COMANCHE MOON Rises to Top
- Indian Comics Irregular #142
A few months ago, I read what may be the best graphic novel ever about
Indians. Here's the lowdown (from the book's back cover):
Jack Jackson's Comanche Moon is the extraordinary story of Cynthia
Ann Parker, a white settler child kidnapped by a band of Comanche
Indians in 1836 in Texas. Brought up as a Comanche, she became the
wife of a feared Comanche warrior and gave birth to Quanah, a
warrior-son who became chief of the Comanches and eventually led
them in their last great battles against the relentlessly
encroaching white settlers. This is the story of their defeat and
the end of the Comanche Nation's dominance of the Texas plains.
Jackson is one of the original figures of the American underground
comics movement of the 1960s. Unlike his peers, whose comics
celebrated the counterculture, Jackson instead created lively,
detailed and historically accurate works that chronicle the
bloody, fascinating history around the founding of Texas. Told
against a rich backdrop of 19th century life and the complex
historical and political conflicts that fueled the brutal wars
between Native Americans and settlers, the story of Naduah the
white Comanche represents non-fiction comics at its best.
And from Publishers Weekly via Amazon.com:
This story recounts the last days of the war-loving Comanche tribe,
their nomadic existence and their eventual concession to white
settlers. Illustrated and written by noted underground cartoonist
Jackson, whose previous works chronicled Texas's founding history,
this work is a rare combination of historical writing and
compassionate storytelling in the graphic novel form. Jackson
weaves richly detailed vignettes about the clashes between the
Comanches and other Indian tribes and white settlers, rendering the
tales in representational fine lines with detailed cross-hatching.
That about sums it up, all right. To see all the Native-themed comics
and graphic novels I recommend, go to
Comic Bits and Bytes
Another graphic novel I encountered recently, GERONIMO: LAST APACHE
WARRIOR, wasn't nearly as good. Reviewer Jim Witt gave it 2.5 of 5
stars. He described it as "a series of vignettes, adequate and
interesting on their own, yet not compelling as a whole."
Back in 1999, David Mack and Joe Quesada created Maya Lopez, a
Latina/Indian superhero, for Marvel's DAREDEVIL comic. In 2003 and
2004, a storyline probed her Cheyenne roots in a unique scrapbook or
ledger style. Read all about it at
Less appealing is DC's Manitou Raven, a member of the Justice League.
This somewhat stereotypical shaman is an Apache, but his warcry is the
Inuit word "Inukchuk," which is meaningless in this context. Get the
411 on this character at http://www.bluecorncomics.com/manraven.htm .
In March, Marvel published a 20th anniversary issue of the late,
lamented D.P. 7 series. This untold tale featured the team fighting a
crazed Menominee Indian and her horde of zombies. If it sounds bad, it
was. See http://www.bluecorncomics.com/dp7.htm for the details.
In July, Marvel's WESTERN LEGENDS comic had three short stories about
Indians (and cowboys), including ancestors of Red Wolf and Puma. The
last story was a pastiche about Acoma Indians led by Cap'n Jack in
Modoc territory. Check it out at
For these and other comics commentaries, visit Newspaper Rock and its
archive (http://www.bluecorncomics.com/newsrock.htm) or
Blue Corn Comics