War of the Blink
ASIN: 0995994625
ISBN: 9780995994621
Publisher: Locarno Press
Format: Hardcover
Length: 72 Pages
Price: USD$18.95 / CAD$24.95

The latest offering from acclaimed graphic artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, War of the Blink is a stunning full-colour graphic novel about war and peace, and a brilliant follow-up to Red: A Haida Manga.

It is the story of a fisherman who suspects a party of raiders is descending upon his island home. When his warnings are not heeded, the man sets out to guard the village on his own, only to find himself caught up in a high-stakes game of kidnap and bluff. In the final showdown, one of the sides must blink first, and the villagers find a surprising way to save face and avoid bloodshed.

Combining traditional Northwest coast and Japanese comic art in Yahgulanaas’ own, dizzyingly original mish-mash, War of the Blink is a timeless fable about the bravery it takes to choose peace over war.

“The Haida, indigenous to the Pacific Northwest Coast, are known for their seamanship and martial tendencies. Of Haida heritage, Yahgulanaas adapts a piece of his people’s folklore into a pictorial narrative in a manner he calls Haida manga…. the art offers a glimpse into another culture and effectively captures the malleability of a folktale, its capacity to shift and transform during multiple tellings. For readers interested in anthropological studies, a fine companion to Lat’s Kampung Boy (2006). —Jesse Karp, Booklist
“Red's life is changed forever when his sister is kidnapped by raiders. As years pass and he rises to power in his small village off the coast of British Columbia, he dreams of elaborate scenarios for getting even with the people who took her away from him. When his revenge fantasy is finally fulfilled, it turns out to be both his greatest victory and his tragic downfall. The idea of "Haida manga," an artistic fusion invented by Yahgulanaas, might cause confusion among readers, or at least send them running to Google to find out what "Haida" is. This artistic style, used by the Haida tribe of Native Americans, will be familiar to readers who have seen the stylized faces on totem poles.... "I welcome you to destroy this book" is never something a librarian wants to hear, but that's what Yahgulanaas encourages his readers to do in order to assemble each page into a "formline illustration." It is only when the pages are assembled in this manner that readers will be able to see how every panel connects to other panels and appreciate the true complexity and vision of Yahgulanaas's art. Luckily, this "complete" image is reproduced at the end of the book and inside the dust jacket, so readers should not find it necessary to vandalize more library books than usual.” —Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library, for School Library Journal
“Red delights me beyond measure. Author and artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas has created a new art form — Haida manga — that honourshis heritage as well as the Japanese friends of his ancestors.” — FastForward Weekly
“Fusing the bold primary colours and geometric forms characteristic of classical Haida visual art with the emotionally expressive cartooning style of Japanese manga ... the traditional Haida story, freighted with all the sombre inevitability of Sophocles, is told in 108 pages of spectacularly beautiful, hand-painted images.” —Vancouver Review
“Yahgulanaas blends … two distinct styles together into something wholly original.” — National Post
“Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas has invented a new form of graphic storytelling seen in full colour in his beautiful new book …The intricate watercolour changes the whole experience of the book, from linear and fixed to all over and fluid. — Calgary Herald
“This Haida manga intriguingly blends graphic storytelling with a fine art sensibility.... Yahgulanaas communicates via an arresting series of images evoking the traditional visual arts of the Haida people.... A unique work with appeal both for those looking for something different in graphic novels, and for those with an interest in the expression of contemporary Native American culture.” — Publishers Weekly