About American Scraps

A Stalwart Heritage

When it comes to smoke-billowing industrial factories that operate ceaselessly to take in scrapped artifacts from American history and convert them into comic strips, there’s just one name you can really trust: American Scraps.™ For generations, we’ve not just talked the talk of archival scrap dumping: we’ve got the comics to show for it.

A Proven Process

Acting as a central repository for historical-archival junk, we intake our source scraps (A) and tirelessly set to work converting them via our Primary Processing Facility (B) into comics worthy of your readership. From there, our Electronic Distribution Channel (C) brings them to you.

The Steady Hand of Leadership

In the final analysis, it’s not enough to build an industrial educational-comic-strip empire on clanking factories alone—you need vision. And it’s vision that our steadfast, capable, spry, nonagenarian, nepotism-installed, dairy-obsessed, Brylcreem-odored, blatantly grifting, coldly unfeeling taskmaster of a founder and proprietor—J.P. “Jon” White—delivers each day.

Designed for the Classroom

Hi, folks; Jon here. The real one, not the fake one.

It’s said that every author—or cartoonist—is really writing for him-or-herself at a past age. From its earliest incarnation, American Scraps has simply been me using modern tools to make what-I-would-have-loved as a teenager. More than anyone else, American Scraps is meant for students, particularly in the 5th–11th-grade set. Because that’s when I fell in love with American history.

What I’m trying to do here is take the fear—fear of boredom, fear of opacity, fear of irrelevant complexity—out of American history, and out of its primary documents. We Americans are spoiled when it comes to our primary documents: they’re all readable. All of them are written in modern English. Any adult will stumble over Hamlet, but virtually every tween can read, and make sense out of, the Declaration of Independence.

More than being just rhetorically accessible, these documents & artifacts belie a story that’s imaginatively accessible. The American story is extraordinarily young, and is packed with participants and situations and hopes and tragedies that are relatable to anyone, at any age, living today.

But, to me, the vital thing is that students today see the American story as a pliable one. It’s changed, it’s impacted, by their presence. No American, no matter how young, is a passive observer of American life—he or she is a participant in it. Those twenty-seven Amendments, those civil rights victories, those organizing movements weren’t done by unfathomably exceptional people; they were done by, simply, people. Oftentimes young people. To whatever benefit these comics lend as you communicate that in your class, I feel profoundly grateful. Please drop me a line if there’s anything I can do, in turn, for you.

A Note on Sources

The American Scraps Executive Reference Library

Every American Scraps comic strip cites, links-to, and—where possible—displays a preview of its source artifact. These artifacts are all from public-domain, royalty-free sources, and are appropriate for use in the classroom. Most American Scraps sources come from The National Archives And Records Administration (NARA), whose “Today’s Document” feature was the original inspiration, in 2010, for this whole enterprise. (On a personal note, I’m grateful to NARA for the invaluable work they have done, and continue to do.)

For ease of use in the classroom—specifically grades 5–12—American Scraps organizes its material according to UCLA’s National Standards for History Basic Edition (1996), as you can see in those ten “Historical Eras” above. Learn more about the National Center for History in the Schools here.

If you’re a teacher and are using American Scraps in the classroom, I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at jon@americanscraps.com.

A Note on Theft

The original art you see here on American Scraps is copyrighted, and reproduction of it is prohibited without written approval.

In other words, unless I’ve told you otherwise: Don’t save or screenshot these comics for use in your own post, tweet, slideshow, or embed. Don’t “remix” or “aggregate” them. Don’t reproduce them, even in an appreciative way. Don’t sell them. Don’t drop them into a listicle called “15 Comic GIFs That Tell The Story Of American History (And You Won’t Believe #8!)”.

Instead, contact me at jon@americanscraps.com and let’s talk about your idea.

American Scraps, LLC

  • American Scraps, LLC is © 2017 by Jon White.
  • American Scraps, LLC is a registered corporation in the State of Washington. Its federal tax ID number is #81-3646631.
  • Find more work & nonsense at Jon White Studio.
  • Portrait photography by Jeff Carpenter.
  • Made in Seattle. Built on Middleman.