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Natives in the (Comics) News

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  • Robert Schmidt
    Indian Comics Irregular #24 In keeping with this newsletter s name, let s note some recent Native appearances in comic books: TOM STRONG #3 presented a
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2000
      Indian Comics Irregular #24

      In keeping with this newsletter's name, let's note some recent Native
      appearances in comic books:

      TOM STRONG #3 presented a futuristic version of Mesoamerican culture,
      the Aztech Empire. Led by ruler Moctecuzoma and computer
      intelligence Quetzalcoatl-9, these other-dimensional invaders
      would've conquered the Earth if not for Tom Strong's intervention.
      See the comic for a speculative look at how Aztec iconography might
      have evolved with modern technology.

      NEW ETERNALS #1 added a few formerly unknown godlings to the mix.
      The newcomers included Ceyote, a.k.a. Tomorrow Hawk, a.k.a. Thomas
      Hawk (TOM-orrow Hawk...get it?), a Native American from the US
      Southwest. Good thing, too, since the original Eternals were almost
      pure white European types. Ceyote didn't do much in this story, but
      a token is better than nothing.

      In DAREDEVIL #9, the beginning of a multi-part adventure, Matt
      Murdock's would-be assassin and potential girlfriend is Maya Lopez,
      whose father was a Cheyenne nicknamed Crazy Horse. In DD #10 Maya
      pantomimed a Native legend, but it's not clear how much her Plains
      ancestry will influence her.

      X-FORCE #99-100 featured another appearance by Danielle Moonstar's
      worst nightmare, the Demon Bear. Unfortunately, the Bear, and the
      story, had almost no Native connection this time 'round. A waste of
      paper and of Moonstar's character.

      More Video Violence

      Turok, the dinosaur hunter cum generic Indian warrior, is now a video
      game. Does the game have even the slightest connection to Turok's
      Native roots? Here's what a review in the LA Times, 1/13/00, said:

      For Nintendo 64, "Turok Rage Wars" capitalizes on the need even the
      most addicted game players have to interact with other human
      beings. And then kill them. Up to four players can fight each
      other with lovely weapons such as a Tek Bow, Napalm gel or the
      Inflater, a gun that injects opponents with pressurized air to the
      point that they burst.

      Lovely, indeed. But brutal video games (and movies, and comics...)
      don't desensitize our youth to violence? Or reinforce the stereotype
      of Indians as savage killers? Uh-huh, sure they don't.

      Fie on Fievel

      Fievel Mousekewitz, the immigrant mouse who starred in two
      Spielberg-produced animated films, is back in the direct-to-video "An
      American Tail: The Treasure of Manhattan Island." As the LA Times
      (2/17/00) puts it, Fievel and friends "discover a mysterious treasure
      map in an abandoned subway that leads to a secret underground world
      inhabited by Native American mice (who sound uncomfortably like
      relatives of Tonto)."

      A movie where the Native characters are archaic, invisible, and
      unable to speak proper English. In the year 2000. The stereotyping
      continues.

      Some Hot URLs

      The question I get asked most often is "How did a non-Native guy like
      you decide to do a Native-themed comic book?" The question I get
      asked second most often is "When will you do more PEACE PARTY?"
      Answers to the first question ("The genesis of PEACE PARTY") and
      second question ("Are comics dead?" and "More on the future of comics
      and PEACE PARTY") are now online at members.xoom.c
      om/peaceparty/pages/forum.htm. Check 'em out.

      Do women love PEACE PARTY for its emphasis on character? Or do they
      just love anyone wearing the stylish PP t-shirt? Find out for
      yourself at members.xoom.com/peaceparty/pages/tshirt.htm.

      Rob Schmidt
      Blue Corn Comics
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