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Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection

3.48  ·  Rating Details  ·  952 Ratings  ·  238 Reviews
Meet the Trickster, a crafty creature or being who disrupts the order of things, often humiliating others and sometimes himself in the process. Whether a coyote or rabbit, raccoon or raven, Tricksters use cunning to get food, steal precious possessions, or simply cause mischief.

In Trickster, the first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, more than twenty
Paperback, 232 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Fulcrum Publishing
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Sep 19, 2011 Miriam rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic, mythology
On the one hand, I feel a little guilty giving this collection only 3 stars, because it is fabulous that they collected all these native american tales together and got various artists to illustrate them and paid for a high-quality heavy-paper glossy publication.

On the other hand, I feel a little guilt giving this collection as much as 3 stars, because man, it was pretty effing boring and the retellings were uninspired and most of the art was stunningly weak and cartoonish.

I am far from being a
Seth T.
Jul 30, 2011 Seth T. rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics

My acquaintance with North American tribal histories, lores, and mythologies is what those in the know might describe as inadequate. Woefully inadequate, even. Certainly I have for these cultures a passing appreciation that I garnered piecemeal from elementary school classes (focused on Californian tribes), a smattering of books, a couple of films, and even the occasional article. Knowledge thus gained is likely apocryphal and prone to stereotype—and so I’ve largely abandoned any sense that I un
Agne Jakubauskaite
Feb 06, 2016 Agne Jakubauskaite rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in Native American folklore
Recommended to Agne by: Read & Meet Book Group

“Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection” is a graphic novel anthology of Native American trickster tales collected by editor Matt Dembicki. This collection features twenty-one storytellers from Native American tribes all across The United States as well as the same number of talented artists. Some of the stories strive to explain the world around us, others aim to teach us a lesson, still others want nothing more than to entertain the reader. However, all the sto
Jan 24, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it
This is a collection edited by a non-Native artist who fell in love with North American trickster tales. He recruited Native storytellers from various nations to tell their stories, allowing them to choose which artist from a pool of contributors would create the accompanying artwork. The editor's note says nothing was changed without the storytellers' approval. At the end of the book, there are useful contributor bios. Readers can learn where the stories came from and follow up on favorite auth ...more
Meh. I really wanted to like this, what with my fondness for native folklore and my work with a number of tribes, mostly in the northern Plains. It may be the graphic novel format alone, which I don't think I care for, or something else I can't put my finger on.

It felt shallow. This book could have really used a forward with information on the traditional role of the trickster and especially contexts with each story, at least a mention of the contributing tribe or region. A few of the comics jus
Jun 27, 2012 Sesana rated it liked it
Shelves: folklore, comics
What we have here are around two dozen trickster stories from roughly as many Native American traditions. I enjoyed it, for the most part, but it wasn't the most inspiring selection of trickster tales. But I love reading trickster tales. There's a variety of art styles represented here, but none of them were that inspiring to me. But the thing that irritated me the most, which would have been such a small thing to do, is that you had to read the author/storyteller bio at the end of the book to k ...more
Beth Cato
Apr 26, 2014 Beth Cato rated it really liked it
I have encountered versions of some of these tales before, but this collection is very well done. It's diverse and respectful, ranging from Choctaw to Navajo to one set in Hawaii. The information in the back states that they made sure that the storyteller approved of the art, and that little editing was done so that the true voice could be preserved. I loved the majority of the artwork--really, a number of panels were just plain gorgeous--though found one in particular to be a bit too contempora ...more
Nov 19, 2010 Betsy rated it really liked it
This year I helped a committee come up with the 100 best books for children. This list has been produced for a while and each year we make sure to include a folk and fairytale section. The problem? With each passing year publishers produce less and less folk and fairytales for kids. In the past this was a serious category, with a variety of different authors and illustrators all battling it out for folktale supremacy. Nowadays, you can read through a big publisher’s full catalog for the upcoming ...more
Jul 17, 2011 RachelAnne rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic
Some of these stories certainly merit a 5, but the overall quality--especially of illustration--is uneven. A two-sentence source note about the culture that tells each story would have vastly improved the book. One of the things that bothered me most was that some illustrators seemed to fall into the lazy pattern of treating all Native Americans as members of the same tribe, depicting a stereotyped "cigar store injun" instead of the setting within a particular tribe and nation. For instance, Jer ...more
Aug 24, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok
This gets a weak three stars, unfortunately. Several of these stories were excellent, and I appreciate the attempts to get Native artists involved in this collections but ultimately, it seemed a little careless and good enough. It was just like passive illustration, rather than emotive graphic storytelling. It wasn't very engaging.

I so wish that someone someday will get something like this right, and hopefully a Native person will be the one at the helm, someone who grew up with these stories, w
It was funny and entertaining. I liked how the stories where cut and not all together but it was all about tricking.
Valeria Ambriz
May 29, 2015 Valeria Ambriz rated it it was amazing
I liked the book and how their was tricksters in each story of the book and their goal as to get what they wanted and making plans so that they could trick other people and they getting what they wanted.
Jeremy Miller
Jun 02, 2014 Jeremy Miller rated it it was ok
I've always been fond of Native American folk tales, due to the fact that I love what their society stood for, however I was not too fond of this novel. Being a compilation of folk tales there is a plethora of art forms some in which make your eyes melt in their beauty, and others that would be unappealing a dung beetle. I felt that the stories told just barely broke the seal of how interesting and amazing the native american culture really is, but are mainly used as good moral teaching stories. ...more
Michelle Pegram
Jun 06, 2014 Michelle Pegram rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel, edited by Matt Dembicki, consists of 21 Native American trickster tales that have been re-imagined in a comic format. Each tale is told by a different author/illustrator pair with all of the authors, and some of the illustrators, being of Native American descent. There are many elements of this collection that are intriguing. There are many different styles of illustration, the tricksters come in a variety of forms, and the outcome for the tricksters is not always what one wo ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Jun 09, 2011 Nicola Mansfield rated it it was amazing
Reason for Reading: This was a Cybils '10 nominee and I hadn't read it by the time judging was due as it was not a contender by that time and I'm just now getting to it.

I have to admit I was not exactly excited about reading this book. Graphic anthologies have mostly been a miss for me in the past and though I love myths and legends, Native American tales are not exactly my favourite (tall tales don't do it for me either). So it was with some trepidation I read the first story which I found enti
A collection of trickster tales from native tribes all over amerika.

I struggle with this one. On the one hand, it's a neat looking package. An awesome cover, glossy color images inside, with stories contributed by native americans and illustrations by comic artists. As an artifact, I think it's valuable in society.

But I'm not sure it's entirely effective. Many of the stories are extremely text heavy, and it's often hard to see the benefit the illustrations lend to the telling. Also, there's no
"Understanding that he was woefully ignorant of Native American culture, Matt Dembicki was inspired to create Trickster. He chose trickster tales because they hold a special interest. Dembicki found 21 vetted Native American storytellers from different regions. The storytellers in turn chose an Artist for the project. Trickster is a collection of these works.

The stories vary thematically, some useful for instruction, some are origin stories, many are both. Some will appeal visually, but not narr
Apr 28, 2013 Rll595ag_thomasjakovlic rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
Having read a smattering of trickster tales in grade school and few in college, I was excited at the idea of delving into a collection of Native American tales by Matt Dembicki. The fact that these tales would be told in graphic novel form just added to my anticipation of how the tales and the art would coalesce into good story telling. Unfortunately, I think the Trickster tales don't grab the reader's attention on either front. For example, in the Rabbit's Choctaw tail tale, the illustrations o ...more
This book is about stories that come from the native american culture. The stories have to do with tricks that people / animals make. My favorite part is when all the animals turn into animals and the book shows you the pictures.
Galilea Estrada
May 13, 2015 Galilea Estrada rated it it was amazing
This book has a lot of Native Americans stories. I really how they apply the comic theme to the story it makes it funnier than a regular book. I really like the native American stories that where in the book.
Feb 11, 2011 Bonnie rated it liked it
I like the idea- really, really like the idea. However, it's kind of... without an audience. There's not any background provided, for people who come to the stories without context; it assembles stories from all over America and Hawai'i, again without context; and the stories don't seem to be organized at all, geographically or otherwise. I appreciate that the editor, as a White person, felt awkward about curating this collection, but perhaps slightly more effort and collaboration would have hel ...more
This is a fun collection, an anthology of Native American trickster stories told through the comic book medium. I appreciated the author bios in the back, and the wide variety of storytelling styles and art. This would be a really nice addition to almost any public or school library.
Kimberly Tsan
Some breathtaking artworks, but I feel the graphic portion is too overladen with narration and elements of the graphic novel haven't been properly or much utilized. Most of the trickster tales lack a punch line or a plot twist that make them memorable--a real disappointment considering trickster stories are meant to instruct a lesson or raise awareness/new perspectives by puncturing the fabrics of our constructed social reality. The stories are superficial and have little depth, and some are poo ...more
Many readers here on Goodreads don't seem to like this. I did. I enjoyed it. It was a wonderful Christmas present. It is true, I didn't like all of the art work, but in many cases (say 90%) the artwork suited the tale. It matched it. Maybe it's because I was already familiar with many of these stories so I was just intersted in seeing how the retelling went, I don't know. For instance, the story of how rabbit got his tail works with cartoon like drawings that accompany it.

Overall, I enjoyed it,
Tasya Dita
Jan 03, 2016 Tasya Dita rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
3/5 stars

I didn't think I would enjoy this book. I know nothing about Native Americans (except from Pocahontas, Supernatural, and some research from Wikipedia years ago). I was really excited to read folktales, because they always give insight about the way a certain society lives. And I do get a lot of insight, like how close their relation is with the nature, how they respect it and believe in spirits. I love the Native American's terms/names (even though they're hard sometimes) like Cheepee,
Allison James
The graphic novel "Trickster: Native American Tales", written by Matt Dembicki and copyrighted in 2010, is a collection of Native stories about coyotes, rabbits, ravens, and other crafty creatures and their mischievous activities. The trickster is 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 form ...more
Feb 08, 2015 Christian rated it really liked it
Trickster is an entertaining collection of folk tales from various First Nation tribes and regions. All of these center on someone pulling a fast one on someone else, for either their entertainment or their survival. Playing a trick on someone seems not to be attached to being morally answerable to any agency, as some of these tricksters are punished and others get away with having wronged innocent parties. Often, the purpose of the tale is only to dazzle, not to teach.

What made these stories es
Jan 29, 2015 Jenna rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels, adult
An entertaining volume with a wide variety of art styles. I preferred the more realistic, such as Micah Farritor, Matt Dembicki, And Michelle Silva. Less so, the one with the cartoon rabbit with a rather Sponge Bob-esque rear end. But it actually felt like the book didn't have that wide a variety of tales. There were quite a few versions of the trickster tale of playing dead to catch something tasty. I wonder what moral that teaches...good things come to those who wait and are poked and prodded ...more
Kathy Leonard
Feb 27, 2014 Kathy Leonard rated it really liked it
Shelves: etec545-class4
Dembicki, Matt, ed. Trickster. Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection (2010). In the trickster tale, Coyote and the Pebbles, Dayton Edmonds and Micah Farritor explain why there are stars in the night sky. In this Coyote Trickster Tale coyote makes a mistake and the end result is beautiful. The Great Mystery asked the animals what they needed the most from him. They stated that they would like more light in the evening. The Great Mystery gave directions on what the animals were to do. They w ...more
Oct 12, 2014 Dani rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book, but I just didn't. One thing I found difficult was the changing art and storytelling styles. While in one way it's cool to compile stories from a variety of storytellers from a variety of vastly different tribes and illustrate those stories with vastly different art styles, it really came across as incoherent. What was this book trying to be? It is one thing to be a collection or stories or essays or songs, but with such different styles of graphic adaptation, its lik ...more
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