July 02, 2009

Haida graphic novel Red

Correspondent Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas sends a note about his latest work:

Red: A Haida MangaAn innovative graphic novel, here is the epic tale of a Haida hero, his rage and his quest for retribution.

Referencing a classic Haida oral narrative, this stunning full-colour graphic novel documents the powerful story of Red, a leader so blinded by revenge that he leads his community to the brink of war and destruction.

Set in the islands off the northwest coast of B.C., it tells the tale of orphan Red and his sister, Jaada. When raiders attack their village, Red, still a boy, escapes dramatically. But Jaada is whisked away. The loss of Jaada breeds a seething anger, and Red sets out to find his sister and exact revenge on her captors.

Red blends traditional Haida imagery into a Japanese manga–styled story. Tragic and timeless, it is reminiscent of such classic stories as Oedipus Rex, Macbeth and King Lear.

This innovation in contemporary storytelling consists of 108 pages of hand-painted illustrations. When arranged in a specific order, the panels of the narrative create a Haida formline image four metres long. The sequence for this complex design is displayed on the inside jacket.
Comment:  Follow the link to see pictures of Yahgulanaas and Red.

After looking at the pictures, I'd say Red is certainly an innovative graphic novel.

For more on the subject, see Hummingbird Fights Fire, Haida Art on Shopping Bags, and Update on Haida Manga.

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