First Nations meets Japanese culture in Red graphic novel

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Meet Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. A B.C. Haida artist, Yahgulanaas is the creator behind Red: A Haida Manga, a 2009 groundbreaking graphic novel that combines Haida myth and Japanese storytelling. To celebrate the book’s publication in softcover, as well as a new solo art exhibit, Yahgulanaas will be at the Douglas Udell Gallery May 3.

Red: A Haida Manga retells a classic Haida oral narrative through 108 pages of hand-painted images. The hardcover edition was nominated for the Bill Duthie Bookseller’s Choice Award, a Doug Wright Award for Best Book and a 2010 Joe Schuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Cartoonist. It was also an Amazon Top 100 book of 2009.

Set in the islands off the northwest coast of B.C., the graphic novel features the orphan Red and his sister, Jaada. When raiders attack their village and Jaada is taken, her brother’s thirst for revenge leads his community to the brink of war. Hmmm, sounds pretty contemporary, doesn’t it?

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Meanwhile, in his SOLO 3 art exhibit, Yahgulanaas debuts his latest Under the Hood series. According to the press release, the series “marks the beginning of a study of the sacred geography of multiple genders using bi-lateral Hoods finished with precious metals.” We think they’re talking about car hoods. “The first works in the series blend male and female topographies and include new interactive and aural components.” The exhibit will also include new works on paper.

Yahgulanaas was born and raised on the north Pacific islands of Haida Gwaii. He lives in Canada with his wife and daughter, close to the Two Sisters mountains on an island in the Salish Sea. His books include Flight of the Hummingbird, A Tale of Two Shamans and Hachidori, a bestseller in Japan. His work has been published in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Spain, the United States and Canada.

Yahgulanaas, Michael_sml

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.

The May 3 exhibit opening reception runs from 2 – 4 p.m., with the book launch beginning at 4:30 pm. Admission is free, refreshments will be provided, and all are welcome.

The Douglas Udell Gallery is located on the 2nd floor at 1566 W. 6th Avenue. For more information on the exhibit opening and/or book launch event, contact the gallery at 604-736-8900.

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2 Responses to First Nations meets Japanese culture in Red graphic novel

  1. Pingback: Culture War Correspondence: Getting Into Reading Comics | Culture War Reporters

  2. Another work, much shorter but using the same mural construction approach is almost finished and will be published as a chapter in Drew Hayden Taylor’s upcoming book “Me Artsy”

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