Captive of Friendly Cove
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 6 and up
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing (September 8, 2015)
BOOK BLURB: From the creators of the award-winning Trickster and District Comics, comes another graphic novel about adventure and tribal life. After his ship is burned and his shipmates killed, British sailor John Jewitt lived for nearly three years as a captive of the Mowachaht people on the west coast of Vancouver Island. During his captivity, Jewitt kept journals of his experiences and of tribal life. Follow his adventures as he plies his skills as a blacksmisth, saves his only remaining crew member, and comes up with a strategy to free them both.
REVIEW: Graphic novels are increasingly popular, and I can see the appeal. A story can be told quickly with the pictures saying as much as the words. Because my exposure to graphic novels is limited, I was interested in reading this book to see for myself why so many people prefer this medium.
I am also a history buff, so the factual elements of the story were also a great incentive to explore a genre I am not familiar with.
I’m glad I did.
The artwork is stunning, giving us a visual of the Island and the people, and what a wonderful way to experience the history and the geography. And the writing is a terrific example of creative nonfiction. The historical and cultural facts are true, but presented in a compelling story.
Through the story, the reader gets to know what life was like for the Indians at that time, and while so many tribes were categorized in history books as savages, these Indians were very civilized. They had a well-established social order and took care of their families with great loyalty. A fact that is actually true for most Indian tribes. With only a few exceptions those “savages” only resorted to violence when threatened.
There is an underlying message of treating people with respect that comes through very poignantly when John and the Indian chief reflect on how the white man has treated the Indians in previous visits to the island. They both think of how things could be different now had the white man not treated the Indian so poorly in the past.
I highly recommend this book for young readers, and not so young readers. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.
ABOUT THE CREATORS: Rebecca Goldfield is an award-winning writer/producer of both documentary films with a focus on history and science. Her work has aired on NPR, PBS, The Discovery Channel, and National Geographic TV among others. She was a contributor to the Harvey-nominated graphic novel, District Comics, and is presently working on a television series about institutional corruption.
Mike Short lives and works in Lorton, Virginia and spends his free time watching movies with his wife Danette, playing with his kids, chasing his runaway dogs, or burning the midnight oil drawing comics with friends. He was a contributor to the Eisner-nominated and Aesop Prize-winning, Trickster, and his comics frequently appear in Magic Bullet, a free comics newspaper published by the D.C. Conspiracy.
Matt Dembicki previously edited and contributed to the Eisner-nominated and Aesop Prize-winning Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection. He also served at the helm of Wild Ocean: Sharks, Whales, Rays, and Other Endangered Sea Creatures, and District Comics: An Unconventional History of Washington, D.C., a Harvey Award-nominated anthology that was named as one of the best books of 2012 by the Washington Post.
Evan Keeling is a founding member of the DC Conspiracy, a comic creator collective founded 10 years ago in Washington DC. Comics he has worked on include Crumbsnatchers, Codename: Fifinella, Xoc: Journey of a great white, and the Eisner-nominated and Aesop Prize-winning, Trickster. He is currently working on a series of comics about the DC punk scene in the 90s called DC Punk.
You can find out more about the book and the creative team at the Fulcrom Publishing website.
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