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!

It’s a Blog…It’s a News Page…AAY!

Bigg B and Arigon

Arigon with hip-hop artist and DJ Bigg B (Brutus Baez) at the Huckleberry Festival in Warm Springs, Oregon.

Howdy from an overcast Los Angeles!

Yep, it’s me, Arigon Starr. Everyone here at Starrwatcher Online has been working really hard on coming up with a fun design and working with webgraphics and lots of code! Believe me, it’s just not easy to come up with something functional that still suits the personality and taste of well…me!

What I’ll attempt to do here is keep the updates coming and let you know what I’m working on.

A lot of folks have asked me — “Are you still singing?” Well, heck ya! Why aren’t there more gigs — well, here’s just a little behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be the Native Diva.

Many die-hard Arigon Starr fans (or Starrwatchers, as we call them here) know that I’m more than just a chick singer with an acoustic guitar. Back in 1996 (yes, it’s been that long!), I stepped away from a pretty neat corporate gig at Showtime Networks (home of “Dexter” and “Weeds”) to devote myself full-time to my art. In the beginning, that meant pursuing music.

However, I didn’t put down my pens, paintbrushes or stop writing and acting. I’m sure some of y’all noticed that I created the cover artwork for my CD “Backflip” — and that “The Red Road” was a partial soundtrack of my one-woman play of the same name.

My friends at Native Voices at the Autry opened up a lot of doors for me. Not merely as an actor! I’ve utilized my skills as an artist (I did the poster art for the production of “Kino and Teresa”) and I’ve written several plays for the company including “The Red Road” and “Super Indian.”

“Super Indian,” in fact, became a springboard for me to pursue a childhood passion — cartooning. Those folks who’ve been friends for a long time know that I carry around a sketchbook and that drawing cartoons of my rock n’ roll heroes kept me sane during high school.

All of these added opportunities have left me with never enough time for music. I’ve written some new material, but it may be some time before I actually get back into a big recording studio. However, that won’t keep me from writing and recording demos. I will probably post some of those up here soon. I’m really proud to have a new song in Carolyn Dunn’s amazing play “The Frybread Queen.”

Carolyn’s play originally included the classic song “You Belong To Me,” made famous by country legend Patsy Cline. However, it was deemed necessary to come up with an original song and I was able to craft something that sounds a lot like that track. It’s called “You’re My Indian Boy” and it’s a classic country weeper.

So, I’ve been splitting my time between music, drama and art — plus staying on top of promoting all these fine projects. I’m so blessed with talent…..if only the creator would give me an extra 20 hours a day….I might get something done. AAAY!

Hope to have more for you soon — but will definitely keep y’all in the loop!

News Round Up From September 2010

Frybread Queen Crew Montana 2010

Frybread Happens! L-R: Jane Lind, Arigon Starr, Tiffany Meiwald, Deb Voss, Lily Gladstone

Who’s a Busy Diva? Arigon!

She’s criss-crossed the country to attend the National Federation of Community Broadcaster’s Convention in Minneapolis; to Albuquerque for her friend Janet Holmberg and Shawn Berman’s wedding; to San Diego for the annual Comic Con; up to Warm Springs, Oregon to be part of the annual Huckleberry Harvest Festival — and now she’s in Missoula, Montana.

Why Missoula?

She’s been cast in the new play from Carolyn Dunn called “The Frybread Queen.”

Recently, she sat down for an interview with journalist Jodi Rave, who hosts the “Tribal Scene” radio show on KBGA-FM. Their interview will air on Friday, September 10 at 8:00am (Mountain Time). Jodi also writes the popular blog “Buffalo’s Fire.” You can listen online at KBGA-FM’s website if you’re not in the Missoula area.

“The Frybread Queen” is the story of four Native women who deal with a death in the family. The play stars Jane Lind, Lily Gladstone and Tiffany Meiwald. The director is Jere Hodgin and the show is a co-production of Montana Rep, the University of Montana and Native Voices at the Autry.

Frybread Queen PosterThe show will have a gala preview and reception on Thursday, September 16th and open to the public on Friday, September 17th. The show runs as follows:

Friday , September 17 & Saturday, September 18 at 7:30pm

Saturday, September 18 and Sunday, September 19 at 2:00pm

Thursday, September 23, Friday, September 24 and Saturday, September 25 at 7:30pm

Saturday, September 25 and Sunday, September 26 at 2:00pm.

Tickets are available at the University of Montana’s PAR- TV building box office and online at their website.

Arigon Starr fans — heads up! There is a BRAND NEW Arigon track in the play. It’s a take on an old Patsy Cline number that Arigon composed and recorded especially for “The Frybread Queen.” It’s called “You’re My Indian Boy” and we’re not kidding when we say it’s very….haunting!

MAY 4, 2010

If you’re a regular “Native America Calling” listener, you might have been tuned into today’s live “Current Events” broadcast and heard our Diva talking about her latest project. It’s a brand new play called “Indian Life.”

