Authors, illustrators discuss “Trickster” graphic novel and honoring cultures

For Immediate Release
Mon, 05/23/2011

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CHICAGO – In Native American folklore, the Trickster can take many forms – coyotes, rabbits, even landscapes. In “Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection” (Fulcrum Publishing, 2010), editor Matt Dembicki worked with illustrators and Native American storytellers to bring traditional stories to a new format for today’s readers.  Dembicki  and two of his collaborators, Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle, and Michael Thompson, English teacher and member of the Muskogee Tribe, will join the ALA Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds for their program “Trickster: Engaging Readers, Honoring Traditions” from 4 - 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 26 in room 284 of the Morial New Orleans Convention Center.

Cartoonist Matt Dembicki is the artist/writer of graphic novels such as the award-winning nature parable "Mr. Big." He edited the recently released "Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection" from Fulcrum Publishing. He is about to complete work on his Ignatz Award-nominated "Xoc" (pronounced "Shock"), an ecological tale about a great white shark. He is also a founding member of the D.C. Conspiracy, a comics creators' collaborative in Washington, D.C.

Tim Tingle is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and a frequent speaker at tribal events. His great-great-grandfather, John Carnes, walked the Trail of Tears in 1835, and memories of this family epic fuel his writing and telling.  Author of six books, and co-author of three books, Tingle was a featured speaker at the Native American wing of the Smithsonian Institute in 2006 and 2007. He participated in “Many Voices, One Nation” at the 2008 American Library Association Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

Michael Thompson is an English teacher in New Mexico, where he serves as the department head at a high school where 40 percent of the students are Navajo. An educator for 32 years, Thompson has worked to incorporate awareness of the oral tradition and the whole history of literature and storytelling.

Dembicki , Tingle and Thompson will discuss the collaborative process for “Trickster,” including working with Native American storytellers to ensure the finished products reflect and honor the cultural values of the people who created them, and read from the collection.  The session will highlight this innovative example of honoring traditions while bringing these stories to new audiences.

“Trickster: Engaging Readers, Honoring Traditions” is co-sponsored by the American Indian Library Association (AILA) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). 

This program is open to all Annual Conference registrants. For more information, please visit www.ala.org/annual.

The Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds reviews issues and challenges facing rural, native and tribal libraries of all kinds. Additionally, it collaborates with other ALA units addressing the needs of rural communities; and to serve as an advocate for and partner with libraries serving rural, tribal and native populations.