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Discover the 7 Best Graphic Novels About Modern History

The world of comics isn’t limited to superhero battles or Archie and Jughead stories. They can be the gateway to learning about historical events that took place decades ago.

Graphic illustrations in comics about history can capture the essence of historical events, addressing prevalent issues by looking into the past visually.

If you want to dive into a history lesson without the boredom, take a look at the following best graphic novels about modern history, detailing historical events from a unique perspective.


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MAUS, by Art Spiegelman, depicts the events of the Holocaust from a survivor’s perspective. The author, however, takes a completely postmodern approach while trying to narrate his father’s story as a Polish Jew survivor of World War II.

Spiegelman uses animals such as Mice, Cats, Pigs, Dogs, etc., to depict different identities, such as Jews, Germans, Poles, and Americans, and recounts events of the War and Nazi concentration sites from 1933-1938. This makes the illustrations more captivating and unique.

2. Persepolis

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An autobiographical take visualizing the Islamic Revolution of 1978-79, Persepolis is written by Marjane Satrapi, who draws upon her life’s years in Iran and Austria. The title refers to the Persian Empire’s historical capital.

Through a series of black-and-white images, Satrapi lets readers picture her rebellious, alter-ego personality in Islamized and war-torn Iran. The series of comics follow her life’s journey to Europe, where she navigates Western life and then makes her way back to a Post-Islamic Revolution Iran.

3. They Called Us Enemy

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This autobiographical memoir illustrates George Takei’s Japanese American identity subjected to legalized racism as his family gets imprisoned in American Concentration Camps during World War II in mid 1940s.

Takei retells his childhood and events in the camp surrounded by barbed wires, where he witnesses fights, arrests, and states of emergency. As Takei’s mother denounces her citizenship, the end of the war brings concerns of heightened racism.

Readers can get enthralled by visual depictions of conversations that stem from fear of persecution in this historically packed graphic novel.

4. Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts

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In this graphic memoir, Rebecca Hall tells the story of Black women and their significant role in leading slave revolts. She employs research in archives to create a story that describes the lives of Adono and Alele, two black slave women who rebelled for freedom.

The comics utilize a superhero style of illustrations to depict stories of other enslaved women who were part of the rebellion of 1712 and led slave movements for freedom in New York. Hall uses her historical imagination to draw attention to their narratives.

5. Palestine

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This graphic novel by Joe Sacco sketches the events taking place on the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 90s, marked by the failure of the peace process initiated by the Clinton government before the end of the first Uprising.

The somewhat cartoonish illustrations deviate from mainstream perceptions of the conflict between Israel and Palestine and explain the stories of many Palestinians who have suffered tremendously due to it. Sacco’s storytelling is exceptionally comical but, at the same time, genuine and hard-hitting.

6. Mark: Trilogy

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John Lewis, a U.S. congressman and a prominent leader in the Civil Rights Movement, gives an account of his life’s story through this autobiographical comic trilogy. The black and white illustrations provide an insider view of protests raged by Civil Rights Activists in America as they confronted state troopers in the 1960s.

The illustrations in this trilogy sequentially follow Lewis’ life as a young boy in the fields of Alabama. It goes up to his role as an activist and finally as a U.S. congressman preparing for the inauguration of America’s first Black President.

7. Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood

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This graphic novel by Nathan Hale engages readers in its true stories of World War I. Similar to ‘MAUS’, Hale uses animals for people to describe famous battles, world leaders, and various technological developments on the cusp of WWI from 1914-1918.

Focusing on the Western Front, the author portrays himself as a war spy about to be hanged and retells the war’s incidents to the provost and executioner. The comics use intelligent humor while adding complexity to unknown aspects of the past.

Final Word

These best historical comics that explore historical events from thought-provoking angles are perfect for people who want to add to their knowledge. Choose the ones you’re the most excited about, and let the fun begin.

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6 Best Games about Alternate History: Learning History the Interesting Way

If you thought video games about history were the ultimate learning tool you needed, you are mistaken. While historic games give you facts and figures about significant past events, games about alternate history allow you to dissect events unlike anything else.

While learning history, often questions are asked about what could have occurred if a single event in history had been altered — a life spared, or possibly a life lost. Thinking about different angles and endings helps gain clarity and understanding about the cause of those events.

You can achieve this in the easiest, funniest way by playing some of the best games about alternate history. These games are incredibly imaginative and thrilling stories that combine genuine historical locations and events with fantasy. Here are some examples that you can try out!

1. Freedom Fighters

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After World War II, the US entered the Cold War. The Russian Empire started making its own nuclear arms and financing communist regime reforms worldwide. Although the superpowers never went to war, Freedom Fighters envisions a narrative where the Soviet Union invades New York.

