Monday, May 02, 2016

Theo Tso's CAPTAIN PAIUTE (is awesome!!!)

Among the gems of 2015 is Theo Tso's Captain Paiute: Indigenous Defender of the Southwest.



Captain Paiute is published by Native Realities. As you can see by the cover of this comic, Captain Paiute is a superhero. An Indigenous superhero, that is! A Paiute one. Already we have so much good going on!

Theo Tso is Paiute. He created Captain Paiute because the Native characters he saw in comics were sidekicks, mystics, or shamans who spoke in that ridiculous TV style (like when Tonto tells the Lone Ranger how he found him in the pilot episode: "Me hunt here in canyon often." and "Me help Kimosabe." and "Here hat. Me wash in stream, dry in sun, make whiter." and "Here gun, to kill bad men."and "Kimosabe, me help you fight outlaw.")

To develop Captain Paiute, Tso drew on what he knows, about his own nation. Depictions of Native peoples also figured in his thinking. You can listen to him talk about that in an interview he did with A Tribe Called Geek. Stereotypes of Native people include the monolithic image of Indians as nomadic peoples who live in tipi's. Some nations did--and do--use tipi's, but some--like the Paiute's--were farming communities and had different kinds of homes. Another dimension of that monolithic image of Native peoples is that Native peoples of today are dancers, or artists. Some are, but we are far more than that... as Tso tells us!

By day, Captain Paiute works for his tribe as a water hydrologist. After high school, he went to college where he studied science. It was in his lab that he realized he had powers:



See that beaker with sulfuric acid? It spills on his hand, but his hand heals. He realizes, then, that he has powers. Those powers were given to him when he was a child. Both his parents were killed in a car wreck. He survived. In that moment, he was chosen by Pah, the Paiute Water Spirit, to be the one who would help the Paiute people fight the harm that were going to come.

With his parents gone, he lives with his grandfather. From that grandfather, he learns Paiute history. By reading Captain Paiute, kids can learn that history, too.

On the cover, that is water coming forth from Captain Paiute's hand. To him--but to everyone--water is precious. It should be used carefully. From the interview at A Tribe Called Geek, I gather that the coming stories will be about caring for the environment.

I love what Tso has done with Captain Paiute. 
I highly recommend it! 
print copy for $3.00 or a digital copy for 99 cents.    

And check out Tso's Facebook page. He's got a sneak peak at the second issue. See that owl? For Paiute's owls signify death. Owls, then, figure in Captain Paiute's vulnerability.

Update: May 3, 2016
Tso submitted a comment. I'm copying it here, for your convenience:
Thank you for the kind write up! Check out www.warpaintstudios.net for more information and comics and where I'll be at to buy other issues and merchandise!

3 comments:

Unknown said...

This sounds awesome! Very exciting.

--Veronica

Theo Tso said...

Thank you for the kind write up! Check out www.warpaintstudios.net for more information and comics and where ill be at to buy other issues and merchandise!

Katrina said...

Thank you for sharing, Ms. Reese. I submitted an application for a grant to start a graphic novel collection at my library. I added this one to my acquisition list.