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Robert Smalls
Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls

Tales of the Talented Tenth


Tales of the Talented Tenth


158 Pages, 8 x 10

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $23.95 (US $23.95) (CA $31.95)

Publication Date: May 2021

ISBN 9781682750667

Rights: WOR

Fulcrum Publishing (May 2021)

Not Yet Published. Estimated release date: May 2021


With vivid and whimsical art, these comics are accessible to adults, teens, and young readers, and bring to life not only an extraordinary tale of adventure but also the history of previously disenfranchised peoples

Do you know the story of the slave who sailed himself to freedom? For the third book in the best-selling series, Tales of the Talented Tenth, Joel Christian Gill brings Robert Smalls to life by telling the true story of the enslaved African who pulled off one of the most daring and largest heists of the Civil War. Come along for the adventure as Robert earns a job working for the C.S.S. Planter, escapes to freedom, goes on to become a first-generation black politician, and makes history by writing and leading the passage of legislation that led to the U.S.' first free and compulsory public school system. Tales of the Talented Tenth is a historical comic series that focuses on the adventures of amazing African Americans in action.


For the Tales of the Talented Tenth series: "Joel Christian Gill is a modern day graphic griot. His mastery of visual storytelling coupled with his tireless research make him one of the most important artist/scholars working today." —John Jennings, Eisner-nominated comics scholar and award-winning graphic novelist

"Joel Christian Gill gives Robert Smalls the adventure genre treatment that he deserves. We need so much more of what Gill consistently delivers." —Rebecca Wanzo, author of The Content of Our Caricature: African American Comic Art and Political Belonging 

Author Biography

Joel Christian Gill is a cartoonist and historian who speaks nationally on the importance of sharing stories. He wrote the words and drew the pictures in Fast Enough: Bessie Stringfield's First Ride (published by Lion Forge, 2019) and the award-winning historical comic series Strange Fruit: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History, as well as, Tales of The Talented Tenth from Fulcrum Publishing. He has worked for diverse clients including the People's United Party of Belize, NBC, The Boston Globe, and The Huffington Post. He was Chair of Comic Arts at The New Hampshire Institute of Art. He is currently Associate Professor of Illustration at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Gill has dedicated his life to creating stories to build connections with readers through empathy, compassion, and ultimately humanity. He received his MFA from Boston University and his BA from Roanoke College.