Bradd and Leier first met through The Graphic History Collective, collaborating on May Day: A Graphic History of Protest, a book that “traces the development of International Workers’ Day, May 1st, against the ever-changing economic and political backdrop of Canada.” As one of the founding members of the collective, Bradd says the group was inspired, in part, by the work of historian, Paul Buhle, now a retired lecturer in American Studies at Brown University who is also the editor of a number of graphic histories and biographies. "One of the goals of the Graphic History Collective," Bradd says, "is to create something that moves beyond historians talking to historians. Our work is about incorporating graphic novels and illustrating history so that we reach broader audience and make the ideas articulated in academic research more widely accessible."
Leier says he couldn't be more excited to have Bradd do the illustrations for Graduate School: An Illustrated Primer. “Sam’s illustrations are just so life-affirming and fabulous,” he says. Of the illustrations Bradd and co-illustrator Trevor Mckilligan contributed to May Day: A Graphic History of Protest, Leier says many the historical events depicted in the book have a (necessarily) serious, heavy, or solemn feeling to them, but the artists’ work does not "compromise the seriousness or impact but adds an element of hope in the content […] Sam has this lovely ability to express truth within the lines that he draws and complexities within the shading and delicate details.”
About his own artistic practice, Bradd says, “One model for social change that inspires me has three parts: change happens by changing structures, behaviours, and hearts/minds. You need to activate all three parts to create change in people, and we all have a tendency to favour one area over another.”