I don't remember it being too graphic -- just sparse and sad, and beautifully drawn.
posted by Toothless Willy at 7:04 PM on August 1, 2011

Nthing Larry Gonick.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:54 PM on August 1, 2011

I like those 'Big Book of Weird' style books
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:58 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

For an interesting angle be sure to check out Howard Zinn's graphic novel A People's History of American Empire. It starts around 1890 and goes up more or less through present. The narrative will require some critical thinking, it is not (nor does it claim to be) an objective view of American history.
posted by jeremias at 8:20 PM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've definitely been meaning to read The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book myself. And there's Chester Brown's Louis Riel: A Comic Stip Biography, but that's, uh, Canadian history, so not of use to you.
posted by wreckingball at 8:59 PM on August 1, 2011

Hill & Wang produces a series of graphic novels on American history and politics. We recently received several titles at my library as gifts. They seem to be fairly balanced and informative.
posted by John Farrier at 6:57 AM on August 2, 2011

Many thanks, Mefites. Great and informative answers, as always. My colleague and I will follow up every lead that you've given.
posted by Tarn at 5:54 PM on August 2, 2011

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