May Day

May Day

A Graphic History of Protest

Illustrated by Sam Bradd and Trevor Mckilligan, By Robin Folvik, Mark Leier, Sean Carleton and Graphic History Collective


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May Day: A Graphic History of Protest traces the development of International Workers’ Day, May 1st, against the ever-changing economic and political backdrop in Canada. Recognizing the importance of work and the historical struggles of workers to improve their lives, with a particular focus on the struggles of May 1st, the comic includes the reader as part of this history, and the story concludes that “We are all part of this historical struggle; it’s our history and our future.”

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May Day is a grand experiment in reviving the traditional holiday of working people, with lively comic art adding a new dimension to themes that need badly to be seen and understood by younger generations.

– Paul Buhle, author of A People’s History of American Empire

May Day turns labour history into a wonderful visual experience, accessible to a wide audience; it’s a worthy heir to the grand graphic tradition pioneered by the Industrial Workers of the World over a century ago.

– Andrew Parnaby, associate professor, history, Cape Breton University

What’s impressive about this graphic book is its clarity and its attention to labour history and May Day on both sides of the Canada/US border.

– Linda Kealey, author of Enlisting Women for the Cause: Women, Labour and the Left in Canada, 1890-1920

Labour educators, perhaps especially adult educators, will also be grateful for another teaching tool that should entice students to learn more about the history of workers’ struggles.

– Labour Studies Journal

This fascinating work provides an original, accessible window into the history of International Workers’ Day and the wider story of grassroots struggle for working-class power.

– Benjamin Isitt, author of Militant Minority: British Columbia Workers and the Rise of a New Left

The May Day Graphic History is a wonderful introduction to a major event in labor history and its significance, far too little known in North America.

– Noam Chomsky

A lively, clenched-fist people’s history that leaps off the page with a feisty spirit and brilliant artwork.

– Craig Heron and Steve Penfold, authors of The Workers’ Festival: A History of Labour Day in Canada

This eminently enjoyable graphic book emphasizes working men’s and working women’s struggle as central to the May Day experience.

– Greg Kealey, author and founding editor of

May Day is history with a twist: entertaining, insightful, informative, and seen through a critical lens.

– Florencia Berinstein, director, Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts