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Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection
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Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  762 ratings  ·  208 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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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 Hahne

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
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
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
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
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
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
Jeremy Miller
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
Kathy Leonard
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
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
Matt Dembicki culled together native writers and paired them with comic book artists, to help visualize Native-American folk tales about 'tricksters.' Some of these are executed very well, but like with all anthologies, there is a certain unevenness.

I appreciate both good graphic novels and folklore. What I wish this book had was an intro paragraph before each novel, saying something about the story, its origin and which tribe(s) it is associated with. Some of these would be obvious (there is a
Graphic collection of a variety of Native American trickster myths, using the words of authentic sources and a variety of artists. Clever, sly, fucked up, surprising, expected, and ever-so-human: this is a genre of storytelling that never ceases to delight and entrance me.
2.5 stars. Though some of these collected Native American trickster-tales stand alone comfortably, others felt like isolated snippets of a longer story or set of stories, or sometimes had no apparent point. The artwork--a different artist/style for every story--was similarly hit or miss, ranging from comic book style to Ren-and-Stimpy style. The book would be greatly improved by having a quick introduction before each story to explain who some apparently recurrent folk-characters are or the diff ...more
Savannah Bryant
Trickster offers a unique interpretation and perspective of Native American stories and cultures. Each story is written and illustrated individually, bringing out a distinctive voice in each. The book offers an alternative means of comprehending and coming to a greater understanding of Native American beliefs and morals. For example the story "Coyote and the Pebbles" explains how stars came to be, and "Rabbit's Choctaw Tail Tale" reveals how the rabbit got his little cottontail. This book is app ...more
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
Title: Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection
Editor: Matt Dembicki
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing

This graphic novel collects 21 trickster tales from numerous Native American storytellers, giving voice to traditional tales from a wide range of nations. In order to maintain the authenticity of the stories, the storytellers chose from a pool of illustrators and worked with them to render their trickster tales. As mentioned in the note from the editor at the end of the collection: "The
Erin Reilly-Sanders
I thought this collection of graphic short stories by different authors and artists was fantastic but I'm also starting to realize that I really like collections of graphic short stories by different authors and artists. I love seeing different styles in storytelling, both visual and verbal, right next to each other because then the differences are more readily apparent. Somehow even the graphic layout of the words helps draw my mind to the different voices they represent. This book also does so ...more
Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection edited by Matt Dembiki (2010)
Graphic Book, 231 pages
In a compilation of work from over 40 storytellers and artists, Trickster shares a diverse collection of trickster tales from various Native American cultures and regions. In some the crafty coyote plays the trickster who ends up being taught a lesson, in others it is the sly raven who gets away, while in some it is the rabbit or the raccoon, depending on the cultural origin. Many of the ta
In the note from the editor, Matt Dembicki explains that the idea for this book came from reading a book of Native American tales in the library. He realized he didn’t know most of these tales and thought he should. He knew many European myths and tales, along with a few Asian and African tales, but none from his own country. 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. The trickster disrup ...more
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