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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 199

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today concludes SCALPED WEEK!!! All cool comic book moments from Jason Aaron and R. M. Guéra’s awesome series, Scalped!

I end the week on two scenes from the finale of the second year of Scalped (#24), spotlighting Chief Red Crow.

Enjoy!

So Chief Red Crow has just likely brought a gang war upon his reservation by arresting the representative of the Asian mob staying at his casino (and killing his two bodyguards), and in doing so, he has violated the terms of his task to watch over the “soul bundle” of his old friend, Gina Bad Horse (to do so, he would have had to live a pure and virtuous life for a year), so how does Red Crow deal with it all?

First, he thinks back 17 years earlier, when he first ran for tribal council and then he reflects upon his life today…

“The” moment is probably the ending – Aaron manages to work TWO great endings into a single book!

This ended the second year of Scalped, and so far, the third year has been just as good! This week’s issue has a moment in there from Red Crow that is definitely a contender for this list!

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this week of Scalped moments and I also hope you go out and buy some Scalped trades (or issues, either or)!!! I think it was the best comic of 2008, and I’m sure it’ll be up there in 2009, as well!

15 Comments

Hate to ask but what’s in the pouch?
I don’t know if I just missed something.. : (

You know, all this book does is show Native Americans as corrupt, drug-using, violent criminals. Who cares about verisimilitude when all Aaron cares about is making them badass? What a joke!

I just thought I’d get it out of the way, since we know it’s coming!

The pouch contains some of Gina Bad Horse’s ashes.

that moment proved that red crow may be a nasty guy but he also accepts his hertigage and that his way is not always going to be the best espically when he gave the ashes of gina bad horse to her grandmother. even after he threatended her kid. cool series

That pouch is the “soul bundle” I mention early in the piece – Red Crow has to take responsibility for it (which represents Gina Bad Horse’s soul) for one year (and not do anything bad in that time) to help her spirit in the afterlife – as we see here, he can’t help but do some bad things, thus violating the sanctity of the soul bundle, but he rationalizes it away here.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 19, 2009 at 6:13 pm

I’ve only read up to here (the ‘Gravel In Your Guts’ trade) – is it just me, or has Red Crow become the main character of the book?
He was just too awesome to remain as the villain.

Heh, anyone else remember when this book was about an undercover agent with nunchucks?
It seems so long ago…

The pouch may be a medicine bundle containing sacred objects. If so, you’re not supposed to show the objects to outsiders, so Aaron wisely didn’t depict them.

I haven’t read every SCALPED, so I must’ve missed the issues where Red Crow was spiritual, respectful of his elders, and a benevolent politician. But I didn’t miss the scene in #1 where he literally scalped someone.

Thousands of tribal leaders could make the same speech as Red Crow. The main difference is that 99.9% of them aren’t murderers. Aaron is literally portraying the most extreme tribal leader ever. He may not be pure evil, but he’s more evil than any real tribal leader.

I’m looking forward to Aaron’s next comic on a US president who stays in office by being a mass murderer. Should be a lot of fun–just like “The Sopranos”! Meanwhile, I hope Brian Cronin gets to some “cool moments” in Amos ‘n’ Andy Comics or Stepin Fetchit Comics. Just because they’re stereotypical doesn’t mean they’re bad!

Can I help it if I know more about Natives than the typical SCALPED reader (or writer), Greg? Sorry to interrupt everyone’s fantasies about savage Indians with honest information.

Let’s wrap this up by seeing what Native people think about stereotypes such as SCALPED’s:

http://www.bluecorncomics.com/stharm.htm

Whether the Indian in your image is villain or victim, it is likely some exotic “other,” a more primal being somehow in touch with elemental nature which can be a source of savagery and spirituality.

–Michael Hill, “Challenging Old Views of the American Indian,” Baltimore Sun, 8/29/04

[As part of a quiz on Indians, moderator Jean Gaddy Wilson] asked participants to write down two positive traits of Indians and two negative traits. Among the positive traits were such things as resourceful, traditional, helpful, knowledgeable of the natural world, survival, spiritual and bravery. Under negatives, responses included words such as alcoholic, lazy, mean, dirty, savages, dishonest, raiders and murderers.

Wilson asked participants where they got their first view of Indians or Native Americans, with the common answer being television and/or movies.

–“Discussion Centers on Explorers’ Interactions with Indians,” Marshall Democrat-News, 4/27/04

No one illustration is enough to create stereotypes in children’s minds. But enough books contain these images—and the general culture reinforces them—so that there is a cumulative effect, encouraging false and negative perceptions about Native Americans.

–Council on Interracial Books for Children, “Unlearning Indian Stereotypes”

Beginning with Wild West shows and continuing with contemporary movies, television, and literature, the image of Indigenous Peoples has radically shifted from any reference to living people to a field of urban fantasy in which wish fulfillment replaces reality.

–Dr. Cornel Pewewardy (Comanche/Kiowa), “Why Educators Can’t Ignore Indian Mascots”

I have committed my life to dealing with harmful and negative stereotypes and educating students on my reservation of their culture, traditions, ceremonies and spirituality. As Native people, we experience layer upon layer of stereotypes and images that dehumanize. Eurocentric curriculum and children’s literature reinforce stereotypes of the “vanishing Indian,” “romantic Indian,” “militant Indian” or “drunken Indian.” I have seen firsthand how these images, along with poverty or low socioeconomic status, generational trauma and other issues of reservation life contribute to low self-esteem in Native students.

