In 1869, much of central Canada was owned by the Hudson Bay Company. The company wanted to sell the land, and Canada wanted to buy it, but the people who had been living on this land for hundreds of years weren’t so thrilled about this arrangement, especially seeing that many of them were French or Native American, and as such, they wouldn’t have the ear of the government that their English neighbors did. So when a representative of the Canadian government showed up to tell the people in The Red River settlement that their land now belongs to the government of Canada, they rebelled, choosing a man named Louis Riel to be their president. This book chronicles the rebellion that follows and the next sixteen years in the life of Louis Riel, following the failure of the rebellion, Louis’ exile from Canada and his eventual return, the second stage of the rebellion, and his execution. Louis Riel is composed of simple, black and white line drawings printed on cream paper, giving the whole book a feeling of historical authenticity that continually reminds the reader that the book is a work of non-fiction. Nonfiction comics are a great way to get reluctant readers interested in history, and Louis Riel is one of the best, telling an exciting story that’s bound to be new to non-Canadian readers–and it even has pages of footnotes in the back so Chester Brown can cite all his sources.
Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography
by Chester Brown
Drawn and Quarterly, 2003