Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Northwest Native American Tlingit Comic Book Superhero

Hundreds of years before comic book superheroes like the Flash and Spiderman, the Northwest Native American Tlingit had their own mythical hero, Dukt'ootl'. This superhero from Alaska has his own powers, like ripping a tree from the ground to smackdown an giant sea lion. To honor Dukt'ootl' and his powers, artist Dimi Macheras and storyteller Ishmael Hope have created an action packed comic book called Strong Man. Published by Alaska's School Board association and the Alaska Initiative for Community Engagement, 7,000 copies of Strong Man have been sent to educators around the state.

"It's really important work they're doing, bringing Native culture to more of a mass audience," said Steve Nelson from the ICE. "They've created a great message of healthy living among young people, using culture as a foundation of achievement and strength."

The comic book marries the Strong Man legend to a modern but unpopular Northwest Native American teenager named Duke. Duke's bad grades keep him from playing on the basketball team. With his coach's support, Duke cracks the books and stands up for himself. Educators hope the comic becomes part of the curriculum at many schools, especially in villages.

"From what I've seen of Native Alaskan studies in school, it could use a little more flair to grab kids' attention," Macheras said. "Yes, it's Native history, but then again, it's also the history of everybody who lives here."

For more articles on Native culture, see Northwest Native American Culture Information. To see Native artwork, see Northwest Native American Art.


pEDRO said...

interesting. excellent.

Anonymous said...

send me a copy for more info where to mail me a copy thanks

Clint said...

You would probably have to get in touch with the Alaskan school board directly as I don't have any info