a girl with a backpack stands outside her school

Seeds of Spring #3: A Mi'kmaq Teen Discovers Kropotkin, Punk, and Her Place in the World | The Same Old Mistakes Again and Again

by Christopher Coquard Author and Sacha Ravenda Author

"The Same Old Mistakes Again and Again" is the third comic in the 15-part Seeds of Spring series. Naguset spends precious time with her brother Mu'in before he is deployed to active military duty, and he tells her more of the story behind her name. At school, she helps a friend cope with cruel bullying. A century earlier and half a world away, young Peter stands up to bullies of his own at military school, and later finds solace in nature, letters, and banned books. 

In this innovative serial graphic novel, Naguset, a modern Canadian Mi'kmaq teenager, exchanges books and mix tapes with her pen pal, Chris. Her imagination sparks when he sends her a biography of the 19th century Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin. The story juxtaposes Naguset's personal and political coming-of-age in her loving family home with Kropotkin's rocky upbringing in a princely palace. These two stories of eventful lives and bold hearts are interwoven with Kropotkin's theories of freedom, Mi'kmaq vocabulary and social history, and an uplifting punk soundtrack, creating a unique reading experience bound to inspire readers to think in new ways about the issues of our time. 

Comments & Reviews


I've lately become enamored of the teachings of Peter Kropotkin, the philosophical founder of anarchism. His advocacy of decentralized collectives based on mutual aid may seem hopelessly utopian, but I think many of his century-old concepts have practical applications in contemporary society. I recently marched with a column of spirited young Seattle anarchists. It was a little scary, though I admired their courage and conviction. I largely pursue passive resistance, but a more militant response is often appropriate.

There's a captivating comic book series, Seeds of Spring, by Canadian artists Christopher Coquard and Sacha Ravenda examining the intersection of Kropotkin and punk rock through the eyes of a First Nations teenager. Available at Fantagraphics Bookstore or Portland's adventurous Microcosm Publishing. Highly recommended.