The American Revolution—when the United States came together as a nation and fought, toiled, and finally won their independence from England and that nasty old King George III. Thank goodness Stan Mack has illustrated this illustrious time in our collective history so that all may enjoy the story of how our country came to be. This book details the period from 1761-1789 and within that time period, breaks it down even further into three distinct periods of importance. Starting with the defeat of the French in the New World, 1761-1775, the chapter on Monarchy & Mobs introduces readers to the back story of England’s development of the new land, which would give way to the development of the colonies. However, not everyone was thrilled with the way England was exerting its power, which led to the disillusionment of a lot of the colonists. Next, readers are moved to the years 1775-1781, where two new things that had never really been seen before in major battle were suddenly introduced to Englishmen and colonists alike: guerrilla warfare and George Washington. Finally, the Profit & Virtue of the years 1782-1789—sure, we won our freedom, but now comes the hard part. And, of course, by “we,” I mean white, male property owners; slaves, Native Americans, and women were just brought along for the proverbial ride. This book provides a very interesting and engaging detailed history of the before, during and after of the American Revolution.
Stan Mack’s illustrations and lettering are one of a kind and they definitely bring a special charm to the subject matter within. Mack uses a mix of black and white thicker line drawings, hand lettering, boxes, and no boxes to bring a sense of whimsy to the serious historical narrative. Sometimes there are panels, sometimes there aren’t, speech bubbles—maybe, but what is true is that his style is fun, a mix of realistic and cartoonish art that is easy to read and follow. There is a lot of information to present in the book and Mack does it very well, with illustrations lending a helping hand and explanatory purpose to the barrage of facts, figures, and anecdotes he provides. The illustrations are fun without being flippant and provide a lot of facts and pertinent information along with hilarious jokes and asides.
The book is well organized and extremely readable. It’s very easy to distinguish between the multitude of characters contained within, and the written text fits in nicely with the appropriate panels. I also love that Mack incorporates a modern character named Carl into the story. Carl shows up to give information that helps bring the past and present together, which is a neat way to make history relevant to readers in the modern day. I also enjoyed that Mack doesn’t just depend on the stories of that modern day readers are most familiar with—King George III and George Washington—to make up the bulk of the story. We get to read about all the people that were affected during the war, not just those that history has deemed the “winners.”
Stan Mack’s Taxes, the Tea Party and Those Revolting Rebels: a History in Comics of the American Revolution is a fun and interesting historical read. Not knowing as much as I’d like to about this time in history, I felt truly informed and more knowledgeable on the subject and the illustrations only made the story that much more enjoyable.
Taxes, the Tea Party and Those Revolting Rebels: a History in Comics of the American Revolution
by Stan Mack