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Saguarrior Pins Villainy

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    Indian Comics Irregular #20 Some alternative comics show the latest in Indian themes. Let s look at one of them: Pricked by a radioactive saguaro, a
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 20 1:40 AM
      Indian Comics Irregular #20

      Some alternative comics show the latest in Indian themes. Let's look at one of
      them:

      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
      instead.

      Quote of the Day

      "The United States is really a culture-less society. Baseball is a culture
      here."

      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.

      Rob Schmidt
      Blue Corn Comics
      members.xoom.com/peaceparty
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