The direction of SCALPED is never what I think it’s going to be...which probably sounds strange coming from the editor -- No snarky comments please! It’s a book that constantly challenges me – to question, to argue, to THINK. It presents me with conflicts and ironies and ideas that are hard to reconcile at times. Every character has layers and contradictions and dark sides and beating hearts.
So to that end, lately we’d been presenting some different sides of Rez. Issue #35 told the poignant (and unexpectedly upbeat), story of an aging couple struggling to get by. Issues #36 & 37 focused on Shunka...Red Crow’s right hand man and one-dimensional heavy, right? Sorry, but no. Those two issues dealt with his secret life as a gay Native American man. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? Don’t feel bad, neither did I.
Which brings me to issue #38 and the page below.
It’s a one-shot called FAMILY TRADITION. It takes place in Vietnam on the day of the fall of Saigon. I won’t ruin any surprises...but just look at that first page as beautifully drawn by series co-creator RM GUERA. It’s a six panel history lesson...the lesson? A centuries worth of Native American soldiers fighting – and dying – for the U.S. Government. The same government that broke 300 years of treaties and forced an entire race of people to live in what amounted to open-air concentration camps.
THINK about that for awhile and get back to me. I’ll wait.