Synopses & Reviews
Referencing a classic Haida oral narrative, this spectacular full-color graphic novel blends traditional Haida imagery with Japanese manga to tell the powerful story of Red, an orphaned leader so blinded by revenge that he leads his community to the brink of war and destruction. When raiders attack his village, young Red escapes dramatically. But his sister 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. Tragic and timeless, Red's story is reminiscent of such classic tales as Oedipus Rex, Macbeth, and King Lear. Not only an affecting story, Red is an innovation in contemporary storytelling from the creator of Haida Manga and the author of Flight of the Hummingbird; it consists of 108 pages of hand-painted illustrations, and when arranged the panels create a Haida formline image 13 feet long. A miniature version of the panel in full-color is on the inside jacket.
"The work of an artist from the indigenous people of the North Pacific Canadian islands of Haida Gwaii, this 'Haida manga' intriguingly blends graphic storytelling with a fine art sensibility. The narrative involves the title character's loss of his sister to a party of raiders and the boy's vow to someday find and rescue her, a goal he puts into effect upon becoming the leader of his people. His quest for vengeance results in a series of tragic events that author Yahmagulanaas communicates via an arresting series of images evoking the traditional visual arts of the Haida people. Designed so its pages can be torn out (provided the reader has two copies) and arranged according to a provided layout, the separate pages combine to form a stunning tapestry; when the layout is followed and the book is seen as a cohesive piece of visual art, the story does not fall prey to moments of confusing storytelling that occur when read as a page-by-page work, and the legendary feel of the piece shines through. A unique work with appeal both for those looking for something different in graphic novels, and for those with an interest in the expression of contemporary Native American culture." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[RED] offers a glimpse into another culture and effectively captures the malleability of a folk tale, its capacity to shift and transform during multiple tellings." —Booklist