In freedom fighters, you get to take on the role of Chris Stone, who is a plumber-turned-action hero. Together with his brother Troy, he is tasked with gathering rebels and ending the Soviet takeover of New York City.

2. Fallout

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In Fallout, China blasted the United States into a radioactive wasteland.  The fact that the 1950s never ended, yet technology evolved, is an intriguing aspect of the game. So, in addition to commercials, music, and fashion from the 1950s, there are robotics and plasma weapons. This difference generates the game’s comic tone amid immense terror, including it in one of the best games about alternate history.

The fallout shows odd equipment that runs on nuclear power because the transistor was never created after World War 2. Fallout uses a reality-based basis and twists it. There might be disastrous variations in how contemporary times played out if something as simple as the transistor was not created — a gadget that many individuals never think about.

3. Homefront

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The game’s narrative takes place in the 2010s when North Korea and superpowers clash over the country’s military aggressiveness, which includes a successful nuclear test and the loss of a South Korean ship.

The United States is shown in Homefront in a completely different light than it is presently, with a defense far from the most competitive in the world. As a result, it’s a prime target for a North Korean attack, and it’s up to you to incite a revolt that will liberate the country.

4. Bioshock

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The alternate history of Bioshock is tough to determine since it exists in several different timelines. Essentially, it occurs in a world when technology progresses at a far quicker rate. This is why, in what seems to be the 1950s, there is essentially futuristic technology.

BioShock transports you to the wreckage of a failed Objectivist civilization. Rapture’s clientele has become substance maniacs addicted to ADAM, a DNA-modifying chemical. You play as Jack, who explores further inside Rapture to learn its mysteries and stop Andrew Ryan, the organization’s commander.

Because cities like Rapture are so remote and cut off from the rest of the world, there isn’t much historical data to draw on. However, it demonstrates a great deal in terms of American customs and beliefs in various situations.

5. Prey

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Prey alters history by failing the assassination attempt on President Kennedy, who would live until 2031. This leads to a period of scientific advancement that would result in far more space travel and research. The game goes on to show how you’ll be fleeing from strange aliens that appear to be on the verge of taking over the Earth.

The chronology in the game features humanity’s discovery of the Typhon, aggressive aliens with both physical and mental characteristics. The Typhon was discreetly kidnapped and held in the Kletka space shuttle by the USA and the USSR.

6. We Happy Few

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This alternate timeline depicts a World War 2 ending in which Hitler loses power and Germany becomes the German Empire. They then attacked England, which quickly submitted and survived the invasion. Considering how drastically different World War II would have turned out if Germany had control of Great Britain, We Happy Few is dangerously close to reality.

In this game, people living in the Wellington wells had to do something horrible with kids, so they invented a medication to help them recall. This, on the other hand, soon goes downhill. They are joyful because of the drug, but they have no morality. They experience visions and hit anyone who declines to take the pills.

Final Word

Players interested in history may enjoy the mentioned best games about alternate history that explore “what-if?” scenarios. These games follow and modify real history to produce new realities. But because they are based on the authentic culture and technology of the period, you get to learn a lot!

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3 Best Historical Historical Movies on Netflix: Southeast Asia Edition

No one can deny that Southeast Asian movies never fail to impress our typical Western taste on cinematography. You might be running out of best historical movies on Netflix to watch, but you may be missing some of the most plausible ones to view. Read through our list of 3 Best Historical Movies on Netflix: Southeast Asia Edition below.

1.) First they Killed my Father (2017)

“First They Killed My Father” by Angelina Jolie is her best directorial work so far: a rare film that tells the tragedy of the country through the eyes and heart of a child, and it is also the best war film ever. The dramatic Cambodian historical movie is adapted from a girl named Loung Ung’s memoirs about his family experience after the Khmer Rouge took over Cambodia. The movie is directed by Jolie and co-authored by Loung Ung herself, it differs from most works in this respect not only in that it is well done, but also in some extraordinary cinematographic details it possesses.

When the Khmer Rouge occupied Phnom Penh, Ung was 5 years old. Her young mind was tainted by memories of hunger, cruelty and sudden death. She learned skills no kid should know, like how to bury landmines, how to throw an AK47, and how to pierce a spear into the chest of a Vietnamese soldier.

Understandably, the US military expressed disinterest or hostility towards Cambodia, then President Richard Nixon insisted there was no American war there, and then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger coldly promised “The final solution” is in this area. The mix of languages ​​in this section reinforces the notion that this era is a tragedy of international concern, regardless of whether or not people alive at the time noticed it.

