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Colonial Comics: New England, 1620 - 1750

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Colonial Comics is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. These illustrated stories focus on tales you cannot find in history books. Includes stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, an Colonial Comics is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. These illustrated stories focus on tales you cannot find in history books. Includes stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life. Jason Rodriguez is a writer and editor whose books have been nominated for an Eisner Award and eight Harvey Awards. Jason lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife and their two dogs, four cats, and a parrot. You can usually find him on a street corner, staring out into the future.


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Colonial Comics is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. These illustrated stories focus on tales you cannot find in history books. Includes stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, an Colonial Comics is a graphic novel collection of twenty stories focusing on the colonial period from 1620 through 1750 in New England. These illustrated stories focus on tales you cannot find in history books. Includes stories about free thinkers, Pequots, Jewish settlers, female business owners and dedicated school teachers, whales and livestock, slavery and frontiers, and many other aspects of colonial life. Jason Rodriguez is a writer and editor whose books have been nominated for an Eisner Award and eight Harvey Awards. Jason lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife and their two dogs, four cats, and a parrot. You can usually find him on a street corner, staring out into the future.

30 review for Colonial Comics: New England, 1620 - 1750

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    Really interesting mix of stories.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    A beautiful anthology of colonial historical vignettes in the same vein as Matt Dembicki's collections. In fact, Dembicki has illustrated a story in this collection. I'm actually only familiar with a couple of the authors or illustrators but I found the stories and art top-notch. This chronological history of New England tells the lesser known tales and I had not heard many of them, even though they are populated with famous people. Because the stories are chronological, geographically specific A beautiful anthology of colonial historical vignettes in the same vein as Matt Dembicki's collections. In fact, Dembicki has illustrated a story in this collection. I'm actually only familiar with a couple of the authors or illustrators but I found the stories and art top-notch. This chronological history of New England tells the lesser known tales and I had not heard many of them, even though they are populated with famous people. Because the stories are chronological, geographically specific and focused on a set time period, often characters will reappear in several stories, sometimes as a major player, other times as a background figure. The book is best suited for middle graders to high school and the book's website is making educator guides for the stories. However, the material is perfectly satisfying to the adult reader and the art is varied and showcases a variety of styles. I found it quite impressive and highly readable.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dolly

    Fascinating collection of short stories, told in chronological order about events (many of which are not very well known) that occurred in colonial New England between 1620 and 1750. I have a lot of interest in this region and era: I spent the first twenty-one years of my life in Massachusetts and my family (on both my mom and dad's sides) has traced their ancestors back to that time period. In fact, in high school, one of my good friends and I did a project where we showed how our ancestors thi Fascinating collection of short stories, told in chronological order about events (many of which are not very well known) that occurred in colonial New England between 1620 and 1750. I have a lot of interest in this region and era: I spent the first twenty-one years of my life in Massachusetts and my family (on both my mom and dad's sides) has traced their ancestors back to that time period. In fact, in high school, one of my good friends and I did a project where we showed how our ancestors thirteen generations ago were friends also. In any case, I really enjoyed reading these stories and I really appreciated the ways in which social justice issues were depicted and how lesser-known episodes in history were highlighted.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bea Bezmalinovic

    Colonial Comics is essentially an anthology of graphic stories about Colonial New England. While the stories are presented in chronological order, there is not always a clear linkage from one story to the next. The stories are interesting, most cover well-known topics but there are a few more nuanced interpretations of colonial history (free-ranging domestic animals, for example.) The book is targeted for tweens and teens. I think it is a good first effort to make history more accessible and int Colonial Comics is essentially an anthology of graphic stories about Colonial New England. While the stories are presented in chronological order, there is not always a clear linkage from one story to the next. The stories are interesting, most cover well-known topics but there are a few more nuanced interpretations of colonial history (free-ranging domestic animals, for example.) The book is targeted for tweens and teens. I think it is a good first effort to make history more accessible and interesting, although I think the authors need to do more to set the context at the beginning and between stories.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ Colonial Comics: New England starts with one of the best prefaces I've ever encountered: Editor Rodriguez wryly noting that prior to this book, his knowledge of New England history and the founding of America was pretty much limited to, "a country that was once inhabited by other nationals, reduced to several cities, a single Native American, a group of people who weren't happy in England, and some charred bodies." It wa More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ Colonial Comics: New England starts with one of the best prefaces I've ever encountered: Editor Rodriguez wryly noting that prior to this book, his knowledge of New England history and the founding of America was pretty much limited to, "a country that was once inhabited by other nationals, reduced to several cities, a single Native American, a group of people who weren't happy in England, and some charred bodies." It was to correct that lack and bring to life individual histories - to give perspective to the founding portion of American history- that this book's stories were collected. Quoting Rodriguez again, "these people did more than eat turkey and burn suspected witches." And yes, it is a very, very good book indeed. The title is a bit misleading - this is a full color graphic novel (or, rather, a graphic history book) and not a comic. Ordered chronologically, this is a collection of very short stories that are loosely tied together by the shared history of a New England setting. All are about people and events, ramifications and repercussions, and the every day life of both Europeans and the natives. Each story is by a different author/artist. Typically, I have a hard time with diverse collections since the abruptness of art styles or storytelling can be disconcerting and throw off a read. But the nature of the stories and the non-fiction grounding make the style differences not only palatable but enjoyable. The stories are just long enough that one didn't get hooked on a particular style (art or storytelling) but not so short that they were disaffecting, either. Rodriguez manages a good balance throughout - from wordless tales to text-heavy historical factoids. From almost comic lighthearted illustrations to woodblock type carvings and beautiful pastel watercolors. The stories are diverse: from the impact of the introduction of domesticated animals to the plight of indentured servants. Goodwives, clergy, governors, inkeepers, chiefs, braves - a lot of care was given to bring stories that represented all sides of New England life in the 1620 to 1750 time period. There are around 15 full color stories, ranging from landing in Plimouth (sc) to the last stands of the new England natives. There are also frontisplates with short descriptions of time periods in which the following stories would be set and reproductions of parts of important documents of the period. Finally, there are activities such as an origami mayflower to be made from cutouts of a book page. The stories are interesting enough to read for enjoyment value; but of course, the historical value cannot be understated. Since these are stories that rarely have been told outside of academic circles, there isn't any repetition of typical historical discussions about the founding of the colonies. Each story should be quite new to the reader. As well, the length of the stories make this a great book to use as a reading assignment - to discuss the thoughts presented within. The authors/artists don't pander or spoonfeed the history: a great example is the last story in the book, about a young midshipman named Meliville and the day his crew fought and captured a large pale whale. The name of the midshipman is only given once, in passing - a wonderful observation of restraint and avoidance of overtelling the obvious. I really enjoyed the stories and plan to share them with my 11 year old. As the editor notes, "they're stories about people, which are oftentimes more interesting than stories about caricatures." Reviewed from an ARC. Quotes may not be final.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laura (Book Scrounger)

