June 19, 2007

Review of Chickaloon comics

The Chickaloon Village in Alaska has produced three comics worthy of mention.

The stories are traditional legends intended to teach youngsters a moral lesson. The art by Dimi Macheras, who also drew STRONG MAN, is Saturday-morning-cartoonish but bold and dynamic. But the comics have a couple problems that make them less than ideal.

One is their purported messages. I don't know if the stories are literal legends or broad interpretations of legends, but the message in each case is muddled. It isn't what the creators think it is.

C'eyiige' Hwnax

Premise: Lynx is a polite guest at the "magic house" of the spirits; Raven isn't.

Purported message: Don't go into somebody's house uninvited.

Actual message: Beware of strangers who will attack and hurt you without telling you why.


Premise: A young man falls in love with a bear-girl but accidentally kills her. Enraged, the girl's bear-father seeks revenge.

Purported message: You have to be able to think no matter how bad your situation is.

Actual message: Don't fall in love with bear-girls. Don't shoot arrows without knowing your target. Watch out for jealous parents who can ruin your love life.


Premise: An owl tortures and threatens to eat a crying child until the child's uncle rescues him.

Purported message: Don't spoil your children.

Actual message: Nature is nasty and dangerous. Children should be seen and not heard. Shut up your bawling brat or you'll pay the price.

The other problem with the Chickaloon comics is their price: $15 per comic?! Sure, they're printed on heavier stock than most comics, and they have 28 pages vs. the usual 24. But they're smaller than average (only 5" x 8") and have only one or two panels per page. I'd say they're worth about as much as any comic--i.e., $3.

At $3 apiece, these comics would be an interesting addition to your collection. But who can afford $15 per comic? Unless you have deep pockets or can wrangle a discount, give them a pass.

No comments: