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Graphic Classics, Volume 24: Native American Classics

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Native American Classics presents great stories and poems from America's earliest writers. Featured are "The Soft-Hearted Sioux" by Zitkala-Sa "On Wolf Mountain" by Charles Eastman, "How the White Race Came to America" by Handsome Lake, and seven more tales of humor and tragedy. Also eight poems, including Alex Posey's "Wildcat Bill" and E. Pauline Johnson's "The Cattle Th Native American Classics presents great stories and poems from America's earliest writers. Featured are "The Soft-Hearted Sioux" by Zitkala-Sa "On Wolf Mountain" by Charles Eastman, "How the White Race Came to America" by Handsome Lake, and seven more tales of humor and tragedy. Also eight poems, including Alex Posey's "Wildcat Bill" and E. Pauline Johnson's "The Cattle Thief." The volume is edited by Tom Pomplun, with noted Native American writers John E. Smelcer and Joseph Bruchac.


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Native American Classics presents great stories and poems from America's earliest writers. Featured are "The Soft-Hearted Sioux" by Zitkala-Sa "On Wolf Mountain" by Charles Eastman, "How the White Race Came to America" by Handsome Lake, and seven more tales of humor and tragedy. Also eight poems, including Alex Posey's "Wildcat Bill" and E. Pauline Johnson's "The Cattle Th Native American Classics presents great stories and poems from America's earliest writers. Featured are "The Soft-Hearted Sioux" by Zitkala-Sa "On Wolf Mountain" by Charles Eastman, "How the White Race Came to America" by Handsome Lake, and seven more tales of humor and tragedy. Also eight poems, including Alex Posey's "Wildcat Bill" and E. Pauline Johnson's "The Cattle Thief." The volume is edited by Tom Pomplun, with noted Native American writers John E. Smelcer and Joseph Bruchac.

30 review for Graphic Classics, Volume 24: Native American Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    laura (bookies & cookies)

    This volume is EXTREMELY vital to read. It's a collection of short stories & poems from 1880-1920 written by indigenous peoples that were adapted & illustrated by modern day indigenous people. What's even more impressive than the messages and stories and truths, are all of the authors and artists bios at the end. I want a full book just about the FIFTY TWO people involved in outting this volume together. Their collective creative and civil rights work between them is astounding. This volume is EXTREMELY vital to read. It's a collection of short stories & poems from 1880-1920 written by indigenous peoples that were adapted & illustrated by modern day indigenous people. What's even more impressive than the messages and stories and truths, are all of the authors and artists bios at the end. I want a full book just about the FIFTY TWO people involved in outting this volume together. Their collective creative and civil rights work between them is astounding.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    This is a pretty good collection. It became even more interesting as I was going over the contributors. There is original work, but there are also illustrations of very old stories. That means the contributors include screenwriters and directors who are working today, and people making web comics, but also a Seneca leader born in 1735 and a reverend born in 1802. All of the stories are set in the past, even when written more recently, except for one poem acknowledging the continued existence of This is a pretty good collection. It became even more interesting as I was going over the contributors. There is original work, but there are also illustrations of very old stories. That means the contributors include screenwriters and directors who are working today, and people making web comics, but also a Seneca leader born in 1735 and a reverend born in 1802. All of the stories are set in the past, even when written more recently, except for one poem acknowledging the continued existence of Native Americans. That in itself is not the most helpful representation, but the collection of creators represented is pretty good, and the stories and artwork can be enjoyed and appreciated on their own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    The artwork quality was spotty as times but the heart of the stories shines through and I respect these authors who told their tales of Native struggle and folklore and helped to make people understand our ways.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bob Wake

