Freedom City Comics

About our comic

‌Freedom City Comics anthology presents snapshots of the history of civil rights and politics on Tyneside.

Each chapter focuses on a different era of the history of people and events in Newcastle and the North East. The 7 chapters are linked by the themes of freedom highlighted by Dr Martin Luther King Jr in his 1967 Newcastle speech:

"There are three urgent and indeed great problems that we face not only in the United States of America but all over the world today. That is the problem of racism, the problem of poverty and the problem of war..."

-Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech on Receipt of Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law, November 13, 1967, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Made as part of Freedom City 2017, our 16-page comic is a collaboration between comics artist-writers and academic researchers:

The full digital comic is available FREE to read on this project website. Look out for each standalone digital chapter, too.

The full printed comic is available to pick up FREE at libraries, cultural venues, and other events around Tyneside as part of Freedom City 2017. Visit the Venues section to find out where you can pick it up.

Press release:

Cover - Paul Peart-Smith, working with alumnus Paul Barry

Olaudah Equiano - Patrice Aggs, working with researcher Brycchan Carey

Joseph Cowen - Mack Chater and Ian Mayor, working with researcher Joan Allen

Ellen Wilkinson - Sha Nazir, working with researcher Matt Perry

What is Freedom City 2017?

Freedom City 2017 is a city wide  programme marking the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. receiving an honorary degree at Newcastle University. Freedom City 2017 takes place at venues across Newcastle and Gateshead throughout the year, culminating in a series of centrepiece events in November 2017. For more information, visit