Did You Enjoy Colonial Comics?

I know some folks got copies now that several retailers are fulfilling orders. Did you get one? Did you like it? If so, the best way to help the book now is to tell a friend you enjoyed it and maybe even tell some strangers. If you’re on Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Shelfari, or any other online review site, take a couple of minutes to say a word and give it some stars. And if writing reviews isn’t your thing, maybe like the FaceBook page. Sharing and liking content from the FaceBook page has tremendous reach (my Origami Mayflower post reached over 6,600 people) so it’s a huge way to help the book.

Thanks, everyone!

The fifteenth story in the book is “Captives: The Stories of Eunice and John Williams” by Dan Mazur. I met Dan early-on in this comics development. He is one of the co-founders of a group called the Boston Comics Roubdtable and I believe he was the fourth or fifth person I contacted when putting this project together. Dan was instrumental in the book’s development - he had me speak at a weekly BCR meeting and invited me to visit the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE), a show that’s organized by him and Shelli Paroline which is where I met many of the eventual creators for the book.

In addition to plugging me into the Boston comics scene, Dan also did a wonderful story for the book. I was a bit weary of the story, at first - captive stories are tricky. A lot of times they tend to focus on the helpless white settlers and make the Native Americans look like savages. But this story is different. Eunice Williams was taken in by a loving tribe who treated her as one of their own and, over time, she let go of her European roots, taking a Mohawk husband and refusing to speak English in her later years. Dan did a great job of striking a balance and showing that it’s war, itself, that’s savage and that we build families out of the communities around us, independent of past allegiances. 

Now, as for Dan’s art…I want to post a page from the story. It’s one of the pages I use whenever I give a talk on teaching with comic books and it really highlights the things you can do with comics that you can’t do with other mediums. 

In the above page, we have Eunice’s first introduction to the tribe that took her in. Dan wrote extensively about this page here. There’s so much to focus on, but the main thing to notice is how scared and confused Eunice looks. How she can’t understand what anyone’s saying and that’s represented by blacked-out word balloons. There’s also this tale of transformation going on, the shedding of old skin and replacement with a new identity.

Pulling from Dan’s own write-up on the page, he says:

I also thought  of the early shojo manga device of the “style picture.”  Shojo manga was aimed at young female readers, and the presentation of clothing and costume was an important element.  Often, an entire vertical section of the page was devoted to showing a character’s costume, in a panel that was often only loosely connected to the narrative flow of the comic, and using a decorative background rather than spatial continuity with the story:

Dan is a comics scholar, and I want to now put in a plug for his book Comics: A Global History, which was co-written by Colonial Contributor Alexander Danner. As you can tell from the thought and planning that went into one page, he has a lot of respect for the history and form of comics books.

Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 is published by Fulcrum Books. You can order it on Amazon now.

Previous Design Posts:

Previous Story Posts:

Shipping comps today…well starting to. I still have a box of 80 books coming to me by Wednesday.

33 creators in this book, two comps each, and a thank you card, of course. Plus free signed copies to the school classrooms/libraries that claimed them (which, by the way, has only been five of the ten copies I offered up) - got a lot of mailing to do over the next four days, or so.


Colonial comics is selling fast! Come get one of my last two copies! (at Virginia Beach Convention Center)

Second show the book appeared at, second sell out. I’ll have 40 copies at the Locust Moon Fest next weekend (and there’ll be four other creators there to sign them)…but they’re probably gonna be gone fast. So be there early.

Also, before the show is over go see Jason Axtell - he colored two stories in this volume and he’ll be illustrating a story in the second book about the Green Dragon Pub.

(Reblogged from axtellustration)

Colonial Creators on Tumblr

helms-deep was kind enough to point out that erikaswyler is a Tumblr in Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750…but she isn’t the only one! I’m hoping I’m not missing anyone but giantearthpress, maljones, swinsea, mattebo, etcillustration, msgier, christinarice, arsiarozegar, ejbarnes, mrscottwhite, adavidlewis, and plasticfarm are all on Tumblr, as well. And I’m thebombbag.

Follow all of these great people!


The benefits of pre-ordering! This came in yesterday, and it features a story written by one of our very own: the talented and wonderful erikaswyler! This is a terrific little book/graphic novel/history textbook…not sure what to call it. Regardless, the stories I’ve read so far are really enjoyable, and the artwork throughout is very, very cool.

It’s out now, and you can order it here!

Well done, colonialcomics! This was a most excellent idea.

Glad you liked it! I call it edutainment. Or, simply, a fun book.

(Reblogged from helms-deep)

Instructions of how to fold your very own origami Mayflower! The design was printed in Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 but who wants to cut up their books? You can download a copy of the Mayflower here, print it out (make sure you print on both sides!), cut off the white border, and then follow the instructions in the video above. It’ll actually float!

I’ll be posting more activities and downloads on the Colonial Comics website over time. Enjoy!

Would you like a free signed copy of Colonial Comics: New England, 1620-1750 for your classroom or school library? I’ve had two requests for this so far and I figure I’d open up the opportunity to other schools who are looking for a book that’ll help to get their students excited about American History. I’ll send a free signed copy to the first ten school teachers or librarians who send me an email at colonialcomics@gmail.com. Just tell me a little bit about your class, school, or city so that I can personalize it a bit. The only thing I ask for in return is a letter (or email) from your students telling me what their favorite story is and why. 

Are you interested in knowing how you can use the book in your classroom? Well - I made a handy-dandy book guide to get you started. Click here to download. More teaching guides are on the way! They’ll be posted to http://www.colonialcomics.com/downloads as they’re made available.