The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book
The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book is a powerful and historically accurate graphic portrayal of Indigenous resistance to the European colonization of the Americas by Gord Hill.
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The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book is a powerful and historically accurate graphic portrayal of Indigenous resistance to the European colonization of the Americas, beginning with the Spanish invasion under Christopher Columbus and ending with the Six Nations land reclamation in Ontario in 2006. Gord Hill spent two years unearthing images and researching historical information to create The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book, which presents the story of Aboriginal resistance in a far-reaching format.
Other events depicted include the 1680 Pueblo Revolt in New Mexico; the Inca insurgency in Peru from the 1500s to the 1780s; Pontiac and the 1763 Rebellion & Royal Proclamation; Geronimo and the 1860s Seminole Wars; Crazy Horse and the 1877 War on the Plains; the rise of the American Indian Movement in the 1960s; 1973’s Wounded Knee; the Mohawk Oka Crisis in Quebec in 1990; and the 1995 Aazhoodena/Stoney Point resistance.
With strong, plain language and evocative illustrations, The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book documents the fighting spirit and ongoing resistance of Indigenous peoples through 500 years of genocide, massacres, torture, rape, displacement, and assimilation: a necessary antidote to the conventional history of the Americas.
The book includes an introduction by Ward Churchill, a writer, political activist, and co-director of the American Indian Movement of Colorado.
The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book combines the American tradition of graphic novels with a depth of American indigenous history unlike any publication that has come before it…. Hill’s visual history weaves the stories of colonialism and resistance together and fills the gaps of our average historical knowledge, making the reader feel the weight of these conflicts and their results in a way sometimes hard to grasp from academic texts and brief newspaper articles.
Gord Hill has put colonial myth-makers on notice with a comic that educates and inspires.
—The St’at’imc Runner
Gord Hill blends his visual and literary talents to tell the story of aboriginal life since the arrival of Europeans in the Western Hemisphere in 1492…. 500 Years of Resistance succeeds as a bold primer on colonialism and its haunting legacy today.
Comic books have a long tradition of being subversive, and Gord Hill uses every ounce of that tradition to challenge the treatment of First Nations across North and South America. The introduction and bibliography, written by activist Ward Churchill, provides an overview of Churchill’s own involvement in the American Indian Movement and the Wounded Knee uprising of 1973. It frames Hill’s intention of using The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book as a primer on the colonization of the Americas, from a First Nations’ perspective.
Comics aren’t always known for treating serious subjects, but Gord Hill’s The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book adds a dose of reality to the genre. Hill, of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation, has taken the topics of dispossession, genocide, and the colonization of First Nations in the western hemisphere and, surprisingly, pulled off a rendering in comic book form.
Hill’s raw images convey the events depicted effectively.
A reminder about just how complacent popular culture has become in the oppression of human rights, and how wonderfully engaging and provocative comic books can be if they’re done properly … What’s really impressive about the book, however, is how the medium fits and re-energizes the message perfectly: the anarchy of comic books, and their ability to shape young minds. And therein lies the true importance of a comic book as brave as this one: it has echoes of the topicality of headline-grabbing causes that the government ignores, wishes would go away (and, thus, get worse). Wow.
The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book is a milestone. Never before have I come across a non-fiction graphic novel capable of evoking such a powerful emotional response. Dealing with such topics as genocide, oppression and assimilation the comic is sure to cause frustration and sadness in the reader. At the same time, 500 Years of Resistance is inspirational and empowering, accurately depicting the strength and nobility of Native warriors. Gord’s straightforward approach to writing coupled with his iconic illustrations has created a truly groundbreaking comic book.
This is a fantastic illustrated introduction to American history that most of us don’t know, including contemporary rebellions like the Zapatistas in Mexico and the two Canadian standoffs in the late 90s.
—Sacramento News & Review
An eye-opener, not least because Hill’s assured treatment of these dark pages of history is a welcome addendum to the seminal A People’s History of American Empire by Zinn, Konopacki and Buhle…. How many of us know of Lautaro (Mapuches), Tupac Amaru (Incas), Tecumseh (Shawnee), Pontiac (Ottawa), Cochise (Chiricahua Apache), Crazy Horse (Oglala Lakota), Geronimo (Chiricahua Apache) or Yellow Thunder (Ho-Chunk)? Hill introduces them as one whose knowledge is intimate and theirs are truly edifying stories.
—The Morning Star (UK)
Illustrating the time of Columbus through today, author Gord Hill presents with fat, jagged lines a legacy of occupation, enslavement and efforts to erase cultures, and the wars of resistance in return. Hill, an activist for Native Americans, allows anger to seep off each page, lending a sense of first-person passion to an otherwise straightforward series of historical events.
—Colorado Springs Independent