If Virginia Had Been Named for Henry VIII

Published:June 9, 2009 by Brendan Wolfe

Larry Gonick is one of my cartooning heroes, and after posting Kyle Baker’s version of the Nat Turner Revolt the other day, I decided to look for Gonick’s take on Jamestown. (Also, I’ve been reading about Jamestown.) For those of you not yet initiated, Gonick is a Harvard-educated mathematician and self-declared Overeducated Cartoonist.

Since 1972, I’ve been creating comics that explain history, science, and other big subjects. Why such heavy stuff? Because I’ve made it my mission to bring people the information they need to make wise decisions about the future of the human community. I’m only trying to save the world here!

Anyway, his books—especially The Cartoon History of the Universe series—are a joy to read and remarkably stimulating besides. This is not dumbed-down history, and the jokes are often snide or political or sometimes just plain dirty.

Here, then, is a sample from The Cartoon History of the Modern World, Part I: From Columbus to the U.S. Constitution (2007).


Probably just me, but it’s the Henry VIII joke that seals the deal.

Find more of Gonick’s work here.