Join us this fall in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the National Hispanic Cultural Center for the very first Indigenous Comic Con! Featuring Indigenous creators, illustrators, writers, designers, actors, and producers from the worlds of comic books, games, sci-fi, fantasy, film, tv, and graphic novels. The Indigenous Comic Con seeks to highlight the amazing work that brings understanding about the Indigenous experience to the world of popular culture! The action begins Friday afternoon and continues through Sunday evening!
Everyone is welcome!
With a growing number of Native people making comics and designing videogames as a way to revitalize their languages, one great way to break down stereotypes is a Native-centered event. The inaugural Indigenous Comic Con on November 18-20 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hopes to do just that.
“There are a lot of Indigenerds out there,” said Indigenous Comic Con artistic director and Laguna Pueblo member, Dr. Lee Francis IV. “We joke about that word, but the idea that Native People, Indigenous People, get to participate in pop culture…We wanted to create a space of celebration and say ‘Hey. We are in these spaces.’ A lot of wonderful creators are doing some incredible work in these areas. It’s time to celebrate that.”
After a year of planning and a joint sponsorship between Francis’s Native Realities Publishing and A Tribe Called Geek, the organizers selected the November 18-20 date and the site of the comic con at Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th St. S.W. Francis said the NHCC has the facility requirements as well as a long history with hosting Native poetry and other indigenous workshops.
At press time, the keynote panelists scheduled are Jeffrey Veregge (Port Gamble S’Klallam), the artist for Marvel Comics’ Red Wolf, and Arigon Starr (Kickapoo), the creator of Super Indian Comics. Other events include an exhibition hall, live music and cosplay contests.
In the FAQ section of their website, there is a disclaimer about the cosplay and costumes that states “no Tontos or other Indigenous stereotypes.” Although this Comic Con will be fun, the panels will not shy away from serious subjects such as stereotypes, marginalization and the issue of Natives being “historicized.”
“Our approach is to be very positive,” Francis said. “We’re looking for positive images. We’re vetting the folks that we want to come in. We’re not going to be bringing in folks that were in a random Indian movie. We want folks who are going to be thoughtful about the portrayals, whether they’re a comic book creator, an actor, someone doing games or science fiction. Being very thoughtful about the work that they’re putting into the world because of all these stereotypes and historicizations. The sheer number of folks we’re trying to get on panels and the conversations that we want to spark, I think, are going to address those negative representations of Indigenous people in pop culture.”