“I’ve spent the past ten months researching and writing this piece,” smiled Arigon. “Definitely another labor of love and a theater shout-out to my friends in radio. The play is about a local radio show and the impact the show has on the Native American community. However, the play is set in 1947 — a time when most folks were trying to get back to normal after World War II and a time when Native Americans were nowhere to be found on the airwaves, except in cheesy ‘Tonto’ portrayals.”

You can be part of the fun and success of “Indian Life” by attending the staged reading in Oklahoma City. Here’s the information and we hope to see a bunch of you there!

MAY 25-27, 2010

The CitySpace Theater at the Civic Center Music Hall
201 Walker Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Tuesday, May 25 at 7:30pm — “War Paint” by Bret Jones

Wednesday, May 26 at 7:30pm — “Dirty Laundry” by Ranell Collins

Thursday, May 27 at 7:30pm — “Indian Life” by Arigon Starr

Each of the plays will be a staged reading, meaning there will be few production values (lights, sound effects) and the actors will be reading from the scripts in their hands. All readings are FREE and the play that gets the best audience response will be fully produced next year.

For more information, contact the Oklahoma City Theater Company, Artistic Director Rick Nelson at (405) 290-8632. Their website: http://www.okctheatrecompany.org

Here’s a brief synopsis of Arigon’s play, “INDIAN LIFE” — During a hot summer day in August 1947, the weekly broadcast of “Indian Life,” a two-hour radio program featuring news and traditional music from the Native American Indian community is scheduled to go on without a hitch until the arrival of a big city journalist, the femme-fatale station owner and a shady Native evangelist and his hillbilly bride. Further complicating the matter are an embittered Native veteran who haunts the station and a young Native nurse recently returned from duty. As their machinations grind the program to a halt, the station owner announces that “Indian Life” is cancelled. Longtime host Gene Okemah has to re-evaluate his commitment to program and whether he still has a place or status in the Indian community. With the help of his volunteer Native radio crew, Gene finds his hard work behind the microphone has had more impact than anyone ever imagined.

Arigon’s New Play “Indian Life” at the New Native Play Festival

Arigon on the Air

Arigon on the air in Minneapolis with Juanita Blackhawk


This winter, Arigon worked and researched a new play.

“There was an amazing radio program that began in 1943 in Norman, Oklahoma. It was a two-hour program that ran once a week called “Indians For Indians” that brought community news, traditional language and songs to a wide area of central Oklahoma,” said Arigon. “My dad, Ken Wahpecome was a big fan of the show as were many Native people in the area. They loved listening to the down-home friendliness of host Don Whistler, plus knowing where all the local Pow-Wows and dances were taking place.”

The festival is being produced and staged by the Oklahoma City Theater Company. This is the first year of the festival and three different plays will be read before a live audience. We’ll have all the information for you next week! Mark your calendars for the reading of “Indian Life” on THURSDAY, MAY 27TH at 7:30pm.

Sad Passings…One Tough April!

Arigon with her sister Gay

Arigon with her beloved sister Gay Wahpecome at a Christmas gathering in Tulsa, OK.

Everyone here at Starrwatcher Online were saddened to learn that Gay’s lovely sister, Gay Wahpecome Noble passed away on Monday, April 5th. She had been battling diabetes for many years. In summer 2009, she lost her right foot to the disease and was facing many difficult challenges in her recovery. Unfortunately, Gay lost the fight with diabetes and passed on. Services were held in Chula Vista, California on April 17th. Here is the obituary the family put together for the wonderful Gay.

December 24, 1959-April 5, 2010

Gay Wahpecome Noble, 50, passed into the spirit world on Monday, April 5, 2010. She was a member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and a resident of Chula Vista, California over thirty years.

Born on Christmas Eve in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Gay was the daughter of Ruth and Kenneth Wahpecome. Gay traveled with her Navy family across the United States and Subic Bay, Philippines.

After her father’s retirement from the Navy, the family settled in San Diego. Gay graduated from Patrick Henry High School, distinguishing herself as a flutist with the Marching Patriots High School Band and as a member of the school choir.

After graduation, Gay joined the Civil Service and worked in San Diego area activities including the Navy Public Works Center and Defense Contracts Management Agency.

She continued to be active in music as part of church choirs at the First Southern Baptist Church of Chula Vista and the College Avenue Baptist Church. Gay also toured across the U.S. as a part of her sister Arigon Starr’s band. The group performed at many colleges, universities and music festivals. Gay supplied back-up vocals and performed on flute and percussion during these performances.

Gay was also a member of the Harbor Lights Chapter #358, Order of the Eastern Star and Mecca Temple #34, Daughters of the Nile.

Known for her good humor, warm smile and engaging humor, Gay was a joy to everyone who encountered her. Whether they met her at work, school, church or at San Diego Sockers games or BR5-49 concerts, everyone knew they had a good friend in Gay.

