Frederick Douglass' 4th:
Standing with the Crushed&Bleeding Slave

A year ago today, Fred Clark of Slacktivist, posted an excerpt of Frederick Douglass’ 4th of July speech, which I've adapted to a sort of calligraphy/comic form here: my attempt to ramp back into making comics. Sorry my color correction is horribly inconsistent...

page 1. Click on the image for the full-size version.

For the callig, I used a schaeffer calligraphy pen, mostly with the ‘fine’ nib, which is nice because it's metal and so small; but in order to keep the pen from clogging, they sensibly put permanently water soluble ink in the cartridges. The blue comes from using a pen with a wider nib—that's the color I had in it at the time I made this.

page 2. Click on the image for the full-size version.

The drawing is done in pencil (imperfectly erased) and inked with a set micron disposable technical pens, ranging from .005 to .08. Unlike the callig pens, these are filled with permanent (archival) black ink. I love these things—I've used technical pens for years, and no matter what I did or how much I cleaned them, they clogged. These don't. Yay.

page 3. Click on the image for the full-size version.

The paper is a 9x12 canson, “French-made ‘heavy-weight’ (180g/111 lb) medium tooth (thankfully acid-free) paper”, in a spiral bound microperf. But what made it particularly appealing to me was the fact that it was Gift's[1] ; it had a few of her drawings in it, mostly people drawn in the anime style; I was particularly charmed by one of a puma, and also a centaur. This accidental memento had 5 blank pages left; and that is what determined the length of this work.

page 4. Click on the image for the full-size version.

Yay, I finally figured out I could use the white parts of windows to match the's still off. Obviously I need to get a pro monitor, and calibrate it properly.

page 5. Click on the image for the full-size version.

I really enjoyed making this but I realize it's hard to read. But you can check out the original, after all; and Fred's reprised the post again this year, with variations. Which reminded me that, oh yeah, I've been saving this for the past year to put it up. Thank you, Fred.[2]

Update, 2jul2020: added tags

[1]Our 4th exchange student, our Thai daughter

[2]Also, the fact that the 4th fell on a Friday is propitious as to the timing, for I can think of only one other part of US history that is as fscking ugly ("fugly") as slavery, or, as Ta-Nehisi Coates likes to put it, our long (and still ongoing) war on black people.