What was Chester the Crab’s take on Nat Turner’s Revolt, you ask? Or maybe you were just about to ask. Either way, here it is, courtesy of Bentley Boyd, a Virginia-based cartoonist who, like so many other Great People, is actually a native of the Midwest. When I met Bentley, we were both manning booths at a social studies conference in Columbus, Ohio, only he was wearing a strange jester’s hat and drawing things for people. His booth was way more popular than my booth.
Anyway, I am less skeptical now than I was then of his approach to history. Boyd’s comics originated in The Daily Press in Newport News and seem perfect for younger kids. But as you might have guessed by this and by this, too, I dig the graphic approach as much as the next kid, and in just this past week have loaned out two volumes of graphic nonfiction to people interested in learning more about, of all things, Korea.
If only Chester the Crab had been featured in those, as well.
BY THE WAY: Here, Boyd discusses history with commenters at The Daily Press. It’s interesting that he bemoans the cultural noise that can prevent kids from better learning history: “Americas’ own media companies, for example, are putting out movies about surfing penguins and selling rap to elementary kids—there’s just so much noisy distraction!” Selling rap to elementary kids?! How dare they! This from a guy who has Frederick Douglass saying, “Nat was phat!” Still, check out Boyd’s books. They’re fun and smart.
IMAGE: From Slavery’s Storm by Bentley Boyd