Rebooting the Force
Native superheroes' creator musters his powers for a comeback
By Cindy Yurth
"But I can't," he argued with them. "I'm just a writer. The man who drew you, Ryan Huna Smith, has gone his own way. I'm not an artist, and I have no money to hire one."
But Earth, Thunder Eagle and Little Big Horn would not be denied. Eventually, Proudstar picked up a pen and started drawing them himself.
"I was terrified," said Proudstar, now 44. "Ryan's such a good artist. I knew I couldn't make them look like he did. But one day I woke up and said, 'This is either going to be done or not, and if I wait around for somebody to help me out of the goodness of his heart--because I certainly can't pay anybody--then it's not.'"
So start watching for Tribal Force No. 2. It may be a while. It's being drawn, but Proudstar is still looking for the resources to actually publish it.
"It's tough, it's really tough," said the Yaqui/Jewish/Latino Tucson resident.
Sometimes he thinks back fondly to the late 1990s, when big corporations were offering him and Smith "ridiculous amounts of money" to buy Tribal Force. But Tribal Force, alas, was not for sale.
"We used sacred symbols in the book," Proudstar recalled. "And themes that the big publishers normally shy away from, like incest. Sexual molestation is epidemic on most of the reservations in this country. I don't want some publishing company to tell me, 'We love the concept, just lose the incest thing, OK?'"
Incest is an integral part of the backstory for Earth, a.k.a. mild-mannered law student Nita Nitaal Nakai.
For more on TRIBAL FORCE, see TRIBAL FORCE #1 Teaser and New TRIBAL FORCE Cover.