Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Volume 1 by Hope Nicholson

All the backlog of 2017 is finally done with books! Moonshot is the first book of 2018 to be read. I’m going through my book hauls from last year so Toronto Comiccon yielded this book and another that I have just started to read as I’m writing this up. AH Comics are the ones who put this compilation out of Indigenous stories told by various illustrators and writers. I had picked up this one and gotten Titan: An Alternate History, where you can check out that review HERE.

Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Volume 1
by: Hope Nicholson

moonshot

From traditional stories to exciting new visions of the future, this collection presents some of the finest comic book and graphic novel work in North America. The traditional stories presented in the book are with the permission from the elders in their respective communities, making this a truly genuine, never-before-seen publication. MOONSHOT is an incredible collection that is sure to amaze, intrigue and entertain! – Goodreads

Moonshot is a beautiful indigenous comics collection. The variety and the diversity of its stories really had a wonderful touch to the traditions and storytelling nature that the culture has been known for. For myself, there is a lot of unknowns since I have never dug deep however ever since I’ve played the game Never Alone, its somewhat peaked my interest in learning more because there is just so much to learn from the different tribes (if that’s the right world). Each story is preceded with a blurb about the story’s origins and the approach it takes. Some of them stay true to the roots and look at possibly one angle of retelling while some has taken a story and injected into a futuristic world however still managing to portray its essence. Its genuine and knowledgeable while being entertaining as well.

Moonshot is a collection of 13 stories and while I really don’t want to have to evaluate each of them, here are the few that I liked the most:

  • Vision Quest: Echo: This story kicks off the compilation in such a creative way. It says in the beginning introduction blurb that its told uniquely in Indian Sign Language. There is a beauty of seeing the story unfold through elaborate pictures put together like a collage in some ways. Its a powerful and meaningful story told in such an effective way.
  • Ochek: What grabs me the most about this story is its art style and how it tells the story with anamorphic creatures heading out to look for warmth to help their families survive the cold harsh winter. It links it to the well-known constellations which adds on a new meaning and lessons to this story.
  • UE-Purcase: Water Master: A lovely twist of this story shows how lessons learned in these stories are timeless as this story is retold in the collection set in the distant future where people live out in space. The world here and the art along with the story is told so well.
  • Strike and Plot: Also set in the future, Strike and Plot resembles a lot of the story of God of Thunder and Lightning because here the sons posses the power of lightning and electricity respectively. They are sent on a mission that comes back with an unexpected outcome. The art and the world is very nice and the story is engaging.
  • Tlicho Nàowo: This story takes place on Halloween however, it is a story about paying respect to spirits and ancestor and the herds that feed them. The meaning stems deep and is a nice extension of how the indigenous Tlicho would celebrate their Halloween.
  • Ayanisach: Ayanisach means ‘he who tells stories of the past’ in Cree. With that said, this story uses a brilliant art style set in the future to emphasize the importance of storytelling to learn the past to improve on their future. Also one of the final dialogue in the story.

To be fair, a lot of the stories here are very stylistic. Whether it is the way that they choose to tell it in their words and/or the art style. These six are really the ones that appealed to me the most however, I was impressed by all of them. Its an enjoyable read and one that is very educational and entertaining as we learn about different groups (tribes? not sure how to say that) from different places in North America and their stories. Its definitely a creative way to share it.

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