Native Americans in Comic Books

A Critical Study

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About the Book

This work takes an in-depth look at the world of comic books through the eyes of a Native American reader and offers frank commentary on the medium’s cultural representation of the Native American people. It addresses a range of portrayals, from the bloodthirsty barbarians and noble savages of dime novels, to formulaic secondary characters and sidekicks, and, occasionally, protagonists sans paternal white hero, examining how and why Native Americans have been consistently marginalized and misrepresented in comics. Chapters cover early representations of Native Americans in popular culture and newspaper comic strips, the Fenimore Cooper legacy, the “white” Indian, the shaman, revisionist portrayals, and Native American comics from small publishers, among other topics.

About the Author(s)

Michael A. Sheyahshe is a member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma. He has written for Illusions, Trauma Magazine, Native Peoples, and Games for Windows: The Official Magazine and is a Trustee of the Caddo Nation’s Heritage Museum. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Bibliographic Details

Michael A. Sheyahshe
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 223
Bibliographic Info: 57 illustrations, tables, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016 [2008]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6799-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0000-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction      9

1. The Mohican Syndrome and Super “Wannabes”: Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing      13

2. Multiethnic Heroes: A Case of (Really!) Mistaken Identity      28

3. The Indian as Sidekick: Falling Prey to More Villains’ Traps by 10 A.M. Than Most People Do All Day      39

4. The Indian’s Sidekick: Where’s That New “Temp” We Hired?      48

5. Instant Shaman ( Just Add Indian)      55

6. Indigenous Trackers Union (ITU)      79

7. Sepia-Toned Prison: Indigenous Characters as Historical Artifacts      94

8. Modern-Day Native Heroes: Now with 25 Percent Fewer Feathers!      99

9. Indigenous Revision      124

10. Independent Voices: Native American Comics from Smaller Publishers      131

11. The Video Game Crossover: Indigenous Comic Book Characters Comin’ Straight Atcha!      153

12. Native Warriors: Indigenous Representation in the Military      157

13. The Power of Indigenous Women: PIW in Action!      168

Conclusion: Knowing Is Half the Battle      188

Appendix A. Major Native American Comic Book Characters      195

Appendix B. Literature Review and Resources      199

Works Cited      211

Index      213

Book Reviews & Awards

“important…recommended”—Choice; “a groundbreaking work…should be celebrated as an introduction to this much-neglected area of study”—World Literature Today; “in-depth…Sheyahshe delivers a much-needed analysis and overview”—Nuvo Newsweekly.