In this episode of the Red Man Laughing we podcast we turn our microphones over to a handful of Indigenous comic book creators, writers & pioneers in an incredible roundtable discussion. We sit down and chat w/Nicole Marie Burton (adastracomix.com), Jay Odjick (Kagagi), Michael Sheyahshe (nativecomicbooks.com) & Camille Callison (Mazinbiige) about the world of Indigenous comic books/graphic novels, the art & stories behind the books & the integral role comic books & graphic novels play in engaging our Youth in the ideas, philosophies & (general asskicking) teachings they may need in order to carry them into the future.
Jay Odjick is a writer and artist from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Algonquin Nation in Quebec.
Jay has worked in independant comics for years and has experience in self publishing in addition to freelance creator credits and created the webcomic Power Hour for director Kevin Smith’s MoviePoopShoot.com. Jay has also worked in freelance illustration and has illustrated works by several renowned authors, including providing illustrations for a reprint of Clive Barker’s The Midnight Meat Train and has illustrated seven books by Robert Munsch.
After publishing his creator owned graphic novel KAGAGI: The Raven thru Canada’s largest comics publisher, Arcana Comics, Jay and Arcana’s Sean Patrick O’Reilly co-founded a production company that produced a television series called Kagagi based on the graphic novel. Jay is an executive producer on the show and also serves as its character designer and lead writer. You can find Kagagi on APTN Sundays at 10AM or at aptn.ca/Kagagi and you can find Jay on Facebook or follow him on twitter @jayodjick.
NICOLE MARIE BURTON
Nicole Marie Burton is a comics creator, promoter, and the founder of Ad Astra Comix, a publisher of social justice comic books. Her first comic, “Coal Mountain“, illustrated the history of the 1935 coal miners’ strike in Corbin, British Columbia, highlighting the role of women in the struggle. Her second work, “DOGS” was a comic version of the findings of the Qikiqtani Truth Commission, an initiative of the Inuit of Qikiqtaluit to document the slaughter of their sled dogs at the hands of the RCMP in the 1950s and 60s.
Indigenous Comix Month was established in April 2014 by Ad Astra in consultation with indigenous artists, to help promote indigenous histories, cultures, and stories in comics. It is an evolving celebration seeking to support the needs of indigenous comics creators and their work.
Camille Callison is from Tsesk iye (Crow) Clan of the Tahltan Nation and holds a BA (Anthropology) and an M.L.I.S. First Nations Concentration from the University of BC. She is the Indigenous Services Librarian and Liaison Librarian for Anthropology, Native Studies and Social Work at the University of Manitoba where she is also a Member of the inaugural Indigenous Advisory Circle (IAC) on Indigenous Achievement at the University of Manitoba. Camille was a member of the Bid and Implementation Committees responsible for bring the Truth and Reconciliation Archives on Indian Residential Schools to the University of Manitoba to form the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Camille is the President of the Manitoba Library Association (MLA); the Moderator for Library and Literacy Services for Indigenous Peoples of Canada for the Canadian Library Association (CLA); Chair of the Diversity and Equity Committee for the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL); and a Member of the International Relations Roundtable Pre-conference & Publications Committees for American library Association (ALA). She has been published and presented extensively nationally and internationally on Indigenous Knowledge, Library, Archives issues most notably for the IFLA Special Interest Group (SIG) on Indigenous Matters in Lyon, France in 2014 and she is an active volunteer and member of the MLA and CLA Prison Library Committee providing library services to inmates. Camille is the Convenor and Forum Chair for the 9th International Indigenous Librarians’ Forum taking place August 4 – 7, 2015 at the University of Manitoba.
Michael Sheyahshe is an enrolled member of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and has been published in Illusions, Trauma Magazine, Native Peoples Magazine, Games for Windows: The Official Magazine, New Plains Review, and First American Art Magazine. His book, Native Americans in Comic Books: A Critical Study, is available from McFarland publications. Michael received two separate Bachelor degrees, both cum laude, from the University of Oklahoma: one in Native American Studies and another in Film. Michael earned his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in 3D Modeling from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA.
He is formerly both a Gates Millennium Scholar and a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. Michael was awarded the Smithsonian Institution’s Native American Award and appointed as an intern at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. He has previously been appointed as a Tax Commissioner for the Caddo Nation and held a seat on the Board of Trustees for the Caddo Heritage Museum.
His achievements include: Director of Animation for a feature film, credits on a shipped video game for Nintendo Wii, Android App published on Google Play, and art purchased for the Red Cloud Museum’s permanent collection.
Michael‘s comic book character, Dark Owl, is featured in a collaboration with the Indigenous Narratives Collective (“INC”) in INC’s Universe #0. Literati Presents “What The Stars Must Think Of Us”, features a story written by Mary Skaggs and illustrated by Michael. Strike & Bolt, a story written by Michael and illustrated by George Freeman (Captain Canuck) will appear in AH Comics’ Kickstarter-funded, MOONSHOT: The Indigenous Comic Collection. Michael achieved the rank of Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) in Okinawan Karate in 2011 and was awarded the rank of Nidan (2nd degree black belt) in 2013.