April Is…Birthday Month and the Launch of Super Indian Webcomics

Arigon at Camelback Ranch

Arigon enjoys Dodgers Spring Training at Camelback Ranch

Greetings from a windy Los Angeles! Lots of great things happening here at Wacky Productions.

As many of you know, I’m a diehard Dodger Fan. However, I am not a thug….and I’m really sad about the Giants Fan, Brian Stow, who was attacked at Dodgers Stadium on Opening Day. The Dodgers and Giants have always had a rivalry….but it was always friendly….and no one should have ever gotten hurt over wearing their team colors. If you see me wearing my Dodger Blue, be nice. AAY! I’m going to be one of the nicest Dodger fans you ever met. That is my plan and I’m sticking to it!

As most of you know, I’m working on a webcomic entitled “Super Indian.” And most of you really know….it’s been a long time coming.

Those of y’all who aren’t familiar with the comic book making process — just know it’s not something to take on lightly. Having writing and drawing skills are a BIG plus, but it’s also helpful to be willing to learn a lot of new tricks. Like coloring on the computer…..and figuring out how to make word balloons in Illustrator, a fun, but challenging computer program.

My first hurdle was taking the storyline from the very first radio episode about Wampum Baggs Vs. Super Indian. That episode, “Commod Bod,” is expanded in the “Origins” story — which will be available only in the full graphic novel. More about that in a bit.

The second part of the process was creating the storyline for the next “issue,” which I decided to start right in the middle of the action. You’ll see that “Here Comes The Anthro” is pretty short — but I think you’ll see why as the new “Hubert’s Blog” progresses.

Those of you who have been on the “Super Indian” ride for a long time will recognize that title from a staged reading we did of six audio theater episodes back at the Autry National Center in 2008. Yeah….it’s been that long! Kinda scary when you think about it. AAAY!

The Storytellers Gather

L-R: Robert J. Conley, Gayle Ross, Arigon

Along the way, I’ve been dealing with a lot of family issues (still!)….and doing a lot of traveling. Visited with my kinfolks in November and spent December here in Los Angeles with my Mom. As January rolled in…it was more work on the comic book. I was able to make a fun visit to Santa Cruz for the Oklahoma Storytellers event that was organized by Dr. Carolyn Dunn. She’s been at UC Santa Cruz since last year and has been instrumental in raising the profile of Native Americans at the UC. She invited me, renowned Cherokee storyteller Gayle Ross and Cherokee author/historian Robert Conley to the campus. We did an evening of readings and stories — and of course, I performed a few of my songs. One of my personal favorites is “Mountain Windsong,” which is based on one of Robert Conley’s novels. The story of two Cherokee lovers separated by the trail of tears always gets people emotional…..and Mr. Conley was in tears of joy. He and Gayle are such creative and supportive artists. In fact — I’ll be traveling out to Robert’s part of the world, North Carolina, in the fall for a Cherokee Storytellers’ Conference. Yep, this time about the world of comic books and “Super Indian.” There will be a live music performance as well….stay tuned!

More recently — I’ve had a couple of fun things happen. The fine folks at KOPA Radio — “Rez Radio” for the Pala Tribe in California — ran both “The Red Road” and “Super Indian” radio programs. They played the show multiple times — which was quite a thrill! It’s the first time the show has aired in Southern California. KOPA is also breaking barriers as the first Rez station in Northern San Diego County. Wish them well — and know they have only begun to change the perception of Native people and show the world how diverse we are.

I’m also going to be featured, along with “Super Indian” on the Radio Drama Revival podcast and website. Click here for the site. I’ve been talking with the delightful Richard Summers for a few weeks to get the interview online. He asked a lot of great questions. Like a lot of folks, he happened upon “Super Indian” quite by accident — and now the show will get wider exposure through their site. There’s a lot of great programming on their podcast and site — so take a minute and check it out.

The Wondercon Gang

Artist Teddy Tso, Arigon and Wacky's CEO Janet Miner

Had the pleasure of meeting up with Teddy Tso, a Paiute comic book artist at this year’s WonderCon in San Francisco. What is WonderCon? Well, it’s the San Francisco version of the gi-normous ComicCon in San Diego. The “cons” are run by the same organization — Comic Con International — and they also produce the fine Alternative Press Expo as well. Teddy has been drawing for years and is getting ready to release his own Native super-hero. That makes me so excited because there can’t be ENOUGH Native super-heroes out there. In addition to being an artist, he’s a dad and a Tribal councilperson. I’m sure with all those hats he’s got more than enough storyline for his character! Teddy’s production company is War Paint Studios and he’s based in Nevada. We hope to form the nucleus of a Native American Comics Society….because there is strength in numbers.

The other fun thing that happened at WonderCon was meeting the super talented author Max Brooks. It was all a happy accident — as I lingered at his panel room because he was going to talk about Zombies. Who doesn’t love Zombies?? [Don’t get me started on how great “The Walking Dead” is!] Max wrote the wildly popular books “Zombie Survival Guide” and “World War Z.” I….being the artist in a cave…..had no idea. As the panel room filled with people I thought, “Wow, this guy must be somebody. But who?” Seriously! I’m that out of touch!

When Max started his talk, he asked the cheering audience, “Okay, is there ANYONE here who doesn’t know about the Zombie Survival Guide?” I’m sure he didn’t expect anyone to really raise their hand, but I did. And he did half the lecture to ME….in my 30th row seat. He was so entertaining and didn’t give me as hard a time for not knowing who he was as I expected. Afterwards, I caught up with him in the Exhibit Hall and had a great chat with him. He told me that he had worked hard on a Native storyline for the “G.I. Joe” comic book series, “Hearts & Minds.” I told him thank you for making his Native character so human….and he told me “You’re the only person besides Sherman Alexie who gets it!”

I was so excited to tell him about “Super Indian…” and I think maybe I have a new fan! In the meantime, if you’re not too squeamish about all things zombie, check out Max Brooks’ site here.

I’ve got some other great things coming up…..but that will have to wait til next week. In the meantime, set your browser to Super Indian Comics — and get ready to enjoy the adventures of your favorite Rez Boy!

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