By Olivia Favreau
A follow-up to the wildly successful graphic novel, RED: A Haida Manga, has been announced for an early October release.
The new work by Masset-born artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, War of the Blink is a retelling of an ancient Haida fable about the bravery required to chose peace over war.
The best-selling Red blended traditional Haida imagery with Japanese-style manga graphics, helping push Yahgulanaas’ artistic reputation to new heights with a style instantly recognizable and highly inventive. While details and previews of War of the Blink are being withheld until the official release date, the story revolves around a fisherman who suspects a party of raiders has entered his island home, according to the book’s publicist. “When his warnings are not heeded, the man sets out to guard the village on his own, only to find himself caught in a high- stakes game of kidnap and bluff. In a final showdown, in which one of the sides must blink first, the villagers find a surprising way to save face and their home.”
Yahgulanaas pulls from his 20 years of political experience in the Council of the Haida Nation and travels the world speaking about social justice, community building, communication and change management.
A descendant of iconic artists Isabella Edenshaw, Charles Edenshaw and Delores Churchill, Yahgulanaas says on his website that Haida Manga offers an “empowering and playful way of viewing and social issues as it seeks participation, dialogue, reflection and action…it is a positive force that opens a third space for critical engagement.”
Yahgulanaas’ other books include A Tale of Two Shamans; Flight of the Hummingbird, with an afterword by the Dalai Lama; and Hachidori, a bestseller in Japan. His paintings and sculptures are in the collections of the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, and Vancouver Art Gallery amongst others.