    I really enjoyed reading this. It is a great way to bring history to life, and it makes use of some lesser-known stories from the Colonial period. I've never been a huge fan of the comic book genre, but when it tells true stories and is well put together, this particular medium can add a new degree of life-likeness to what would otherwise be words on a page. If you're even a little bit of a visual learner, this format can really bring stories to life. What I really like about this book is that it I really enjoyed reading this. It is a great way to bring history to life, and it makes use of some lesser-known stories from the Colonial period. I've never been a huge fan of the comic book genre, but when it tells true stories and is well put together, this particular medium can add a new degree of life-likeness to what would otherwise be words on a page. If you're even a little bit of a visual learner, this format can really bring stories to life. What I really like about this book is that it's a collaboration, so you are introduced to the work of many different artists at once. There were a couple stories that I didn't find as compelling or well illustrated, but that doesn't matter because everyone has different tastes, and there were plenty others that I liked quite well, which I'm sure will be the case for others too. I thought the last story, "Chasing Monsters," had particularly good artwork, and I thought the concept behind the "Thomas Morton" story was very smart - sharing at least three different "perspectives" of the same events (since history itself can be a bit of a puzzle). Interspersed throughout the graphic stories are short biographies and explanations about the times, which are helpful in giving a greater context. I did encounter some names in these stories that I was familiar with (Squanto, Anne Hutchinson, Cotton Mather, "King Philip," etc.), but others I knew only the name, and many more I had never heard of. I felt like the selection of stories was familiar enough to remind of what I already know and love from reading about this period, but new and different enough that it didn't feel like the same old thing being rehashed again. In the "book guide" portion at the end, the editor states that "These stories are launching points into bigger stories, and they help to paint a complete picture of the English colonies." I think he's right, that there is a good amount of diversity presented here, and each story could open us up to a whole bunch of other, more overarching narratives about what life was like back in those days. Overall, well done. I will definitely keep this around for when my children are old enough to read it. On that note, I'd have a hard time putting a good "age of recommendation" on this since my oldest is only a toddler. It's fine for adults, and teens. For younger children, some of the stories, yes. But, there are a few scenes that would be disturbing for young children, namely some violence in the story "Captives." I'd encourage parents to read that story before deciding whether it's something their children are ready for. (In compliance with FTC guidelines, I disclose that I received this book for free through GoodReads' First Reads. I was not required to write a positive review.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Cobb Sabatini

    I won Colonial Comics:New England 1620-1750, Edited by Jason Rodriguez from Goodreads. Colonial Comics is a wonderful collection of stories, presented in graphic form, from the period of time when Europeans were first arriving in America. The stories represent different aspects and point of views of those times and people, including the difficulties faced by the Native Americans and women, the issues of religion and law, and the economics of the era. While this is a terrific book for any lover of I won Colonial Comics:New England 1620-1750, Edited by Jason Rodriguez from Goodreads. Colonial Comics is a wonderful collection of stories, presented in graphic form, from the period of time when Europeans were first arriving in America. The stories represent different aspects and point of views of those times and people, including the difficulties faced by the Native Americans and women, the issues of religion and law, and the economics of the era. While this is a terrific book for any lover of history, Colonial Comics is an especially good resource for the classroom. The artwork appeals to even reluctant readers. The book is broken into sections, each sharing a story from history. Often, sections are introduced by a paragraph or single page of background or overview. There are even a few suggested activities with website links. Because various writers and illustrators contributed to the collection, each section has its own unique appeal. I learned a few historical facts that I did not previously know. Most of the stories cause one to pause and think about people, society, and life on Earth. Colonial Comics is a valuable resource for families, and I highly recommend it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    A really fascinating collection of short historical stories. I really enjoyed how each one was told by a different writer & artist in their own style. Overall really well done and laid out in my opinion. Though I must admit, a good number of them were pretty sad.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christine Nault

