Graphic Novels

Though graphic novels could have been included in our page on literature, we have placed them in a separate page given the popularity of the English Department's graphic novel course and because a lesson on Indigenous graphic novels could also be relevant to New Media and Arts courses.

As with film, Indigenous comics and graphic novels have two aims:

  • To counteract the misrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in mainstream graphic works.

  • To offer relatable, realistic, and positive representations of Indigenous characters.

    The cover of Jay Odjick's comic and television series Kagagi. Odjick has had a great deal of success and is from nearby Kitigan Zibi.

    Cover of Red Wolf #1, published December 2, 2015. Marvel Comics

    The graphic novel form is one that is particularly popular amongst First Peoples writers and artists as it provides an opportunity to visually work through cultural trauma while also connecting with younger generations who often enjoy this form more than traditional novels or even orature. Though Gord Downie's recent work with Jeff Lemaire received a lot of press, there are many Indigenous produced graphic novels that are worth a look. Below we offer a list of graphic novels, some print and some digital (to which we've provided hyperlinks), as well as a few articles and interviews on First Peoples graphic novels.

    1. David Alexander Robertson Seven Generations

    2. Michael Yahgulanaas Red: A Haida Manga

    3. Jay Odjick Kagagi: The Raven (both a comic series and a cartoon on APTN)

    4. Raven Tales - 26 graphic novels built around in classroom education, also became a cartoon on Global

    5. Jay Odjick interview on Globe and Mail website discussing diversity in comics.

    6. Sarah Henzi's "A Necessary Antidote: Graphic Novels, Comics, and Indigenous Writing" in Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 43.1 (2016) via MUSE

    7. Article by Jessica Langston discussing the connections between graphic novels and oral history - contact her via CEGEP email for a copy

    8. The Marvel Universe has given an old character new life with a Red Wolf series.

    9. Katherena Vermette combines sci-fi and indigenous history in her graphic novel A Girl Called Echo, the first issue of her new series Pemmican Wars.