Earlier this year, Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1245 in Vacaville, Calif., published First Day, a 20-page comic book detailing the history of Local 1245 and the labor movement, which is distributed to all new members. And so far, it is a big hit.
“It is the first thing people turn to when they get their orientation packets,” says Eric Wolfe, communications director at Local 1245.
Wolfe worked with artist Tom Christopher to put the comic book together, based on a history Wolfe did of the local.
First Day tells the story of a new employee at the California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E). The worker tells his son about the IBEW and all the good benefits that being a union member brings his family, while recounting the struggles that helped create the labor movement and Local 1245.
It was a big project, says Wolfe, but rewarding for all involved.
“It was a rich experience trying to take labor history and turn it into engaging dialogue and drama without distorting the facts,” he says.
One of the main motivations for doing the comic was the desire to find new ways to reach younger members, says Business Manager Tom Dalzell.