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Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collectionby Matt Dembicki
Synopses & Reviews
All cultures have tales of the trickster — a crafty creature or being who uses cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief. He disrupts the order of things, often humiliating others and sometimes himself. In Native American traditions, the trickster takes many forms, from coyote or rabbit to raccoon or raven. The first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, Trickster brings together Native American folklore and the world of comics.
In Trickster, more than twenty Native American tales are cleverly adapted into comic form. Each story is written by a different Native American storyteller who worked closely with a selected illustrator, a combination that gives each tale a unique and powerful voice and look. Ranging from serious and dramatic to funny and sometimes downright fiendish, these tales bring tricksters back into popular culture in a very vivid form. From an ego-driven social misstep in "Coyote and the Pebbles" to the hijinks of "How Wildcat Caught a Turkey" and the hilarity of "Rabbit's Choctaw Tail Tale," Trickster provides entertainment for readers of all ages and backgrounds.
"These 21 folktales, created by pairing Native storytellers with a variety of artists, feature creatures explaining how things came to be, like islands or stars, or animals playing tricks on one another. Often, the trickster, while trying to take the lazy way, outwits himself, especially when it involves Coyote. In other tales, Raven does whatever people tell him not to do, but ends up with a free meal anyway, and Rabbit tricks some buffalo and wolves and is tricked by Fox into losing his tail. Many of the stories, some of which involve tribespeople as well as animals, are told through captions, as though listening to an elder and envisioning the images he describes. Micah Farritor's art in 'Coyote and the Pebbles' and Dembicki's in 'Azban (Raccoon) and the Crayfish' are standouts in their animal images. The diverse styles are presented in lavish color in this thick, handsome volume. The short collection of contributor bios at the end is a helpful resource for finding more about the artist's credits or the writer's heritage. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"With stories that vary in emotional tone...this collection is an ideal choice for dipping into over and over. A dandy read for those interested in history, folklore, adventure, humor, or the arts, and a unique contribution to the form." Booklist (starred review)
"[An] original and provocative compendium of traditional folklore presented in authentic, colorful, and engaging sequential art....The total package is accessible, entertaining, educational, inspiring, and a must-have for all collections." School Library Journal (starred review)
This extraordinary graphic novel depicts traditional Native American trickster tales with inspired artists and native writers.
About the Author
Along with compiling and editing the book, artist Matt Dembicki illustrated one of the featured trickster tales. Dembicki is the founder of D.C. Conspiracy, a comic creators' collaborative in Washington, DC, and has won acclaim for his nature graphic novel, Mr. Big. He currently works as an editor for a higher-education association.
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