Utne Blogs > Literature

U.S. History, Graphically Speaking

by Staff

Tags: Great Writing, history, graphic novels, A People's History of American Empire, After 9/11, The United States Constitution, Howard Zinn, Sid Jacobson, Ernie Colon,

A People's History of American Empire by Howard ZinnLooks like 2008 is going to be a bumper year for graphic adaptations of U.S. history. Metropolitan Books just released A People’s History of American Empire, based on a chapter of Howard Zinn’s 1980 classic A People’s History of the United States. Cartoonist Mike Konopacki and historian Paul Buhle collaborated on the luxurious 8½-by-11 book, which utilizes Zinn’s text as narration. (Check out his style in our Sept.-Oct. 2007 excerpt of A Power Governments Cannot Suppress.) Historical photographs play into some of the frames, providing a cool contrast to Konopacki’s lively illustrations.

Then—and you’ll have to wait awhile for these—we recently received a booklet previewing two more graphic adaptations, both of them forthcoming from publisher Hill and Wang. Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón, the duo responsible for The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, will be back in bookstores this August with After 9/11: America’s War on Terror (2001-  ). Then, in October, look for The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation, written by Jonathan Hennessy and illustrated by Aaron McConnell.

Julie Hanus