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Oregon History Comics

OPB | March 5, 2012 9:20 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 11:16 p.m.

Julianna Johnson

The new Oregon History Comics series highlights the lives of loggers, women’s suffrage, Black Panthers in Portland and other stories from Oregon’s past. Writer Sarah Mirk chose Lone Fir Cemetery as the subject of the first in the series. If you’ve read that one, then you know Asa Lovejoy lost a coin toss to name Portland (we were almost Boston).

Mirk says her goal with the project was “to get people interested in history who might not pick up a history book.” She combined forces with the Dill Pickle Club to raise money for the publication of the set of 10 small comic books, each drawn by a different local artist. They were particularly interested in what they refer to as “marginalized elements of our past.” The project was right in line with the Dill Pickle Club’s other work, which focuses on “broadening knowledge of Portland’s past, present and future.” Mirk researched and wrote each of the books and the Oregon Historical Society historians fact-checked them.

Have you read any of the Oregon History Comics? What did you learn? What do you get out of reading these comics that you wouldn’t get from a more traditional history book? Have you read other nontraditional presentations of history?

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