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COMANCHE MOON Rises to Top

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  • Rob
    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):
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 6, 2006
      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
      http://www.bluecorncomics.com/nacomics.htm .

      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
      http://www.bluecorncomics.com/echo.htm .

      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
      http://www.bluecorncomics.com/westlgnd.htm .

      For these and other comics commentaries, visit Newspaper Rock and its
      archive (http://www.bluecorncomics.com/newsrock.htm) or
      http://www.bluecorncomics.com/nacomics.htm .

      Rob Schmidt
      Blue Corn Comics
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