Department of Education Press Office

Contact us at:

NYC Public Schools Distribute Two Millionth ‘Civics for All’ Comic Book

  • Posted: Thu May 02, 2024

Publication makes NYCPS one of the top ten comic book distributors in the United States.

New York, NY – Schools Chancellor David C. Banks today announced the publication of Patsy Takemoto Mink and A Story in Every Object! An Asian American Comics Anthology, the 24th and 25th comic books produced in-house by the Civics for All Comics Group. This release marks the two millionth comic book distributed by the group, pushing New York City Public Schools (NYCPS) into the top ten comic book distributors in the country. This notable achievement was earned in just five years and features the work of many of the top writers and artists in the comic book canon.  

Patsy Takemoto Mink tells the story of a third-generation Japanese American woman from Hawai’i who fought for Title IX and was an advocate for peace, civil rights, and environmental justice. To tell Ms. Mink’s story, NYCPS collaborated with her daughter, Gwendolyn Mink, as well as writers Judy Tzu-Chun and Abigail Chun and illustrator Vian Nguyen, and the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.  

A Story in Every Object! An Asian American Comics Anthology includes six short personal histories:  

  • Cleave by Greg Pak 
  • Woodworking by Trung Le Nguyen 
  • Cookbook by Shing Yin Khor 
  • Wedding Dolls by Nidhi Chanani  
  • Dearly Departed by MariNaomi 
  • Name Plate by Kolbe and Gene Luen Yang 

“Prioritizing civics education is critical to empowering students to become informed citizens and leaders,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “By harnessing the engaging power of comic books and other media, our educators can inspire the next generation of New Yorkers and lay the foundation for a vibrant and inclusive world, while introducing students to voices and stories typically overlooked in textbooks.” 

“Our comic book biography introduces students not only to my mother’s life and times but also to the political advocacy and courage that remains imperative today,” said co-author Gwendolyn Mink, PhD. “I hope our comic book story will inspire students to learn more about specific topics we cover and take to heart my mother’s call to action: ‘I as an individual and you as an individual can make a difference.’” 

"I've absolutely loved working with the brilliant Asian American creators in this anthology,” said author Greg Pak. “Each one has crafted a gorgeous, personal, moving story that shows how everyday objects can shed light on an individual's and family's history of everything from immigration to identity to generational change. Most importantly, these kinds of stories have the potential to help make writing history -- and making comics! -- accessible to everyone." 

"We're thrilled to celebrate this amazing milestone of 2 million printed issues with our friends at NYCDOE! Every comic we’ve created together has been a chance to dive deep into the stories that matter, making space for essential conversations in classrooms and libraries even as we entertain,” said author and co-founder of Good Trouble Productions Kelly Sue DeConnick. “We're excited to keep the momentum of this educational journey going, ensuring that the lessons of history and the importance of civic engagement are accessible to all students. Here’s to the next 2 million!” 

"This is a watershed moment for the American education system as well as the medium of comics and sequential narrative. The opportunity to play a role in making this happen is something for which we will always be grateful,” said Andrew Aydin, author and co-founder of Good Trouble Productions. “But this is just the beginning. There are many more comics to make and much more history to teach. It is our hope that this program, and its success, becomes a model for school systems around the world.” 

“It’s very exciting to co-create a comic biography of Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color in Congress and the namesake for Title IX,” said author and UC Irvine scholar Judy Tzu-Chun Wu. “This work will hopefully introduce her to a wider audience, particularly our next generation of youth and future leaders. We both sought to tell the story of Mink’s life and political vision as well as highlight the process of historical research for young scholars.” 

About the Civics for All Comics Group 

The Department of Social Studies and Civics' Civics for All Comics Group began as a collaboration between New York City Public Schools, creators Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, and Good Trouble Productions with the publishing of Action Activists #1 and Registered #1 in 2020. Since then, the comics group imprint has grown, developing social studies and civics comics as companions to several of our resources. 

NYCPS has commissioned and distributed comics to public schools across the city through year-round programming, including the widely celebrated ‘Civics Week’ each March and New York Comic Con. These works feature creators who have won such prestigious literary awards as the National Book Award, Coretta Scott King Book Award, Eisner Award, Robert F. Sibert Medal, Michael L. Printz Award, and many others.  

In addition, NYCPS distributes related posters and Hidden Voices curriculum guides that aim to tackle the ongoing challenges of civics education and literacy development. Using primary course and unique fact-based storytelling approaches, these works have added depth and breadth to the curriculum offerings for NYC Public School students.  

All of the comic books created by the Civics for All Comics Group are available for free download for anyone across the nation here.