27 August 2018

Looking Back on an “Errand of Mercy”

A couple of years ago, I collaborated with artist Olivia Li, cover artist Catalina Rufin, editor E. J. Barnes, and the Massachusetts Historical Society to produce a short history comic about the Irish potato famine and Boston’s response to it.

Rick Silve at Comic a Day just posted a nice review of “Errand of Mercy: The Irish Potato Blight and the Good Ship Jamestown”:
Eight page b/w minicomic with a color cover. This begins with a general overview of the history of potatoes in Ireland and the potato blight and famine in the mid-1800s. It then goes on to document the response of Irish immigrants in Boston, who organized a relief effort, securing approval for the sending of the USS Jamestown, a navy ship, with a cargo of 800 tons of food and clothing to Cork, Ireland in 1847.

Considering the space limitations of the minicomic format, this book does a nice job of exploring the political complexities involved in mounting the mission of mercy.

This was a good snapshot of a moment in this history of Ireland and of Boston.
All I wanted was something better than Boston’s Irish Famine Memorial statues.

(Shown above is one interior page; all eight can be read on Olivia Li’s website.)

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