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Comics & Graphic Novels General

A Tale of Two Shamans

A Haida Manga

by (author) Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Locarno Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2018
General, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2018
    List Price

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“This Haida manga intriguingly blends graphic storytelling with a fine art sensibility… Yahgulanaas communicates via an arresting series of images evoking the traditional visual arts of the Haida people.” —Publisher’s Weekly

The brilliant follow-up to War of Blink and RED: A Haida Manga — another stunningly inventive retelling of an ancient Haida tale.

About the author

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is the creator of Haida Manga, a distinctive fusion of pop graphics, Haida art and Japanese comic styles. His books include A Tale of Two Shamans; Flight of the Hummingbird, with an afterword by the Dalai Lama;Hachidori, a bestseller in Japan; and Red: A Haida Manga nominated for a BC Book Award, a Doug Wright Award for Best Book, and a 2010 Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Canadian Cartoonist. RED was an Top 100 book of 2009. Yahgulanaas is also a sculptor and graphic artist whose work is in the collections of the British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver International Airport, City of Vancouver, City of Kamloops and University of British Columbia. He pulls from his 20 years of political experience in the Council of the Haida Nation and travels the world speaking to businesses, institutions and communities about social justice, community building, communication and change management. For more, see Yahgulanaas lives on an island in the Salish Sea, with his wife and daughter.

Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas' profile page

Editorial Reviews

Review Quotes and Endorsements

“This Haida manga intriguingly blends graphic storytelling with a fine art sensibility.... Yahgulanaas communicates via an arresting series of images evoking the traditional visual arts of the Haida people.... A unique work with appeal both for those looking for something different in graphic novels, and for those with an interest in the expression of contemporary Native American culture.” —Publishers Weekly

“Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas has invented a new form of graphic storytelling seen in full colour in his beautiful new book …The intricate watercolour changes the whole experience of the book, from linear and fixed to all over and fluid. — Calgary Herald

“Yahgulanaas blends … two distinct styles together into something wholly original.” — National Post

“Fusing the bold primary colours and geometric forms characteristic of classical Haida visual art with the emotionally expressive cartooning style of Japanese manga ... the traditional Haida story, freighted with all the sombre inevitability of Sophocles, is told in 108 pages of spectacularly beautiful, hand-painted images.” —Vancouver Review

Red delights me beyond measure. Author and artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas has created a new art form — Haida manga — that honours his heritage as well as the Japanese friends of his ancestors.” — FastForward Weekly

“Red's life is changed forever when his sister is kidnapped by raiders. As years pass and he rises to power in his small village off the coast of British Columbia, he dreams of elaborate scenarios for getting even with the people who took her away from him. When his revenge fantasy is finally fulfilled, it turns out to be both his greatest victory and his tragic downfall. The idea of "Haida manga," an artistic fusion invented by Yahgulanaas, might cause confusion among readers, or at least send them running to Google to find out what "Haida" is. This artistic style, used by the Haida tribe of Native Americans, will be familiar to readers who have seen the stylized faces on totem poles.... "I welcome you to destroy this book" is never something a librarian wants to hear, but that's what Yahgulanaas encourages his readers to do in order to assemble each page into a "formline illustration." It is only when the pages are assembled in this manner that readers will be able to see how every panel connects to other panels and appreciate the true complexity and vision of Yahgulanaas's art. Luckily, this "complete" image is reproduced at the end of the book and inside the dust jacket, so readers should not find it necessary to vandalize more library books than usual.” —Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library, for School Library Journal

“The Haida, indigenous to the Pacific Northwest Coast, are known for their seamanship and martial tendencies. Of Haida heritage, Yahgulanaas adapts a piece of his people’s folklore into a pictorial narrative in a manner he calls Haida manga…. the art offers a glimpse into another culture and effectively captures the malleability of a folktale, its capacity to shift and transform during multiple tellings. For readers interested in anthropological studies, a fine companion to Lat’s Kampung Boy (2006). —Jesse Karp, Booklist

“Tale of Two Shamans is a black and white comic/narrative hybrid based on traditional Haida legends. The work deftly interweaves three traditional (and rude) Haida stories with dark, playful representations of elders with Stalin moustaches, scrotums growing out of a shaman's armpits and sundry semi-scatological blasphemies.” — This Magazine

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