–Denise K. Lajimodiere, “VIEWPOINT: Racism at Protest Shames UND,” Grand Forks Herald, 4/12/06

Almost every Indian person I know of has been horribly impacted by the imposition of the all-pervasive “categorical” stereotypical classification upon their basic sense of humanity–so much so that I feel quite safe in declaring that all Indian people suffer a unique form of self-esteem deficiency based solely on the widespread mayhem that Indian stereotypes have caused us since before the Boston Tea Party.

–Melvin Martin (Lakota), “Identifying Indians with Stereotypes,” 2/28/09

Rob: I honestly don’t care if you don’t like Scalped. That’s fine. As Bill Reed pointed out in another post, do you think all white men are bald and evil because of the Lex Luthor and Wilson Fisk? Scalped is a crime comic, so many of the people in it are criminals. Diesel is white (okay, one-sixteenth Kickapoo) and he’s a scumbag. Agent Nitz is white, and he’s a scumbag. You may not like the way Indians are portrayed, but that’s not necessarily because they’re Indians – it’s because they’re in a crime comic. Aaron, I think, has done a pretty good job showing how bad life on many reservations is. Whether the people are this bad in “real life” isn’t the point. The point is that this is noir, and so people do horrible things. I’m sure you know more about this than I do (I’m not being sarcastic; I’m sure it’s true), but I live near several Indian reservations, and I have a good idea how hard life is. Aaron may take it to the extreme, but he’s not writing a sociological profile.

I’d much rather see something like Scalped than a book where all the Native Americans are portrayed as noble and selfless and so much better than everyone else. How is Aaron supposed to portray them in this book? As a monolithic “group” that lives in harmony with nature and always wears traditional dress and never acts petty? That would be “positive,” but it would be just as silly as showing them all as drunken warriors who hates whites.

New Cool Comic Book Moment: Pretty much all of Red Crow’s scenes in the issue that just came out (#30).

Oh MAN Rob will you give it up. I’m sorry, usually I’m quite a tolerant person and don’t give in to typing out against people but dude you have been SO persistant, ignorant of what people have said and not been open-minded/willing enough to converse with other people’s opinions/posts to make a constructive discussion that it just annoys me. Truly.

All I can say is read Greg’s awesome post and you’ll realise that Scalped is NOT (I repeat NOT) a reflection of Aaron protraying derogatory and disparaging stereotypes of Native Americans. This is a noir comic set on a Reserve; naturally the majority of characters are gonna be criminals! And your post detailing people’s comments on Native American stereotypes would be valid if it were not for the fact that in no way do any of those people even MENTION Scalped.

Jeez, I’m Chinese and you’d think I’d be all pissy with Aaron’s depiction of Chinese people with his Mr. Brass! You’d think that I’d spout vitriol and jump to the gun thinking that with his depiction of Mr. Brass then ALL Chinese people must be sadistic, murderous, amoral mofos! But you know what – I don’t think that at all. Because it’s just a crime/noir comic and for it to be a crime/noir comic you need to portray sadistic, murderous, amoral mofos – it just happens that one of them is Chinese and belongs to an Asian mob. I’m actually quite happy to see a Chinese character in a comic – good OR evil.

Sorry for the rant Brian, I don’t want to make this conversation into a hot debate or anything. I just wanted to get that off my chest and move on. Keep up the awesome articles!

RADIATE!

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Pick any group of people – along racial, economic, sexual preference, any type of lines – and you can do a story about them acting despicable.
Now, if you say ‘they are all like that’ it’s not true, and is offensive.
How ever, you can normally find people in that group acting that way.

Not all Australian Aboriginals are lazy alcoholics or thieves – but I can take you to areas where you’ll see large groups acting that way.
Not all Lebanese or Turkish people like to rev up their cars and have dangerous street races and gang fights, but I can take you to areas you’ll see a lot of them doing that.
Not all lower class White Australians have all those traits with racism thrown in, but I can take you to areas you’ll see whole lot of them acting just like that.
Not all Muslims hate the west in a way that scares the bejeezus out us, but go to certain places in the Middle East and you will.
Not all comic fans are overweight and think that anything post 1994 is lame, but go to certain places and you will.
Not all Native Americans abuse the rights of the reserve and are scraping a living at the bottom of the barrel through criminal acts, but go to certain places and you’ll see just that.

Now, if you were to write a fictional story, even exaggerating these bad points, showing some from these ‘categories’ it in no way means that ALL of the people who fit into that ‘category’ are like that.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

July 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm

New Cool Comic Book Moment: Pretty much all of Red Crow’s scenes in the issue that just came out (#30).

That cover should count as a cool comic book moment!

Glad to see everyone else cottoned on to what an arrogant, condescending, dismissive-of-opposing-viewpoints self-promoter Rob Schmidt is and has been throughout the history of “Scalped”.

He’s quick to point to all the Native Americans who hate “Scalped”, but when Native Americans have written into his blog saying they love the book, he is without exception incredibly patronizing, with remarks like “Aw, I bet you only like it because now you get to see your own kind in a comic book, you don’t have enough enough intelligence to have standards and demand to be portrayed more sensitively. Thankfully I, a well-spoken white man, know what’s best for you, and will speak in your name.”

Yes, most Native Americans in “Scalped” are thugs or killers. But most characters of every ethnicity in “Scalped” are thugs or killers. Most characters of every ethnicity in any crime story are thugs or killers! That’s the genre!

In fiction and this world there are no real saints or kind people, in the end you see what people really are and will be terrofied in finding out what they really are.
These character ARE human beings with human traits, people can be right, people can be wrong, no shades of grey area in any character.
Chief Red Crow is evil pure and simple and kiling someone more or less evil then himself.
There are right people and wrong people in all walks of life…
…no shades of grey.

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