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Super Indian Volume 1

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Title: Super Indian Volume 1

Author: Arigon Starr

Illustrator: Arigon Starr

Publisher: Wacky Productions Unlimited

Publication Date: September 5, 2012

Hubert Logan was just a normal Reservation boy until he ate some commodity cheese contaminated with Rezium, a top secret government food enrichment additive. Given powers by the additive, he starts to live a double life as Super Indian, Reservation hero and crime fighter. With the help of his trusty sidekicks Mega Bear and Diogi, he battles the evil forces that would take over the Reservation.

This is a great comic! Educational and humorous. It has the superhero tropes that everyone is used to, but with a Native American spin. While Hubert Logan comes from the fictional Leaning Oak Tribe, the villains are the embodiment of real life social issues: the famous actor of dubious Native heritage, the PBS special’s favorite non-Native flute player, a robot who is commanded to change all the tribal members so they conform to the dominant culture. Even though the comic is full of social commentary, the topics are covered with humor and wit. There are some references that may be confusing, but Starr includes a glossary of terms to help explain some of them at the end of this collection of three stories. There are also great mini-biographies of real life “Super Indians” Maria Tallchief and Jim Thorpe in between the stories.

Even though this comic plays on the already established tropes of the superhero genre, it is different and refreshing as it gives the reader a completely different cultural backing. With talking dogs and over the top dialogue, this book will definitely appeal to a younger audience!

You can also find the webcomic here!

Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

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Title: Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection
Editor:  Matt Dembicki
Publisher:  Fulcrum Publishing
 
This graphic novel collects 21 trickster tales from numerous Native American storytellers, giving voice to traditional tales from a wide range of nations. In order to maintain the authenticity of the stories, the storytellers chose from a pool of illustrators and worked with them to render their trickster tales. As mentioned in the note from the editor at the end of the collection: “The point wasn’t to westernize the stories for general consumption, but rather provide an opportunity to experience authentic Native American stories, even if it sometimes meant clashing with western vernacular.”
 
The only complaint to be had about this beautiful and diverse collection of tales is that the origins of the stories are hidden in the back of the book under the list of contributors. All the information you need is there, but it would have been nice to have the origins shared along with the stories. This book would make an excellent edition to a Native American unit.
 
Examples of common core standards this book can be used to help fulfill: 
  •  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.9 Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in stories, myths, and traditional literature from different cultures.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.7 Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).