As a child who attended pow wows and various Indian-themed conferences thanks to my mother working for the NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS (NCAI), I would often retreat into fantasy and play with my STAR WARS action figures with some of the other children while the adults did their thing. Now, at the age of 41, I have attended the first ever INDIGENOUS COMIC CON at the HISPANIC CULTURAL CENTER in Albuquerque, NM and to call the experience "surreal" was an understatement. It had all of the elements of a pow-wow, an Indian art show, a conference and sci-fi convention complete with cosplayers. It was the childhood pow wow experience complete with droids, DARTH VADER and some storm troopers. No event with COMIC CON in it's title would be be complete without any of these elements, but this one was different. This event was all about Native people creating imagery and stories that define them as people. One of those people is ARIGON STARR - the creator of SUPER INDIAN - whom ROCK IS RED has profiled previously. At this event we also got to meet Mdewakanton Sioux writer Z.M. THOMAS - the owner of TREPIDATION COMICS and creator of SIOUX FALLS - a steampunk comic inspired by the DAKOTA UPRISING of 1862. Since iconography is essential in comic art the subject of mascots and taking charge of the imagery that defines us as native people made all the sense in the world to be included in this event and the presence and wisdom of SUZAN HARJO was most welcomed. Accompanying HARJO were Standing Rock Sioux filmmakers JOHN and KEN LITTLE to discuss their upcoming film MORE THAN A WORD: MASCOTS AND POP CULTURE REPRESENTATION.
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