Saguarrior Pins Villainy
- Indian Comics Irregular #20
Some alternative comics show the latest in Indian themes. Let's look at one of
Pricked by a radioactive saguaro, a mild-mannered veterinarian becomes
Saguarrior, the cactoid crusader. Shooting spines from his pulpy flesh,
Saguarrior punctures the plans of evildoers everywhere. Seriously.
Saguarrior's creator admits he has a cactus fetish. But what's the Native
connection? Well, it seems the cactus wasn't just radioactive (because getting
powers from an irradiated cactus would be silly). No, it also housed the
ancient spirit of an Indian warrior. The radiation's effect on the spirit is
what empowered Saguarrior.
I give the SAGUARRIOR book points for its pro-environmental message: that the
spirit created Saguarrior to protect the earth. I take away points for the
ceremony that placed the spirit in the cactus. An unspecified tribe in the
Sonora Desert...dancing around a saguaro in loincloths...with mohawk (!)
haircuts...to a drumbeat going "TAUM TAUM" (really).
This is exactly the kind of stereotyping Native people complain about. Indians
looking and acting barbaric, participating in a rite that seems primitive and
(frankly) stupid. The sacred Spirit-into-the-Cactus Dance...sure. Catch it
every summer at your local powwow.
If Saguarrior's creator had shown the ceremony as a solemn ritual involving
prayer and sacrifice...perhaps a one-time event, an exception to the everyday
religion...I might have bought it. As it is, it's another blatant stereotype.
Depictions like this shouldn't happen these days.
For more on SAGUARRIOR, visit www.loscomics.com.
Poking at Pok�mon Again
That Pikachu, the foremost Pok�mon, is cute as a button is undeniable. When he
(she? it?) squeaks "Pik-a-chu," you want to give him a squeeze. But even this
has a subtle message.
Like the Care Bears and Teletubbies before them, the Pok�mon encourage us to
view animals, children, and other "little ones" as soft and vulnerable. As
inferiors needing our aid. How different from the traditional Native
perspective, in which animals are full-fledged people who help us instead of the
other way around.
If you can wean your children from Pok�mon, do it. Buy them good comic books
Quote of the Day
"The United States is really a culture-less society. Baseball is a culture
Gary Farmer (Cayuga), actor
In perhaps unrelated news, a new magazine called Cosmetic Surgery gives readers
tips on how to get their noses fixed, their breasts enlarged, and their hips
liposuctioned. Is this what the Navajo mean when they strive to "walk in
beauty"? Hmm...don't think so.
PEACE PARTY Still Booking
I'm happy to say we received our first reorder from a nontraditional vendor--50
copies to Cherokee Publications. Good show, people. I don't know who's buying
PEACE PARTY, but someone is.
We also closed a deal with CRC Publishing Co. (www.crcpub.com) to give a copy of
PEACE PARTY to the first 50 customers who order CRC's set of reference books.
We hope people affiliated with tribal schools and libraries will like what they
see. And spread the word.
Meanwhile, we've begun auctioning PEACE PARTY on eBay. To get in on the action,
visit members.xoom.com/peaceparty/pages/customer.htm. You just may win.
Blue Corn Comics