Ukrainian Graphic Novel Makhno Explores History - Comic Years
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Ukrainian Graphic Novel Makhno Explores History and Raises Money

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BY April 14, 2022

Here in the United States, I can recall few times we learned about eastern European history as it did not pertain to our own country. Because of this, I have huge blind spots in my knowledge of the history of countries like Ukraine. Outside of recent events and the Cold War, I can’t say I knew much before the recent invasion by Russian forces. That said, I’ve tried to dive into the histories that led to this war we’re experiencing now in real-time internationally. Overall, one of the best tales of Ukrainian bravery and the push for freedom is actually told in a great graphic novel. The historical Ukrainian graphic novel Makhno explores the history of freedom fighters, and a purchase of the book will benefit Ukraine soldiers via Razom. Here’s where to find the graphic novel and what it’s about.

Makhno: Ukrainian Freedom Fighter Graphic Novel Will Donate Proceed of Sales to Razom

ukrainian graphic novel makhno freedom fighters ukraine benefit razom Image Credit: Humanoids

The publisher Humanoids will use proceeds from the sale of the Ukrainian graphic novel Makhno to benefit freedom fighters via the organization Razom. In their press release, the company shared details on how Razom is helping the cause, per the charitable organization’s website. Razom is providing supplies and medical aid to Ukrainian fighters on the front lines of the Russian invasion. Humanoids Publisher Mark Waid explains, “In the spirit of Nestor Ivanovich Makhno himself, a courageous freedom fighter who took more than once to the front lines of combat, Humanoids has chosen to donate to the organization working most directly with the freedom fighters of today.”

Makhno is the subject of the Ukrainian history-based graphic novel, Makhno: Ukrainian Freedom Fighter. In the 20th century, Makhno, a child of little means, rose up during the Russian revolution. As an anarchist, his story has long been left out of Western lesson plans. Makhno encouraged the Ukrainian people to “embrace social and economic self-determination,” per the graphic novel’s synopsis. As a miliary mastermind, Makhno helped push Bolsheviks and Germans out of Ukraine during the revolution happening all around him.

It’s these sorts of stories that come in handy now as we look to modern conflicts in our world. With a little research, I learned immediately that the Ukrainian heroism we’re seeing today is nothing new. For decades, Ukraine has been home to people passionate about securing and protecting their freedom. The medium of graphic novels serves an educational purpose unique and impactful to the way we learn about this histories.

Graphic Novels and History: Makhno Does More Than Just Benefit Ukraine

ukrainian graphic novel makhno freedom fighters ukraine benefit razom Image Credit: Humanoids

Graphic Novels about history hold a particular power when it comes to education and storytelling. Overall, graphic novels help to ensure that exploring past events occurs seamlessly. If you enjoy reading comics and graphic novels, then why not use this passion to explore history? I’ve found that graphic novels based in historic stories stick with me more than some books. The imagery of these events helps put you into these moments in time. Additionally, they expand the mainstream understanding we have of what comics and graphic novels can be.

I’m all for a good superhero story. I even like the indie comics that explore more tales rooted in realism and modern society. That said, graphic novels continue to be a great vehicle for historical teachings and Makhno is a great example. When the publication releases, you can learn about Nestor Ivanovich Makhno while also helping to benefit Ukrainian freedom fighters push off Russian aggressors.

Makhno: Ukrainian Freedom Fighter releases through Humanoids’ Life Drawn imprint on March 22, 2022. Thanks for reading Comic Years for all things comics and pop culture.

Featured Image Credit: Humanoids


Taylor is the Gaming Editor of Comic Years and a lifelong fan of video games. He holds two degrees in Political Communication and wrote a Master's Thesis on resistance movements, race, and the exploitation of college athletes. His wife and two Toy Australian Sheppards keep him sane.


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