Comic Review: Crogan’s Loyalty

Comic Bento sent me a book of the Crogan Adventures a while back, a kid-friendly series of graphic novels showing the Crogan family as the current generation were learning about their many, many historically interesting ancestors.  That book was about an eighteenth century pirate.

Crogan’s Loyalty tells the story of the pirate’s grandsons, two brothers fighting on opposite sides of the American Revolution.

Using a framing device where the modern Crogan patriarch is en route to his mother’s funeral and dreading speaking to an estranged brother he had a fight with, the man passes the time as he tells his two sons the story of Will and Charlie Crogan, two brothers from the 1770s.  Older brother Will was sent East to go to school and ended up joining the British army as a scout.  Younger brother Charlie stayed in the frontier lands of Pennsylvania and is a scout for the Continental Army.  When the two brothers run across each other, they come first to blows, later meet up for dinner at the home of the girl Charlie has a thing for, and then have a series of adventures involving local settlers, local Natives, and some Hessian mercenaries.

Writer/artist Chris Schweizer actually does something really cool here:  he made a story set in wartime where there are no villains.  Both Charlie and Will are men of strong convictions, but when they aren’t arguing politics, they actually are depicted as two brothers who care very much for each other.  Will isn’t necessarily onboard with everything the English are doing, but he thinks its better than what he sees as the anarchy of the Continental cause.  Likewise, Charlie sees some issues with his own side, but can’t abide a government from thousands of miles away telling his country what to do.  But the other characters aren’t any better or worse.  A group of settlers believes in neither side, and that the sweat of their brows has earned them the land no matter what some treaty with the Indians say.  The Natives mostly want to live in peaceful neutrality aside from one formidable warrior, and even he has good reason to do as he does.  The Hessians are simply soldiers following the proper procedures and their commander is depicted as a good man to his men who only really gets angry when Charlie steals from him.

Really, this was just a fun book that would probably be good for your younger kids if you have any.  There are some moments that are described that might be a bit intense, but that stuff always happens off-panel, so draw your own conclusions for especially sensitive children.  Nine out of ten recountings of what tarring and feathering does.

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