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Historical comic heading for schools

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By Donald Turvill
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Historical comic heading for schools
HANDOVER . . . left to right: comic illustrator Hugh Bryden, Alison Burgess from Dumfries and Galloway Libraries Services, Alastair Young from the region’s education authority, and Dr Gerard McKeever, the book’s author

COPIES of a new comic book created by a local writer and illustrator are set to make their way into the hands of Dumfries and Galloway schoolchildren.

‘Don’t Call Me a Pirate!’ has been written by Dr Gerard McKeever, with illustrations from the Annan-based poet and artist Hugh Bryden.

The comic book, which features a historical figure from the region as its main character, was conceived as part of research undertaken recently by Dr McKeever into literature and representations of Dumfries and Galloway.

600 copies have now been donated by the pair to the council’s Skills, Education and Learning Department to be distributed amongst primary school pupils and libraries across the region.

The comic tells the story of John Paul Jones, an 18th century Kirkcudbrightshire sailor who was acclaimed as being the founder of the US Navy during the American War of Independence. Jones’ reputation as a hero or a pirate, which depends on the reader’s point of view, makes it an engaging read for pupils, particularly ones with an interest in the region’s connection to world history.

Aimed at 11 and 12 year-olds, it also explores the media’s role in the creation of identity, as well as issues of home and belonging.

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