Chester crab comics
Chester history comics for learning

history comic book SOL learning 1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade 4th grade 5th grade 6th grade 7th grade 8th grade

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Free Comic - history for reluctant readerscomics with content history comics for reluctant readers comics that bring history to life fun history for kids free teacher guides free history games and puzzles contact Bentley Boydstate standards for teaching SOL

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Chester comics history for the visual learner or reluctant reader

history in the classroom
school learning comics "Thank you, Mr. Boyd, for something I know my students will enjoy and remember!"

Laura, a teacher
from Illinois
classroom art kids students learning
ancient history american history

About the Author

me as a boy

There was no class at Harvard University to learn how to draw a talking crab on Patrick Henry’s shoulder.

But I’ve strung together ideas and curiosity and a little bit of talent for 26 years now and have used comix to teach several generations of young people about American history and civics.

When I was a kid desperate to buy a comic book — ANY comic I could find — I didn’t think we’d ever really get to live in a science fiction world with a computer in every pocket and dedicated comic book stories packed with a rainbow of books of all shapes and sizes. I did dream, though. I devoured the daily newspaper and its comix before I delivered it every morning. I read biographies all summer long. I wrote fiction for myself and nonfiction for the school newspapers. I drew my own characters in my own comix (and quickly realized I don’t have the patience for drawing complicated city skylines — so a career with Batman was out).

Doing cartoons about political topics seemed a good way to make a living off all my pieces of parts. drawing chesterSo I drew for my high school newspaper in Brookings, S.D., and drew daily editorial cartoons for three years at the Harvard Crimson. I liked business stuff, so I syndicated my toons across New England and earned the first Al Capp Satire Award given at Harvard. I graduated cum laude in 1990 with a degree in History and Literature, focusing on Colonial America.

I moved to Virginia in 1992 to report and draw for the Daily Press in Newport News. I tackled local issues in my “Boyd’s Eye View” political cartoon from 1994 to 1999. One day the editors asked me to draw a few kid cartoons for the 25th anniversary of Earth Day. So I created Chester the Chesapeake Bay blue crab to be my narrator – and we caught adults reading the strips. A door had swung open. Should I go through? It’s scary to go through a door without knowing the other side. But now I had a chance to use my cartoons to teach young people instead of just make snarky remarks in political toons (I was just making memes, really).

the kidsI ran through that door as fast as I could. Chester ran as a weekly feature from 1997 to 1999. When state tests got harder and put pressure on teachers, my editor asked if I would draw Chester daily and cover the state test requirements. My oldest son was in third grade. I could literally help HIM! I said yes and kept following this exciting new trail. I did all the research, writing, drawing, and coloring of Chester. I made author visits to schools. This felt like the one thing that would pull together all my pieces of interests and skills. I had a job that paid me to read books in the library every summer!! The Daily Press also paid for a committee of teachers to review each of my scripts to make sure they would help in real classrooms. The teachers and I learned a lot from each other and produced five years of fantastic stories.

In 2003 the paper gave me permission to reprint those stories in book form. Since then I’ve published 36 Chester Comix (s0me of them brand new storytelling) and launched a smartphone app to put Chester in those pockets in our sci-fi world. I hope you like some of my stories.

Bentley Boyd, Illustrator
Bentley Boyd, Storyteller
Chester Comix, LLC
Chester crab comics