She is survived by her husband, George Elliott Noble, Jr., her mother Ruth and sister Arigon.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to the San Diego American Indian Health Clinic. Checks should be made payable to “SDAIHC” and in the memo portion write “Diabetes Program.” Checks should be mailed to Gay’s mother Ruth Wahpecome at 125 E. Naples St., Chula Vista, CA 91911.

# # #

Tike Chapman

Long live Tike Chapman! You will be missed!

PASSING OF TIKE CHAPMAN — Another tragic death occured to Arigon’s family on April 23. Arigon’s cousin, Tike Chapman lost his life in a traffic accident near Catoosa, Oklahoma. His family posted this heartfelt obituary for this amazing young man. Keep the Alford family in your prayers!

Born: June 30th, 1983
Died: April 23rd, 2010

His age at the time of death was 26 years, 10 months and 7 days.

Tike was a citizen of the Pawnee Nation (of the Kit-ke-hahk’-i band), and also Absentee Shawnee, Muscogee Creek and Seneca. His Pawnee name is: Kitka Hahkee-Ti-’Ke-Wa-Koo meaning “The Wolf that Howls in the Distant Night”.

As a graduate from Tulsa Central High School in 2002, he excelled in athletics and lettered in football, basketball and baseball, but basketball was his passion and was the lone Texas Longhorn fan in a family of OU Sooners.

In 2006, at the age of 20, he enlisted in the United States Army. At the time of his death he was a SPC, in the 15th CS CO E FWD SPT 1ST CAV DIV, Fort Hood, Texas and had been reassigned to 94th Engineer Support in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. Tike was honored to serve our Country and displayed this by serving two tours of duty in Operation Iraq Freedom in Baghdad and returned to the United States this past December 2009. He was scheduled to return later this year for a third tour.

Taking part in his Native Culture and Traditions was very important to him and loved to participate in gourd dancing, he was in the process of bringing his two young sons around the drum. Although he loved his career in the Army and being around his Native American culture his favorite role was being a Dad and spending as much time as possible with his sons Jeremiah and Isaiah.

One of Tike’s favorite sayings was “Family First”. Tike is survived by two sons Jeremiah age 6 and Isaiah age 4 of the home. Parents Yvonne Katherine and Dwayne Cahwee, and Charles B. and Lori Chapman, all residing in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

He is survived by two brothers and three sisters: Ray Wildcat and Renee Alford of Glenpool, Justin Surridge of Oologah, Katherine Danene and Terry Smith, of Tulsa, Marissa and Wayne Campbell of Pawnee and AtiraVonne Chapman of Tulsa.

Tike was an Uncle to Spc. Matthew D. and Alyssa Beaver currently stationed at Ft. Drum, New York, Mykel and Malik Smith, Maizy, William, and Lucas Campbell, Amie and Amanda Lee, and was a Great Uncle to Madison Beaver.

Maternal Grandson of the late Eugene R. and Davene S. Alford of Tulsa, and was a Nephew of Eugene R. and Martha Lee Alford of Phoenix, AZ, Dianne S. and Gary Guthrie, and Janene F. Alford all from Tulsa. Great nephew of Olelah Mae Morris of Lawrence Kansas, and Ruth Ann Wahpecome of Chula Vista, California.

He was also survived by his first cousins: Juanita Smith, of Stilwell, Adam and Margo Proctor, of Tulsa, Wesley and Torina Proctor, of Tahlequah, Amy and Bill Takacs and Jennifer Alford of Arizona.

Paternal Grandson of the late Basil and Alma Keys Chapman. And nephew to Richard Henry Chapman, of Yale, Wathena June and Larry Lawrence of Tahlequah, Liana May and Richard Teter of Yale. The late Basil Chapman had six brothers and 6 sisters and all brothers had served in the military. Tike was also a direct descendent to The Shunatona Family on his Otoe family side.

Materal Servicemen

His Grandfather, Eugene R. Alford Sr. was a Holocaust Liberator in Dachau, Germany WWII Era Veteran, Purple Heart receiptant, Bronze Star Medal with cluster and also a Silver Star recipient. His Uncle Eugene R. Alford Jr. Vietnam Era Veteran conflict and his brother Ray Wildcat Alford, a member of the 101st Airborne, and nephew SPC. Matthew D. Beaver is currently stationed at Ft. Drum, New York, Tike comes from a long line of soldiers who were committed to serving and protecting our Country and was a “True Warrior”. He was also 7th generation direct descendant to the Great Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee Nations.

Paternal Servicemen

Charles B (Chip) Chapman, United States Air Force-Served in the 14th Security Police Squadron Nha Trang, Vietnam and Rick Chapman served as Financial Clerk in Saigon, Vietnam and was the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, including lifelong family of members of Pawnee Scouts.

Great Grandfather Walter Keys served as the First President of the Pawnee Homecoming & Pow-wow which formed in 1946, which is now in it’s 64th year.

“A Son, Brother, Nephew, Grandson, Uncle, Father, Cousin, and Friend you loved and were loved by many. We love you Tike and we will miss you and will value every moment of your life, that you gave us in this life. We know you just went a head of us and we will see your smile again”