The following is a short preview, the full comic is published in the book, Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working-Class Struggle, an anthology of Canadian labour history comics edited by the Graphic History Collective and historian Paul Buhle and published by Between the Lines Press in 2016.

The Battle of Ballantyne Pier

By David Lester

Written and illustrated by the multi-talented David Lester, the comic examines the history of longshore work and the violent events that unfolded in 1935 on the waterfront of Vancouver, British Columbia.

More than just a passing interest for Lester, there is a family connection to this piece of history. His grandfather was a longshoreman in Vancouver for most of his life, and was there the day that saw “blood-spattered rocks litter[ing] the streets in which the fighting took place…Bandaged and blood-dripping heads were a common sight, both among police and civilians” (as described by Torchy Anderson, Labour Reporter for the Province Newspaper).

Battle of Ballantyne Pier 1 Battle of Ballantyne Pier 2


  • Dave Lester’s graphic story about The Battle of Ballantyne Pier is excellent. It should be in every Canadian school and library. What a great way to teach history! The personal connection with his grandfather made it all the better. lThanks Dave!

  • Hello. I just heard your fascinating interview on Radio One. Good luck with the book release. I will be looking to find out where I can get a copy.

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