An innovative graphic novel, Red is the epic tale of a Haida hero, his rage and his quest for retribution.
Referencing a classic Haida oral narrative, this stunning full-colour graphic novel documents the powerful story of Red, a leader so blinded by revenge that he leads his community to the brink of war and destruction.
Set in the islands off the northwest coast of B.C., it tells the tale of orphan Red and his sister, Jaada. When raiders attack their village, Red, still a boy, escapes dramatically. But Jaada is whisked away. The loss of Jaada breeds a seething anger, and Red sets out to find his sister and exact revenge on her captors.
Red blends traditional Haida imagery into a Japanese manga-styled story. Tragic and timeless, it is reminiscent of such classic stories as Oedipus Rex, Macbeth and King Lear.
This innovation in contemporary storytelling consists of 108 pages of hand-painted illustrations. When arranged in a specific order, the panels of the narrative create a Haida formline image four metres long. The sequence for this complex design is displayed on the inside jacket.
"Red refers to a classic Haida story dealing with war and revenge. Yahgulanaas began work on Red during the George W. Bush era. He felt the story served as a suitable allegory for Bush's leadership style. Red consists of 108 pages of hand-painted illustrations, but it's more than a collection of bound pages. Its original form was that of a mural 4.5 metres long by two metres wide. In his notes at the end of Red, Yahgulanaas writes, 'I welcome you to destroy this book.' It's an invitation to reconstruct the work of art in the style originally intended. Yahgulanaas suggests that Haida art is 'about restrictions and expression within these restrictions.' It's something he describes as a code, a style of compression and expansion that he equates to a waterline between tide and shore."
"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."
"Adapted from a Haida legend Yahgulanaas heard growing up, Red tells the story of a young man obsessed with revenge against the raider who kidnapped his younger sister. More memorable then the story, however, is the art. Yahgulanaas blends these two distinct styles together into something wholly original."
"In recent years, Nicoll Yahgulanaas has turned to the development of an art form he calls Haida Manga, and Red, his latest publication in this style provides another perspective on Haida culture. 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."
"[Red] offers a glimpse into another culture and effectively captures the malleability of a folk tale, its capacity to shift and transform during multiple tellings."
"An innovative, striking twist on the traditional Haida narrative, Red is the tale of an orphaned Haida leader determined to exact revenge on his sister's captors at any cost. Set in BC's northwest islands, the story invites comparisons to classic tragedies such as Oedipus Rex and King Lear. The book includes 108 hand-painted colour plates that combine Haida designs with the modern, stylistic features of Japanese manga."
"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."
This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.