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Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection

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3.53  ·  Rating details ·  1,506 ratings  ·  344 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
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Paperback, 232 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Fulcrum Publishing
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Anastasia
Mar 12, 2016 rated it liked it
3/5 stars

Trickster was a bright and unique graphic collection of Native American Tales.

I have read a good amount of graphic novels, each with their own writing and art style. This book was like grabbing hundreds of graphic novels and slapping them together. I enjoyed the array of art styles, but most of them didn't fit together very well. Many of them felt misplaced or awkward because they were completely different art form. Some were very realistic while others had the look of a child's col
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Miriam
Jan 02, 2011 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
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Seth T.
Jul 28, 2011 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
...more
Agnė
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in Native American folklore
Recommended to Agnė by: Read & Meet Book Group
WHAT IT IS ABOUT:

“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
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Lisa
Jun 30, 2015 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
Samrat
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
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Sesana
Mar 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, folklore
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
Aryanamarin
It was funny and entertaining. I liked how the stories where cut and not all together but it was all about tricking.
Betsy
Jul 30, 2010 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
Helen
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone.
Recommended to Helen by: No-one.
Shelves: native-americans
This is a volume of Native American folk tales that include a trickster or how a creature or person got out of a potentially dangerous situation using cunning or their wits. The story-telling of what appears to be a YA book is easy-to-follow, the stories themselves not too complicated and easy-to-understand, and the drawings/artwork quite entertaining and well-executed. I'd recommend this book to readers of all ages since even for an adult, it can be a relaxing break - usually the stories are al ...more
Raina
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
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RachelAnne
Jul 17, 2011 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
Michelle Pegram
May 04, 2014 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
ElphaReads
This collection of Native American folklore told by Indigenous writers and illustrators was a pleasant morning read. There was even some overlap between this and MOONSHOT, as the first story in this collection was the same version of "Coyote and the Pebbles" that is found in that one. It also happened to be one of my favorites, so it was a strong start. While I liked some of the art styles more than others, I liked having all of these different representations of Indigenous folklore and mytholog ...more
Beth Cato
Apr 25, 2014 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
Erin
Aug 24, 2012 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
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Valeria Ambriz
May 20, 2015 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.
Zoe's Human
As with any anthology, this is a mixed bag. However, unlike most anthologies, this is a graphic novel. This unfortunately means, that with a different artist illustrating each story, the sudden change in style could be jarring and the fluid artistic experience of a graphic novel was lost.

The stories, I think, lost something for not being orally told to me. A good storyteller descended of a fine oral tradition communicates massive amounts of information with tone of voice, looks, facial expressi
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Leanne Jones
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This was okay. I would have preferred a bit more mature stories, but this book suited my requirement for book battle. Some of the stories and art are reported done and beautiful, but others look and sound like something my ten year old created. It is good that the editor made sure all the stories were told by natives. That does lend it more weight. It just wasn't very enjoyable to read.
Katerina (ACOURTOFBOOKSANDCOFFEE)
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
In almost an hour and a half I was finished! I have found a love for graphic novels and manga this last year and am excited to say that this is going to be added to my collection. The graphics were absolutely stunning. Each story holding their own unique drawing format. I was astounded by some of the stories that were told. Each so different and yet all connecting to the creation of something or another. This is definitely a reread and I am excited to be placing it on my shelf!
Christopher
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
The story about how the buzzard lost the feathers on his head was just straight up bonkers. And it's also not fit for repeating, even with spoiler tags. SO WEIRD.
Shawn Holman
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This graphic novel is a collection of Native American stories and each story is written by and illustrated by different authors and artists. I loved that each story was so differently told and illustrated. It's a great variety.
Molly
Like any anthology, this had its highs and lows -- nothing really stood out as amazing, though, and there were enough typos and spelling errors that I found myself frustrated more often than not. A really interesting project; I just wish that it had been better edited.
Rll595ag_thomasjakovlic
Apr 27, 2013 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
Leslie
"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
...more
Nicola Mansfield
Jun 09, 2011 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
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Sara
Jul 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was a very cool book! It is a graphic novel that collects stories about trickster-type figures from a wide variety of Native American legends.

These tricksters may be godlike, humanlike, or, most often, thinking/speaking animals like coyotes and rabbits. They like to disregard warnings and cause mischief, trouble, and sometimes harm.

Here is the best thing about this book: every story is told by a different author or storyteller and each is illustrated by a different artist. The art gives e
...more
Brenna Smotzer
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brenna-smotzer
1 Non-European folktales
Title (italicize): Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection
Author: Matt Dembicki
Illustrator (if separate from author): Matt Dembicki
Genre: Graphic Novel, Folk Tale
Theme(s): Trickery and mischief, humor, connectedness to Earth
Opening line/sentence (type directly from text):
When the mother Earth was extremely young, things were not as they are now.

Brief Book Summary (2-3 sentences in your own words):
A collection of Native American Trickster tales. Many diffe
...more
Sean Kottke
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, graphic-novel
This anthology of sequential art narrative adaptations of Native American trickster tales would be a worthy addition to any classroom library. The stories are told by Native American storytellers representing tribes from across the continent, and illustrated in a wide range of visual styles by artists both Native and non-Native. Some tales land more satisfyingly than others, but there's such a great range here to appeal to lots of different reader tastes. I can easily see readers from elementary ...more
Jeremy Miller
Jun 02, 2014 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
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