In recognition of the visit of graphic novelists Stan Mack and Susan Champlin to the Paul Revere House this afternoon, here’s an example of Revere himself using a common hallmark of the comics style: the word balloon. This is a detail from “A View of the Year 1765,” celebrating how North American colonies had united against the Stamp Act. Revere copied most of this image from a London print called “View of the Present Crisis,” according to Jayne Triber’s A True Republican. But I think the silversmith himself threw in this picture of an effigy hanging from Liberty Tree.
The observers tell us, as we can read in those balloons:
- “there’s that Villian H—k”
- “I see he’s got a high place”
Revere also had word balloons in “America in Distress,” a cartoon published in Joseph Greenleaf and Isaiah Thomas’s Royal American Magazine in March 1775. But in that case he closely copied “Britannia in Distress,” published in London five years earlier—word balloons and all.