February 17, 2007

Tlingit comic book debuts

Alaska comic superhero

Comic book creators team up to give classic Tlingit tale a new twistAnchorage artist Dimi Macheras and Juneau storyteller Ishmael Hope spent the past two years designing an action-packed comic called "Strong Man." It is based on the traditional Tlingit hero tale, which is then merged with a story of the life of a contemporary Alaska Native teenager.

"The story is traditional, but the underlying themes are classic comic book," Macheras said.

One major theme is acceptance in society, familiar territory for fans of X-Men's mutants or Spider-Man, whose alter ego, Peter Parker, is practically mayor of nerd city.

The comic was recently published by the Association of Alaska School Boards and its youth advocacy arm, Alaska Initiative for Community Engagement (Alaska ICE).

"It's really important work they're doing, bringing Native culture to more of a mass audience," said Steve Nelson, public information coordinator at Alaska ICE in Juneau. "They've created a great message of healthy living among young people, using culture as a foundation of achievement and strength."

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