Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story

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Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story (1957)

Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story

Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story (1957). Writer: Alfred Hassler and Benton Resnik. Art: ?. This remarkable non-fiction comic book explains Martin Luther King 's philosophy of non-violence and tells the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956). The comic book is a single issue, not a series. See the Wikipedia for much background information.

The sixteen page comic book is divided into three stories. All three stress non-violence, but each concentrates on a single subject:

Using separate "stories" was typical of US comic books of the 1930's to 1960's era. Today, there would be cultural pressure to make the whole book a single "graphic novel", with these various subjects all embedded in a single, on-flowing story. I prefer the separate stories approach used by "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story". It helps organize the comic book into logically distinct topics. And thus makes the material easier to understand.

Technology used by the Civil Rights movement is included. Mimeograph machines are used to print up numerous flyers informing the public about the boycott. For much of the 20th Century, mimeograph was the main technology that allowed ordinary people to create numerous copies of information. We also see loudspeakers used by Civil Rights orators, to address large crowds.

US comic books from the 1930's on stressed glamorous men in police uniforms. The same tradition is followed in "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story", with the local cops portrayed in dressy uniforms. One rides a glamorized motorcycle. This can seem a bit odd, as the police are among the bad guys in this tale. However, it perhaps reflects the idealistic convictions of this tale, in which everyone is seen as ultimately redeemable, and a member of a future society that will be filled with brotherhood.