Ellie JamesFollow

Publication Date

Spring 5-2023


College of Arts and Sciences


Interdisciplinary Studies


labor strikes, coal mining, comics, sequential art, graphic narrative, historiographic narrative, Blair Mountain, West Virginia, Matewan


Appalachian Studies | Creative Writing | Illustration | Interdisciplinary Arts and Media | Labor History | Other Arts and Humanities | Public History | Visual Studies


Between August 24 and September 4 of 1921, approximately 10,000 West Virginia coal miners marched to Blair Mountain in Logan County in a militant stand for their right to unionize. Despite its status as the largest labor uprising in United States history, few know or understand the impact of the Battle of Blair Mountain today, even within the borders of West Virginia. This creative project aims to contribute to ongoing efforts to memorialize this period of the West Virginia Mine Wars through the creation of a 10-page comic, titled I Come Creeping, which depicts and is informed by the events and cultural framework leading up to the battle. A summary of the historical context of the Battle of Blair Mountain establishes the content the comic seeks to cover, followed by an overview of the public forgetting which occurred after the battle and target audience which clarifies the need for such a project. The rationale for the use of a comic to communicate such content is grounded in historiographic narrative theory, which holds that the medium of graphic narrative is uniquely situated to deliver history to audiences.