Red Harvest

A Graphic Novel of the Terror Famine in Soviet Ukraine

Michael Cherkas

Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin waged a brutal war against the Soviet peasantry leading to the Holodomor, the terror-famine that killed at least 4 million Ukrainians during the fall and winter of 1932-33. This previous Russian aggression in Ukraine is lamentably relevant as we witness the horrors unfold in the current Ukrainian war. 

Red Harvest is based on the tragic events that took place in Soviet Ukraine and other parts of the Soviet Union from 1929 to 1933. Stalin and the ruling Communist Party began their program of forced large-scale collectivization of individual farms and farmers, including the seizure of livestock, farm implements, crops, seed stock, and other property.

Red Harvest is the fictional story, based on true stories as related to the Ukranian-Canadian author, of Mykola Kovalenko, a Ukrainian immigrant to Canada, who was the only member of his family to have survived the famine. Through his memories, we witness the horrors of what happened to his family and fellow villagers in the "breadbasket of Europe" as they struggled—not only to make sense of the war that was being waged against them—but, ultimately, to survive.

Featured in Publishers Weekly's TOP TEN FALL 2023 ADULT COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS!


"Cherkas brilliantly encompasses the scope of a genocide in an emotionally gripping human story."
- Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW

"Red Harvest is a gripping historical graphic novel covering the oppression and starvation of Ukrainian farmers under Soviet rule…exposing some of the roots of Russo-Ukrainian hostilities, Red Harvest is...moving and englightening."
- Peter Dabbene, Foreword Reviews

"Cherkas draws the comic in a self-described raw and sketchy black-and-white style that captures emotion, landscape, and pain equally well...Red Harvest is a timely, intense reminder of the horrors once inflicted upon the Ukrainian people."
- Matthew Noe, Booklist

"Rendered with wit, tact and great reserve, it adds meat to history’s bones, tracing the slow, gradual, hopeless decline and repercussions very much in the manner later employed in George Orwell’s Animal Farm."
- Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

"A somber and moving read."
- Shona Reads

"A simply riveting read from start to finish...raises the medium of the graphic novel to a peerless level of literary excellence."
- James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

"poignant, tragic and a brilliant example of what comics can be."
- Frank Plowright, The Slings and Arrows

"A demanding historical narrative with a profound, ever-relevant vision of the human capacity for both cruelty and cultural persistence."
- Emilia Packard, Library Journal

6x9, 144pp, B&W hardcover, $19.99.
ISBN 9781681123202

Ebook, $9.99
ISBN 9781681123233