November 11, 2013

Mazinbiige comic-book collection

Massive indigenous graphic novel collection set to display at U of M

By Jamie IsfeldThe University of Manitoba will put over 500 graphic novels from indigenous creators on display at Elizabeth Dafoe Library.

Mazinbiige: The Indigenous Graphic Novel Collection gathers works from hundreds of indigenous writers and artists.

There will be a special opening ceremony on November 13 at 2:00 p.m. to celebrate the collection, including an opening prayer, speeches, and an unveiling of the graphic art by Jay Odjick, an Algonquin writer and artist from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community.

One of the speakers, assistant professor Niigaanwewidam (James) Sinclair, regularly speaks about Indigenous issues. He held a course in 2012 called “Super Savages and Aboriginal Images in Graphic Novels.”
Comment:  I talked to James Sinclair and the library staff at the university. They asked for my help, which I provided by ordering comics for them online. I'm pleasantly surprised to see it getting a little publicity.

A couple of corrections:

1) Unless the librarians went on a buying spree since I helped them, I believe the majority of works are comic books, not graphic novels. One could say all graphic novels are comic books, but not all comic books are graphic novels.

2) Again, unless they went on a buying spree, most of the works are by non-Native writers and artists. A couple dozen Natives are working in the field, but they haven't produced that many volumes yet. Fifty, maybe, but not 500.

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