|Can comics entertain us while |
educating about the past?
Eric Knipper has attempted just that by exploring the world of the Viking Age through comics. The Ebook, The Viking Age As a Comic, provides a meaningful examination of the attempts to meld educational topics such as history with the medium of comics as entertainment. It also shows how the artist produces the work.
Knipper is clearly influenced by a previous project with a local National Museum, but it is interesting to see what role comics can have in mainstream educational institutions.
The result is a worthwhile read, if simply for the instruction on how this could be possible.
While there is not a lot of comic content in the Viking Age, Knipper is insightful, even poetic in his description of the process used to craft his work. It is clear that the history of his native Denmark is important to Knipper, and his aim to bring the Viking culture to life in a modern sense is a lofty ideal.
The images that accompany the Viking Age are detailed and depict a familiar sense of setting for the period drawn. It is clear from reading this that thoughtful attention is being applied to the project. It would be great to see more of the finished project.
Another notable example of historical storytelling through comics includes Maus, the holocaust survivors' tale by Art Spieglman. This specific text was used in a university history class I took several years ago, but left an undeniable impression.
Knipper tries to build on a tradition I encountered through Maus of embodying character and emotion to historical settings, to convey an educational message. This is no easy feat to pull off, but must be carefully considered as a worthwhile venture.
You can find The Viking Age As a Comic by Eric Knipper here.
Let me know what you think about this and other comics as history down below.