Native spirituality has been a long-standing comic and entertainment staple for as long as anyone can remember. But the stories aren’t always very accurate, or are ‘takes’ on native stories that play on entertainment representations of native culture. “In the past the entertainment industry lumped all First Peoples in a ‘Pan-Indian’, one moccasin-fits-all model, where all ‘Indians’ celebrate in the same way,’ said Paul Carl, a traditional Algonquin Anishinnabe man “and by doing that they continue to perpetuate the stereotypical ‘Indian’ as the noble warrior that speaks slowly and can communicate with the spirits, and ignore the strong cultural diversity that differed with each nation” Thankfully, Moonshot is none of that.
The 200-page book is a collection of both original, and traditional stories from various native groups. Where traditional stories are told, the stories are used with permission from the elders of whichever native group the story originates from. And if that isn’t enough to pique your interest, the credentials of the contributors should be. Along with legendary folk icon Buffy Sainte-Marie, the contributors have worked on titles such as Captain Canuck, Green Lantern, G.I.Joe, Judge Dredd, Aquaman, Batman and many more. These are some pretty heavy weight titles that demand top talent, so when you assemble a team with this kind of back ground you’re pretty much guaranteed of a quality product.
“The traditional stories that are being adapted in this collection are all actually coming from the writers themselves. We even have authors coordinating and gaining permission from the elders in their community in order to retell the stories that Moonshot will contain.” Alternate History Comics, (the people behind the project) owner Andy Stanleigh said, “When approaching the writers to create their scripts, we wanted to let the writers be free to choose stories from their own background and community. It was important to us (the publisher) to not get in the way of the storytellers telling their own stories. This keeps the work completely genuine, respectful, and helps to ensure this collection is unlike anything that’s been done before in showing readers a representation of indigenous culture, and stories, done in a way that is not appropriated or using clichés or stereotypes of any kind.
At the helm of this project is veteran editor Hope Nicholson, who approached the project by doing exhaustive research on the artists for the project. “Every creator we approached immediately shared our enthusiasm for Moonshot,” said Stanleigh “with a handful of them then recommending creators they had previously worked with, and helped to bring them on board as well.” Moonshot is a project that Stanleigh said Alternate History Comics has wanted to do for a while, and with a host of high powered talent being headed up by a well informed and equally talented editor; Moonshot promises to deliver page after page of quality art, writing and stories for comic fans. At this point the project is still in the midst of it’s Kickstarter campaign, which may give some people pause at first. However, just like their impressive roster, Alternate History Comics has a great deal of experience delivering the goods.
With numerous titles and highly successful previous Kickstarter campaigns, Alternate History Comics knows what they are doing and have the experience to pull it off. On the cover the title reads ‘Moonshot Vol 1’, which promises more titles to come. “We would like this to be an ongoing and evolving set of volumes covering generations!” Stanleigh said enthusiastically “That being said, we have to take it one volume at a time, and at this time we’re putting everything we’ve got into Vol 1. We have some ideas brewing for Vol 2 with some creators who were not available for Vol 1 that would be in for Vol 2. But right now Vol 1 has our undivided attention to make it the absolutely best publication we’ve ever produced.”
With this level of professionalism and passion Moonshot looks to be a title that is well worth the money to invest in. A pledge of $30, (plus shipping considerations) will net you a copy of Moonshot, (shipping in June) plus three bonus gifts for supporting the campaign. For as little as $10 you will receive a special edition digital book. Considering that the average 22 page comic costs $5 Cdn, a $10 contribution for a title with this pedigree behind it is well worth any comic book fans entertainment dollar. You can support the Moonshot Kickstarter campaign through this link.
John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available through Amazon.com), and a number of articles here on TMRZoo.com. His monthly column ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’ appears here and through his blog Indy Comics Spotlight