Luong’s story begins in relative peace. The little girl and her bourgeois family are in the capital, led by a military police father (Phoeung Kompheak), wondering what changes the end of the American war will bring. The Khmer Rouge, a branch of the North Vietnamese People’s Army led by the future dictator Pol Pot, arrived in the town, shattered the remnants of the country’s weak official government, and began a purge that would kill millions of people. Loung’s father saw the writing on the wall and took his wife (Sveng Socheata) and children out of town.

 From then on, “First They Killed my Father” became a survival story about a suddenly helpless family spending a day at all costs. Their efforts are obscured by their knowledge, because they know that not everyone can survive, and even seemingly plain interactions can lead to family separation, imprisonment, cruel treatment or murder. The first scene in which Luong’s mother, father, and siblings took off most of their possessions (including some beloved clothes and toys), which sends a heartbreaking message to viewers knowing that these events are from the lens of a curious, innocent child.

2.) General Antonio Luna (2015)

Heneral Luna pays tribute to the heroic military commander who led the Philippines in the struggle for freedom in the late 19th century. It is a powerful and moving, sometimes simplistic, historical epic about the bravery and betrayal of a country at war. In the last years of Antonio Luna, the European educated scientist became a soldier and was killed by his betraying subordinates at just 32 years old. Jerrold Tarog’s Big Budget blockbuster sparked a sensation in the Philippines. Local audiences are warm with John Arcilla’s highly transformed role as Luna and how his story reflects the chaos of contemporary Philippine politics.

 A drama featuring introductory readings and two hours of relentless bragging about the history of Southeast Asian countries, Heneral Luna has been selected as the best foreign language film in the country for 2016’s Oscar presentation. Although the film thrives on some universal truths about the futility of political ideals, its appeal outside of the Philippines and the global diaspora may be limited. At the same time, its core production values ​​and domestic achievements, considering its status as a major local studio’s independent production, may hinder its search for festival tours of genre masters like Eric Marty.

 Avoiding the disturbing truths of Luna’s early life and passing politics (he started advocating political reforms rather than full-scale revolutions), the film began in 1898, when he was already immersed in armed struggle and was the commander of the Republican Army. By then, the US military had defeated the Spanish colonists and was preparing to annex the Archipelago, while Luna was busy leading the independence movement towards direct confrontation with a superpower aimed at gaining a foothold in Asia.

 Such a movie that landed on our 3 best historical movies on Netflix list tells the story of a person who had the witness of the very first Philippine President and Dictator Emilio Aguinaldo killing fellow dissidents, such as the execution of the rebel commander Andrés Bonifacio. A brutal murder, which foreshadows what is about to happen. Following Luna’s doomed disappearance, Tarog’s film tells a whirlwind of accusations in which one of the fighters ignores his two-faced opponents, furious at the dying light, and staggers towards a terrible ending.

 Just as Woodrow Wilson’s 1920 “Manifestation of Destiny” speech was used to reinforce the argument that the United States expanded in the 1890s, the message here is undoubtedly noble and affirmative. Heneral Luna moves forward without blinking, his trade is as subtle as his nominal hero.

1.) Kartini, Princess of Java (2017)

This third movie from our 3 best historical movies on Netflix list is about a Javanese Princess, Kartini, one of the most iconic Indonesian heroines that contributed to the patriotic struggle for Indonesian independence from The Netherlands and Japan. Since the film focuses on Kartini’s life when she reached the age for marriage, she talks about the nominal role in achieving her goal of studying abroad and seeing the world. The story of the struggle is outside the walls of his palace, his place of confinement. She negotiated and engaged with her father and other older male relatives so that she could play on the beach, continue the relationship with her Dutch friends, and then maintain relationships with her future husband in the scheduled marriage so that she could open schools for the disadvantaged groups of women.

Kartini’s idea is to show the world the art of Jepara woodcarving, the iconic crafts of the area are known today, as well as her understanding of Islam and her suggestion to translate the Qur’an into the local Javanese language so that the people can avoid mistakes in interpreting it and commit crimes in the name of religion.

119 minutes were filled with all content, the conflict was tense from the start, and some narratives that affected character development were excluded, which is understandable. It is obvious from the title that Hanung (The Director) adapted the novel Panggil Aku Kartini Saja (Just Call Me Kartini) by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, which tells how Kartini decided to give up his noble title, Raden Ajeng, while the status of his birth mother Ngasirah was lowered.

The Princess is played by actress Dian Sastrowardoyo as Kartini, Ayushita as Kardinah and Acha Septriasa as Roekmini.

The Princess’ close relationship with his younger brother Sos Roctono (Reza Rahadian), who was studying in the Netherlands, was mainly reflected in the film in the schoolbag he sent to the three sisters.