Fear Not A Red Planet, Selections From The World’s Only Native American Comic Shop

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ALBUQUERQUE — Opened in June 2017, Red Planet Books and Comics is the only Native American comic book store in the world and one of six Native-owned bookstores in the United States. Our mission has always been to select and recommend the most dynamic and authentic native-centric books, graphic novels, comics, games and toys to a wide audience. We recognize that representation matters and that there’s always room for more stories, especially Indigenous ones, so here’s a list of eight great reads for those who want to dabble in some of the best literary work the world has to offer. has to offer.

Book recommendations from Red Planet Books and Comics (photo Nancy Zastudil/Hyperallergic)

A To scream edited by Elizabeth LaPensée (Native Realities Press, 2022)

Featuring the work of over 30 Indigenous and Indigenous artists, writers and illustrators, A scream brings together more than a dozen stories of native wolves, werewolves, and rougarous. Edited by Elizabeth LaPensée and published by Indigenerd! Entertainment, this anthology received overwhelming support during its Kickstarter launch and will be available for distribution in May 2022.

A classic of Indigenous children’s literature, this incredible tale by Acoma Pueblo poet and scholar Simon Ortiz is an incisive and dynamic account of the history of the Indigenous peoples of North America. Illustrated by Aboriginal artist Sharol Graves, this book is a must-have for all libraries and children’s libraries.

Page propagated from We are always here! Native American Truths Everyone Should KnowCharlesbridge, 2021 (photo Nancy Zastudil/Hyperallergic)

With nearly 10 original works and numerous awards, Indigenous children’s author Traci Sorell has been a leader and inspiration in Indigenous children’s literature. We are always here is a brilliant work that addresses historical and contemporary Indigenous issues through the eyes of Indigenous youth. Frane Lesac’s vibrant illustrations and powerful writing help Indigenous and non-Indigenous students understand the complexities of Indigenous history, community, resilience, and healing.

Bryant Young left the acting world and got into writing for young adults and, boy, did it turn out to be a great path for him. His debut novel, winner of the AILA Middle Grades Reader Award, tells the story of an ordinary Navajo boy who must care for a water monster and thus learns that he may be more than ordinary, he may not be than a hero. Young’s novel is one of the original publications of Heartdrum Press, the Native American imprint of HarperCollins, and hints at a bright future for Young and his next works.

A The serpent falls to earth by Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido, 2021)

What happens when a Lipan girl from this world meets a Cottonmouth child from the monster world? That’s what Newbery Honoree Darcie Little Badger explores in her new book. Little Badger has long been at the forefront of writing Indigenous futurisms for young adults and this book, again, does not disappoint. If you want a story of monsters, magic, and family centered around native Texas, this is the book for you.

Page propagated from Memorial walkRed Planet Books and Comics and University of New Mexico Press, 2021 (photo Nancy Zastudil/Hyperallergic)

Memorial walk by Stephen Graham Jones (University of New Mexico Press, 2021)

From master horror writer Stephen Graham Jones, Memorial walk is a motorbike graphic novel that tells the story of Cooper Town who only has three days off from the army to settle the affairs of his deceased father. Illustrated by Marvel cover artist Maria Wolf, the graphic is an adrenaline rush from start to finish.

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Eco Press, 2021)

Looking for some good old fashioned native black? Look no further than David Heska’s award-winning debut novel Wanbli Weiden. Set in and around the Rosebud Sioux reservation, the action follows Virgil Wounded Horse as he seeks justice in a world where it doesn’t often happen for native people. Weiden’s book has won every award…seriously, it’s been listed for over 20 awards and for good reason. It’s a tour de force of detective fiction and one of the best reads of this decade.

Star Hunt by Cherie Dimaline (Harry N. Abrams, 2021)

Cherie Dimaline is back with a sequel to the story she started in marrow thieves. An AILA Young Adult 2022 Honor Book, star hunt take where marrow thieves left with a new cast of characters and a desperate new adventure that will take readers on a dystopian journey.

Interior view of Red Planet Books and Comics (photo Nancy Zastudil/Hyperallergic)

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