By Jim Higgins
While Dembicki and his contributing artists have taken pains to respect the cultural integrity of the stories, their visuals never feel politically correct or preachy. Instead, reading this book creates the same excitement that discovering the Brothers Grimm or Italo Calvino's "Italian Folktales" does, only with pictures as well as words.
"Trickster" will appeal to graphic novel lovers, folklore enthusiasts, storytellers, young adult readers and everyone interested in the many American Indian cultures.
From the cartoonish artwork of Jerry Carr and Pat Lewis to the arty realism of Farritor, the illustrators offer a pleasing variety of approaches, styles and color palettes. Special visual nods go to Cherokee artist Roy Boney Jr. for his painterly desertscapes in "Horned Toad Lady & Coyote," and Paul Zdepski's hallucinatory Hawaiian demons in "Puapualenalena, Wizard Dog of Waipi'o Valley."
Below: Azban and the Crawfish is illustrated by editor Matt Dembicki.