Sunday, August 15, 2010

Albuquerque signing

Trickster contributing storytellers Michael Thompson and Eldrena Douma doing a signing at Barnes & Noble in Albuquerque, joined by a Navajo student of Michael's, who has her own self-made graphic book Come & Sleep.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

'Trickster' events @ Barnes & Noble

Upcoming ‘Trickster’ signings at Barnes & Noble stores:

July 13: Contributing artist Roy Boney, Jr. (“Horned Toad Lady and Coyote”), Woodland Plaza, 8620 E. 71 St., Tulsa, Okla.

July 31: Contributing writer Thomas Cummings, Jr. (“Puapualenalena, Wizard Dog of the Waipi’o Valley”), the Kahala Mall, 4211 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, Hawaii

Aug. 6: Contributing writer Beckee Garris (“The Yehasuri: The Little Wild Indians”), 11025 Carolina Place, Pineville, N.C.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Review from ""

From "Folkloric stories are powerful. They can be emotional, funny, uplifting, or scary. But they always have pull to them, and that’s why they continue to haunt and entertain people." Read the review.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

'Trickster' on NPR

Listen for a segment on Trickster on NPR Weekend Edition Sunday with Liane Hansen this weekend, somewhere in the 8:40 to 9 a.m. EST slot. :) As a bonus, the program's Web site will feature art from "How Wildcat Caught a Turkey" (by Jon Sperry) with a voiceover by storyteller Joseph Stands With Many.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Feature article on Elaine Grinnell and Michelle Silva

The Sequim (Wash.) Gazette did a wonderful story on Trickster contributing storyteller Elaine Grinnell and artist Michelle Silva. Lovely photos, too.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel review

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Pairing 21 American Indian storytellers with graphic artists, editor Matt Dembicki has produced a spectacular color anthology of trickster tales." Read more.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Interviews with 'Trickster' contributors

Mike Rhode, who writes the ComicsDC blog and the comics column at the Washington City Paper, is running interviews with local Trickster contributors over the next few weeks. He begins with Paul Zdepski.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

'Trickster' signing at Big Planet Comics

Thanks to everyone who came out for the Trickster signing! (An extra special thanks to Kevin, Greg, Jared and the rest of the Big Planet Comics staff for hosting us and for their hospitality.) Below are some pics of the event.

Cartoonists and Trickster artists Jerry Carr (left) and 
Mike Short look at some of the original art from the book.

(From left) Trickster artists Evan Keeling and Jacob Warrenfeltz
and Mike Rhode, who writes the comicsDC blog and the comics column
at the Washington City Paper.

(Sitting) Chris Piers and Jacob Warrenfeltz, (standing) Evan
Keeling, Andrew Cohen and Mike Short.

The traffic was steady for most of the two hours, but there were
 a few minutes where there seemed to be a concentrated rush. 

Trickster contributors (from left, sitting) Chris Piers, Jacob 
Warrenfeltz, Evan Keeling, Andrew Cohen (standing, signing),
Rand Arrington and Paul Zdepski. ((Standing in the back in
the green shirt is D.C. Conspiracy member Art Haupt.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

'Trickster' available!

A bunch of contributing artists to Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection will be at Big Planet Comics in Vienna, Va., this Sat., May 15, for a signing from 2-4 p.m. In attendance: Matt Dembicki, Andrew Cohen, Evan Keeling, Paul Zdepski, Chris Piers, Jacob Warrenfeltz, Mike Short, Jerry Carr, Rand Arrington and Scott White. We'll also be doing sketches and giving away artist trading cards featuring Trickster critters (see below)! I'll also give a very brief talk about the project. Come by and join the fun!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Starred review from Kirkus

Here's a starred review from Kirkus:
Vigorously rendered in striking graphic format, this robust anthology of 21 Native American folktales features a bevy of wily rascals in a veritable smorgasbord of trickster tales. Told in the words of Native American storytellers from many nations, these tales use the trickster to teach moral lessons and explain such natural events as how the rabbit got its puffy tail, why the buzzard has no feathers on its head, why the owl guards burial sites or why geese fly in a V formation. Relying on cunning and craft to survive, outwit and amuse, the tricksters include coyote, raven, rabbit, raccoon, wolf, beaver and dog as well as human tricksters like Moshup, Ishjinki and Waynaboozhoo. Each tale is illustrated by a different artist in strikingly different styles, some comic and some realistic but all surprisingly suited to their stories, while the graphic sequencing provides action and emotional detail only suggested by the storyteller. Packaged in a chunky, square-shaped volume, this unique collection of Native American folklore invites readers to sample and savor each colorful, wily tale. (editor’s notes, contributors’ bios) (Graphic folklore. 10 & up)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

'Trickster' nominated for YALSA award

Trickster was recently nominated for the Young Adult Library Services Association's 2011 Great Graphic Novels for Teens. (Yes, it's very early, but it's nice to get a nod.)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

'Trickster' At Cambridge

Trickster contributor Scott White spotted the book at the Harvard Book Store in Boston among some elite graphic novels. (Thanks for the pics, Scott!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

'Trickster' reviews

Reviews from some well-regarded trade publications:

Publishers Weekly (04/26/2010):
These 21 folktales, created by pairing Native storytellers with a variety of artists, feature creatures explaining how things came to be, like islands or stars, or animals playing tricks on one another. Often, the trickster, while trying to take the lazy way, outwits himself, especially when it involves Coyote. In other tales, Raven does whatever people tell him not to do, but ends up with a free meal anyway, and Rabbit tricks some buffalo and wolves and is tricked by Fox into losing his tail. Many of the stories, some of which involve tribespeople as well as animals, are told through captions, as though listening to an elder and envisioning the images he describes. Micah Farritor’s art in "Coyote and the Pebbles" and Dembicki’s in "Azban (Raccoon) and the Crayfish" are standouts in their animal images. The diverse styles are presented in lavish color in this thick, handsome volume. The short collection of contributor bios at the end is a helpful resource for finding more about the artists’ credits or the writers’ heritage.

