Hazardous Tales

The author of Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, an award-winning graphic novel series that showcases historic events and individuals, spent a day with Gilman’s Lower and Middle Schools last month, bringing history to life and inspiring students.

Hale’s first stop was an assembly with third and fourth grade students, during which he recounted his historical research and what he learned about Lewis and Clark expedition -- the Corps of Discovery. The author simultaneously sketched the story of Lewis and Clark while sharing off-beat, seldom shared aspects of their expedition. Boys were extremely attentive and knowledgeable about this topic, since it is part of the third grade curriculum.

He then joined the Middle School, where he held cartooning workshops with sixth grade language arts classes. Beginning with a discussion of symbols as language, Hale led the boys through brainstorming characters, their attributes, a problem, and possible resolution. Each student made a four panel cartoon and came up with unique variations on a theme.

During lunch, the author entertained 15 students from the Middle School and 15 faculty members with a drawing game: they collaboratively designed a monster, which he drew, calling it the Gilman Monster.

For an assembly with the entire Middle School, he recounted the Haitian Revolution while live illustrating the story of key players and the lasting legacy of the rebellion.

Nathan Hale ended his presentation by sharing his experience as an illustrator, designing and painting everything from theatrical sets to band posters. His message to the students: say "yes" to opportunities, no matter how small they may seem, as these jobs will ultimately help you grow your skills and allow you to make a living doing what you love.