    Interesting, unusual stories of early New England. Graphic novel

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rick Silva

    The aim of this collection is to tell stories from pre-Revolutionary War New England, a period that sometimes gets scant coverage in the typical US history class. I grew up in New England and have read a fair amount of local history, and I found this to be a delightful mix of stories and people I knew of and tales that were completely new to me. EJ Barnes, who's great at finding overlooked and fascinating historical personas, had a fun biographical piece on Thomas Morton, a sort of anti-Puritan, The aim of this collection is to tell stories from pre-Revolutionary War New England, a period that sometimes gets scant coverage in the typical US history class. I grew up in New England and have read a fair amount of local history, and I found this to be a delightful mix of stories and people I knew of and tales that were completely new to me. EJ Barnes, who's great at finding overlooked and fascinating historical personas, had a fun biographical piece on Thomas Morton, a sort of anti-Puritan, who help maypole celebrations with local Native Americans in his splinter colony of Merry Mount. "Church and Anawan" by Nate DiMeo and Mal Jones tells of the final aftermath of King Philip's War, and Dan Mazur tells the story of John Williams and his daughter, Eunice, who was held as a hostage for more than a decade in a Catholic Mohawk village. Those were a few favorites, but I enjoyed all of the stories, whether they involved familiar figures (John Elliott, founder of my Alma Mater, Roxbury Latin School), or people whose stories I hadn't heard (Elizabeth Glover, whose husband died en route to North America, leaving her with his precious cargo: America's first printing press). There's a nice variety of art styles here, some fun extra features, and thorough notes on sources for all the stories. This is a great collection of overlooked American history.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Charissa Wilkinson

    I received this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads Program for the purpose of a fair review. Overview: Mr. Rodriguez had a great idea here. We have a collection of history stories, done in a wide range of comic book styles. Likes: This collection was impressive as there seemed to be unbiased. I wished that all history books followed this ideal. Dislikes: The only exception to the unbiased slant of the stories came at the end of “The Press’s Widow.” The author brought her views of women in t I received this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads Program for the purpose of a fair review. Overview: Mr. Rodriguez had a great idea here. We have a collection of history stories, done in a wide range of comic book styles. Likes: This collection was impressive as there seemed to be unbiased. I wished that all history books followed this ideal. Dislikes: The only exception to the unbiased slant of the stories came at the end of “The Press’s Widow.” The author brought her views of women in the workplace today, when it shouldn’t have been brought up. The story was about how women handled property, how does the workplace fit in here? Conclusion: This is a great collection for children to start on our history. Enjoy these stories with yours.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    An excellent graphic novel about life in Colonial New England. This is a collection of short comics that tell the stories of a variety of New Englanders and the Native Americans from this region. Some of the stories had some gaps, but over all it was great. It's beautifully designed, and there are even some cool activities placed throughout. This is primarily for teachers to use in a classroom, and I would put this at about the 8th-grade level. Some of the stories are rather complex, and others An excellent graphic novel about life in Colonial New England. This is a collection of short comics that tell the stories of a variety of New Englanders and the Native Americans from this region. Some of the stories had some gaps, but over all it was great. It's beautifully designed, and there are even some cool activities placed throughout. This is primarily for teachers to use in a classroom, and I would put this at about the 8th-grade level. Some of the stories are rather complex, and others discuss rather weighty issues that would be too much for a younger audience. I wish I had this kind of book in middle school.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Just couldn't get into it, which disappointed me to no end. I love the topic, and have been looking forward to this for ages, but after the first two stories the illustrations lost steam for me, and I closed the book on Anne Hutchinson. Will have to try again another time, I can't give up on this.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    Colonial Comics: great job of "introducing readers to the underrepresented stories of Colonial history." Lots of insights, stories behind the stories and subject for more research. I enjoyed a slow progression through the illustrated book and having time to think on each story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    A bit hard to follow---perhaps the graphic novel format leaves out a lot of details that would help me to follow the stories.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a graphic novel of stories from Colonial times. It covers a wide range of information, provides a little history relating to each story. The graphics are bold and colorful.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kori

    A fun, alternative view of colonial New England history. Wonderfully illustrated and entertainingly written. *Received an advance copy through Goodreads FirstReads.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    ARC supplied by publisher via Edelweiss

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dolores

    Some of the stories were interesting, but this was a long, slow, painful read for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Megan Westcoat

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andie

  22. 5 out of 5

    BetCbee

  23. 4 out of 5

    doris

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rune

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karen Hoehne

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  28. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Maluck

  30. 4 out of 5

    Librariman

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