November 06, 2006

Preview of SCALPED

Bad Horse of a Different Color:  Aaron Talks “Scalped”“Scalped” follows Dashiel Bad Horse, a wrong-side-of-tracks, full-blooded Lakota, whose chance return to the Reservation where he grew up draws him into the culture of corruption that now pervades it. According to Aaron, this abject rejection of Native American culture and history is cited by Native American leaders as “the biggest problem they face today.” Bad Horse's return does not go unnoticed by the local crime boss, known as Red Crow. And as they tend to in actual third world countries, in Prairie Rose, the lines blur between crime lord and politician. Red Crow is legitimized by the many positions of power he counts among his own, including Sheriff of the Tribal Police Force. In the first issue, Red Crow makes our transient hero an offer he can't refuse. But all is not as it seems in Prairie Rose.

One character in the first issue describes the Prairie Rose Reservation as a “third world country in the heart of America.” The analogy is apt. Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the Reservation “Scalped's” fictional Prairie Rose is based on, is the poorest region in the United States, still largely untouched by the multi-billion dollar industry of Indian gaming. Eighty percent of its residents are unemployed, and those that are lucky enough to find work have an average income of $3000 a year. Alcoholism and fetal alcohol syndrome are rampant. One in five teenagers will attempt suicide by the end of high school, and their life expectancy is 15 years less than the national average. “Welcome to Indian Country.”

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