in print: Who's Scalping Who?
Yes, let's hope Aaron "begins to the show the world the joy, the pride," etc. In other words, let's hope Aaron writes a totally different comic that isn't full of stereotypes.
FYI, I reviewed a draft of this article. Van Camp originally wrote that he hoped Aaron would "continue" to show the joy, pride, and so forth. How could Aaron continue to show these things, I responded, when he hadn't shown them at all?
Comparing SCALPED to The Shield is revealing. I'm a fan of The Shield and also The Sopranos, another series to which SCALPED is frequently compared. In The Shield, only Vic Mackey's team of cops is arguably corrupt or immoral. The rest of the officers are human and flawed, but also decent and honest. That's different from SCALPED, where most of the authorities (not just a few) are corrupt and immoral.
I'm not impressed by Aaron's showing the history of AIM and Leonard Peltier. That's old news. It didn't apply to most reservations then and it definitely doesn't apply to them now.
Rather, it stereotypes Indians as angry and anti-social activists. It portrays them as too violent and out-of-control to legislate or work peaceably for change. The term for an activist so rabid he's willing to kill to get his way is savage.
Funny that Van Camp sees the same flaws that I do, yet feels compelled to keep reading. When I read something that portrays "Indian characters as ignorant, infected, and without any hope whatsoever," I think, "This is bad. If it were free I might consider it, but I won't pay money to patronize a writer's bias against Indians."
Since Aaron doesn't like criticism, I should clarify my position. Other than the Native stereotypes, Aaron's writing is pretty good. But the Native stereotypes are pretty bad. The net result is a wash, and not something I'm willing to subsidize.
Van Camp also mentioned writers who have taken care to portray Indians respectfully, including Tim Truman and me. Curiously, he thought we were both Native--presumably because we seem to understand the Native viewpoint. Actually, neither of us is Native, but it's nice to be mistaken for one.