June 15, 2012

Indigenous Narratives Collective

I've reported on Arigon Starr's SUPER INDIAN before. Here's the latest from her:

A Chat With Arigon Starr, Creator of ‘Super Indian’ ComicsYou’re publishing a comic for free, online, in small installments, then selling a collection on paper—this is a model that would have been unfathomable to comics creators 15 years ago. How’s it working out—what advantages or disadvantages does this process offer?

Offering anything for free is a disadvantage. Your audience expects to get the print version for free, and that is not going to happen with Super Indian. This model is like those folks at Costco or Sam’s Club offering tasty bites in-store—then letting you know the full version is available for a price. The real test for a printed version of Super Indian was at the recent Phoenix Comic Con. It was gratifying to know there is still a segment of the audience that wants a printed book.

What the print version offers that is totally different from the free online webcomic is that you’ll see full pages of artwork, as opposed to the half-page version online. I also created special extras, including a series called “Real Super Indians” that feature spotlight art and biographies of Native superstars like Maria Tall Chief and Jim Thorpe.

It seems there are several interesting American Indian writers and artists producing comics today—do you have the sense there is a community of Native comics creators?

A resounding YES! There is now a group of Native comic creators called the “Indigenous Narratives Collective” (INC), a division of the non-profit group Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers.

Jacques La Grange, who’s the creator of Shadow Wolf and a member of the San Carlos Apache tribe, worked hard to curate a “Natives in Comics” panel for two years running at the annual Phoenix Comic Con. At this year’s convention, we had a group booth that featured the newly designed INC logo created by Navajo comic artist/designer Jonathan Nelson. Also participating were Jon Proudstar (Tribal Force) and Ryan Huna Smith. The panel was a huge success that had a standing-room only audience that made a big impression on the Phoenix Comic Con organizers. We also had lots of Native community members attend the panel and stop by the booth who were thrilled, amazed and grateful we were out there being a voice for the people.

We are planning on taking a group of Native comic creators around the country to more Comic Conventions and will be hosting a free Native Comics Workshop at the Heard Museum in Phoenix on July 28th.
Comment:  For more on Arigon Starr, see Bitch Media Interviews Arigon Starr and SUPER INDIAN Webcomic.

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