Trickster: Native American Tales, a Graphic Collection edited by Matt Dembicki

21 trickster tales are given the graphic treatment in this spectacular graphic novel.  With great attention to authenticity, Dembicki paired Native American storytellers with graphic artists to create this collection.  Readers will enjoy the diverse types of art within the book, moving from more painterly to cartoony and everything in between.  The text of each story is also quite individual, reflecting that storyteller’s cadence and style.  The collection as a whole is a celebration of Native American culture but also of tricksters and the great stories that revolve around them. 

Turning pages in this book is rather like an exploration.  One never knows what is behind the next page.  Dembicki has created a book that works as a collection but also allows each story to stand on its own with its own distinct feel.  There is an art at work in the selection, placement and creation of the book itself and of each and every story.  I love the sense one gets of an entire community of people creating this book, this celebration of story.

Use this to introduce children to Native American stories or to the idea of the trickster in folklore.  It is a powerful example of modern media meeting timeless tales that will resonate with children and adults alike.

Highly recommended, this graphic novel should find a place in most public libraries.  I would hesitate to catalog it as folktale, and allow the graphic novel reader to realize the depth of what a graphic novel can truly be.  Appropriate for ages 7-12.

Reviewed from library copy.

2 thoughts on “Trickster

  1. That looks awesome! I have become a huge fan of graphic novels in the last year or so, and this one looks especially good. I think using different types of illustration for each story is a great idea. I’ll have to stay on the watch for this one. Hopefully it will come through the library one of these days. 🙂


  2. I hope so too! Our library system just got it this month. It’s received great reviews so far in library review journals, so it has a good chance of being selected.


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