    Publisher/editor Tom Pomplun’s Graphic Classics, now on their 24th volume, have always had more in mind than merely giving literature the comic book treatment. At their best, which is most of the time, these anthologies bring together brilliant artists and adapters who have seemingly invented their own genre: recontextualing marginalized literary works and bringing them to life in a manner that feels both mythic and vitally relevant. For Native American Classics, Pomplun has been joined by two co Publisher/editor Tom Pomplun’s Graphic Classics, now on their 24th volume, have always had more in mind than merely giving literature the comic book treatment. At their best, which is most of the time, these anthologies bring together brilliant artists and adapters who have seemingly invented their own genre: recontextualing marginalized literary works and bringing them to life in a manner that feels both mythic and vitally relevant. For Native American Classics, Pomplun has been joined by two co-editors of Native heritage, John Smelcer (Ahtna, an Alaskan tribe) and Joseph Bruchac (Abenaki). Both notable authors in their own right, Smelcer and Bruchac have assisted Pomplun in curating a treasure trove of undersung literary history, much of it from the nineteenth and early twentieth century, and matched these eighteen stories and poems with contemporary artists, many of whom are themselves of Native ancestry. Some of this literature has only in recent decades been reclaimed by scholars and critics. Take the case of E. Pauline Johnson (1861-1913), a Canadian writer and stage performer of Mohawk heritage, whose 1894 dramatic poem “The Cattle Thief” is strikingly illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre (“a Tongva/Scots-Gaelic illustrator” according to her Graphic Classics bio). Although Margaret Atwood has championed Johnson and even written the libretto for an upcoming chamber opera based on Johnson’s final days (scheduled for a May 2014 premiere at City Opera Vancouver), Atwood nevertheless failed to include Johnson in her landmark 1972 study, Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature. “The Cattle Thief” is told from the perspective of white vigilantes tracking and gunning down an aged and malnourished Cree Indian chief. The chief’s traumatized daughter righteously curses the trackers: “Go back with your new religion, we never have understood / Your robbing an Indian’s body, and mocking his soul with food! / Go back with your new religion, and find—if you can— / The honest man you have ever made from a starving man!” A good deal of the excitement readers will undoubtedly share upon cracking open Native American Classics is the sense of experiencing earlier writers on the front lines of clashing civilizations. Christianity does not fare well in these skirmishes. But neither is the white man’s religion unfairly demonized. This could be in part because the authors were themselves sometimes conflicted by warring cultural sentiments. “The Soft-Hearted Sioux” by Zitkala-Ša (1876–1938), adapted here by Benjamin Truman and rendered in gorgeous painterly style by the triumvirate of Jim McMunn, Timothy Truman and Mark A. Nelson, tells of a young man with Bible in hand returning to his tribe after graduating from a missionary school. His naive attempt at proselytizing to save the soul of his dying father leads to a rite of passage that turns the biblical tale of the Prodigal Son on its head. The story ends with the kind of multicultural ambiguity that would satisfy even the most hardened postmodernist. It’s one of the highlights of an anthology that seems chockablock with highlights both literary and artistic.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    The latest book in this series is rather unique in that it focuses on Native Literature written mostly in the mid-late 19th century. The stories have been adapted to the graphic format and from what I can tell most of the writers/artists involved are either Native or of Native descent. Several poems are also presented; a few one-pages, others more epic in their telling. The collection of stories throws a blanket of bitterness these "Indians" felt toward the "white man" and make some depressing r The latest book in this series is rather unique in that it focuses on Native Literature written mostly in the mid-late 19th century. The stories have been adapted to the graphic format and from what I can tell most of the writers/artists involved are either Native or of Native descent. Several poems are also presented; a few one-pages, others more epic in their telling. The collection of stories throws a blanket of bitterness these "Indians" felt toward the "white man" and make some depressing reading. In contrast, when reading African-American literature of their impoverished hard times there often seems to be a point of redemption, some qualifier that not all of one race are evil or oppressed, there are exceptions. However, the first half of this book was "us against them" and bitter reading. At page 54 the stories started to introduce myth like elements, humour, not so dark tales and the "white man" who wasn't the source of all evil. My favourites were "How the White Race Came to America", which shows how the Devil can enter one's heart and here even the Devil laments at his great evil. "Prehistoric Race" is a comical "turtle/hare" type of plot but quite different, great illustration and laugh out loud ending. Same thing goes for the hysterical "Itsikamahidish and the Wild Potato". Funny farting myth with hilarious art. The art throughout the whole book is fantastic, not a single artist I didn't get on with. My only complaint is that too many of the stories focused on the bitter history of the Native-American. While certainly necessary and appreciated in the collection, more diversity mixed with the successful man and family today, along with the myth like tales would have made for more diversified reading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    An interesting collection of comics featuring mostly turn-of-the-century (roughly 1880 to 1920) stories, folklore, and poems reproduced with modern artwork of the genre by various artists, that focuses on many of the disappointments of Native Americans, from the coming of white men, the destruction of lands and culture, the end of coexistence with nature that sustained all. There is humor too, especially in some of the lighter poems. There is surely something here for anyone interested in Native An interesting collection of comics featuring mostly turn-of-the-century (roughly 1880 to 1920) stories, folklore, and poems reproduced with modern artwork of the genre by various artists, that focuses on many of the disappointments of Native Americans, from the coming of white men, the destruction of lands and culture, the end of coexistence with nature that sustained all. There is humor too, especially in some of the lighter poems. There is surely something here for anyone interested in Native American life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dave Glorioso

    I enjoyed these past Native American stories interpreted by modern Native Americans. The stories were often melancholy. Frequently focusing on union with nature and manipulation by the white man. Loved 'How the white man came to America', 'the cattle thief' and '2 wolves'. The art and the stories varied from great to so-so. Recommend highly to anyone interested in Native Americans.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Robin Gane-McCalla

    There twenty entries in this book, a few are page long poems and a few are more than ten pages long. Each story has a different style and a different message. Some are strange but others are deep and meaningful. Aside from the art, the book tells history from the Native American perspective that most people are unaware of.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary Sutterluety

    Folklore This graphic novel is a collection of Native American folk tales from the nineteenth century. I was surprised at how violent these tales were. My favorite was "Two Wolves" by Joseph Bruchac.

  10. 4 out of 5

    George K. Ilsley

    A collection of tales mostly from the turn of the previous century, freshly illustrated. These are voices not usually heard in the mainstream. Some of the pieces don't really build to climax and resolution -- but perhaps that is the storytelling style.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    970.00497 N278 2013

  12. 4 out of 5

    John

    An interesting mix of styles and perspectives. A beautiful book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ian B Darkness

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ike Rakiecki

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rio M Metcalf

  16. 5 out of 5

    Savanna

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  18. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Alger

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Camille Callison

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cody

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schul

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Metcalfe

  25. 5 out of 5

    Toby Bird

  26. 5 out of 5

    BOB RUST

  27. 4 out of 5

    Frank Moore

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey Breseman

  29. 4 out of 5

    StrictlySequential

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris

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