J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, April 07, 2016

History Comics Workshops, 19-22 April

Massachusetts’s public school vacation week is coming up, and I’m going to spend four of those days working with talented artists as we offer workshops on history comics at four historic sites.

Designed for kids in grades 4 to 8 (though others are welcome) and their parents, these hands-on family workshops will use the 250th anniversary of the repeal of the Stamp Act to explore that conflict, how we remember it, and how we can retell history in graphic form.

Workshop participants will receive a comic book that relates “The Rise and Fall of the Stamp Act,” mostly through the eyes of children in London and Boston. The four short chapters feature art by Jesse Lonergan, John Carvajal, L.J.-Baptiste, and Ben Doane, with a color cover by Jerel Dye, all assembled by Roho at Riverbird Comics. (The sketch above is a detail of Dye’s cover art, showing the anti-Stamp protest of 14 Aug 1765 as it was about to tip into violence.)

In addition to having scripted that booklet, I’ll give a brief talk at each site about how the Stamp Act set thirteen American colonies off on the road to independence. The artists will speak about the ways they create comics, and then we’ll guide all the workshop participants through making their own short comic about whatever historical story interests them.

The workshops are free, but space is limited and prior registration is required. The program has been made possible through the support of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati, Revolution 250, and the Massachusetts Historical Society. The comics creators have all been active in the Boston Comics Roundtable.

Here are the particulars of each day’s program and how to sign up for it.

Tuesday, 19 April, 1:00 to 3:00 P.M.
Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston
Reserve spaces through this link

Wednesday, 20 April, 1:00 to 3:00 P.M.
The Shirley-Eustis House, Roxbury
Reserve spaces by calling 617-442-2275 or by email

Thursday, 21 April, 2:00 to 4:00 P.M.
Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site, Cambridge
Reserve spaces by calling (617) 876-4491 or by email

Friday, 22 April, 2:00 to 4:00 P.M.
The Old State House, Boston
Reserve spaces through this link

1 comment:

Wesley Hall said...

I teach Middle School in Missouri and unfortunately can't make it to Massachusetts. I recently went to a workshop on using comic books in History class and would really like to try it. Is it possible to purchase this comic book on the Stamp Act that you will be using? Also, is the activity that you will be doing with participants available? Thank you, I am so jealous.