School Library Journal (May 2010):
(Starred review)

More than 40 storytellers and cartoonists have contributed to this original and provocative compendium of traditional folklore presented in authentic, colorful, and engaging sequential art. The stories are drawn from a variety of Native peoples across North America, and so the trickster character appears variously as Rabbit, a raccoon, Coyote, and in other guises; landscapes, clothing and rhythms of speech and action also vary in keeping with distinct traditions. Realistic, impressionistic, painterly, and cartoon styles of art are employed to echo and announce the tone of each tale and telling style, making this a rich visual treasure as well as cultural trove. Contributors include well-known author Joseph Bruchac, Pueblo storyteller Eldrena Douma, cartoonist and Smithsonian Institution employee Evan Keeling, and many who have not worked in comics heretofore as well as cartoonists with no previous allegiance to telling Native stories with their art. The total package is accessible, entertaining, educational, inspiring, and a must-have for all collections.

Booklist (American Library Association, May 2010):
(Starred review)
This graphic-format collection of Native American tales featuring an old folk favorite—the trickster—hits an impressive trifecta of achievements. First, it’s a wildly successful platform for indie-comic creators and an excellent showcase for their distinctive styles. From David Smith and Jerry Carr's heroic, animation-inspired “Trickster and the Great Chief” to the Looney Toons zaniness of “Rabbit’s Chocktaw Tail Tale” by Tim Tingle and Pat Lewis, there’s a bit of visual panache here for every taste. Second, with the exception of a stray X-Man or two and an obscure DC sword-and-sorcery character, this is the first graphic novel to really focus on Native American themes and events, a surprising absence that this book remedies with respect and imagination. Lastly, as Native American folklore is so directly tied to the culture’s spirituality, this proves the rare graphic novel that handles such issues without specifically attaching them to standard religious practices. With stories that vary in emotional tone, matching the ever-shifting appearance and character of the trickster himself and the lessons he teaches and learns, this collection is an ideal choice for dipping into over and over. A dandy read for those interested in history, folklore, adventure, humor, or the arts, and a unique contribution to the form.

Return from SPACE!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo this weekend! (And a special thanks to SPACE organizer Bob Corby for helping with the exhibit and allowing me to highlight the project.) Below are a few photos of some of the folks who bought copies of Trickster and took a closer look at some of the original art that was exhibited.

Here's the exhibit ready role before the show opens.

Bruce Rosenburger (left) of Dutchy Digest discusses inking techniques with Trickster contributing artist Pat Lewis (Cragmore). Two of Pat's pages are displayed in the center of the photo, next to the Trickster board sign.

Artist Christina Wald chats with a friend about the critters. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

'Trickster' at SPACE

Trickster officially debuts at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus, Ohio, April 24-25. There will also be an exhibit at the show of original art from the book by Andy Bennett, Andrew Cohen, Evan Keeling, Mike Short and Jacob Warrenfeltz. The SPACE blog has some additional sample pages from the book, as well as a podcast interview re: the book.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

'Trickster' is now available!

Trickster is now available at You can order here.
It will very soon be on the shelves of major bookstores and indie stories.
Thanks for your support!

And from the What Are You Reading column at Robot 6:
“Here’s a book that got me a lot more excited: Trickster, an anthology of Native American trickster tales. I’m not generally a big fan of folk tales, but the writing and the art really shine in this lively compilation. The stories are all written by Native American storytellers, so the tales are authentic, and the art is varied but always of high quality. I gave this book the ultimate test recently—I read one of the stories aloud to a class of fifth-graders—and they loved it. (The fact that the story was about a rabbit whose butt got stuck to a frozen lake probably helped.) The book is beautifully produced and a great read.”

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

'Trickster' previewed @ Graphic Novel Reporter

The Graphic Novel Reporter offers a sneak peek at a few Trickster pages.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Brief review by

Tiny Librarian from says: "Great collection of 21 Native American tales. All of the tales are told by Native American storytellers who chose the artists that they would work with to illustrate the stories in this collection. Definitely a more modern way to showcase these stories, instead of just sending kids/teens to the 398s in the library!"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Promo text for 'Trickster'

Here's the Fulcrum promo text for Trickster:

All cultures have tales of the trickster-a crafty creature or being who uses cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief. He disrupts the order of things, often humiliating others and sometimes himself. In Native American traditions, the trickster takes many forms, from coyote or rabbit to raccoon or raven. The first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, Trickster brings together Native American folklore and the world of comics.

n Trickster, more than twenty Native American tales are cleverly adapted into comic form. Each story is written by a different Native American storyteller who worked closely with a selected illustrator, a combination that gives each tale a unique and powerful voice and look. Ranging from serious and dramatic to funny and sometimes downright fiendish, these tales bring tricksters back into popular culture in a very vivid form. From an ego-driven social misstep in "Coyote and the Pebbles" to the hijinks of "How Wildcat Caught a Turkey" and the hilarity of "Rabbit's Choctaw Tail Tale," Trickster provides entertainment for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Here's a little plug for the book on

Trickster will hit the book shelves in June, but you can get your copy ahead of time at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus, Ohio, and Festival Image in Washington,D.C./Baltimore, both in April.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thompson on 'Avatar'

Trickster contributing writer Michael Thompson discusses parallels between the blockbuster film "Avatar" and Native Americans--and why it isn't about Native Americans. Read the article in Indian Country Today.