The Space Between Us: Exploring Colonization And Injustice Through Red: A Haida Manga
thesisposted on 2022-02-10, 20:58 authored by Cara Tiemens
RED: A Haida Manga is an Indigenous comic book based on a traditional Haida narrative, and it was created by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, who is of Haida descent. This major research paper examines RED from three different perspectives: 1) how RED functions as a comic book in terms of its format and structure; 2) how it challenges contemporary ideas of indigeneity presented in the mainstream media; and 3) how it defies genre and reader expectations. These three analyses demonstrate how Yahgulanaas uses the structure, narrative, and artistic style of RED to create a political statement about colonization, as well as a social commentary on injustice faced by Indigenous peoples in Canada. This is mainly done through Yahgulanaas’ use of formlines in place of traditional comic book gutters, the inter-tribal storyline, as well as the combination of Manga and Haida art. These elements work together to illustrate a worldview that focuses on the whole, rather than the individual self, while communicating Yahgulanaas’ “unwavering belief that, beyond differences in Indigenous and Western ways of thinking, people of all backgrounds can find common ground in shared concerns” (Mauzé, 2018, para. 6). RED provides non-Indigenous readers an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the “Indigenous experience in a postcolonial world” (Chavarria, 2009, p. 48), while allowing Indigenous readers to reclaim a sense of identity and autonomy through an authentic representation.