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REVENGE OF THE INDIGENERDS: The first Oklahoma Native American comic-con successfully debuts at Thunderbird

Louis Fowler / Red Dirt Report
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NORMAN, Oklahoma — After seeing the success of the recent spate of Native American-based comic-cons that have been successfully crafted all along the Southwest, inspiration came to Devon Frazier, the Librarian for the Absentee Shawnee Tribal Library, and, within a month’s time, the first annual IndigeNerd Native Arts Festival & Comic Con came together, immediately welcomed by an oft-ignored culture hungry for their own stories, comics or otherwise, to be told.

“Here recently, over the past few decades, there has been a lot of Indigenous artists who are coming out with contemporary works that feature pulp culture,” Frazier said. “I think that’s really important for these generations to really see what these artists are doing and have an outlet like IndigeNerd to express themselves with their own universes. This is an event where you can come out and embrace that.”

The first annual IndigeNerd Native Arts Festival & Comic Con was held on Sunday, July 30th from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Thunderbird Casino Event Center, 15700 E. State Highway 9 in Norman, Oklahoma. The family-friendly event was free and open to the public.

Featured guests include Native artists Tom Farris, Steven Paul Judd, Arigon Starr, Johnnie Diacon, and Roy Boney, Jr., who all participated in an extremely informative and fully packed panel about Native Americans working in the comics medium, offering tips on everything from how to break into the business to, most importantly, maintaining a heathy work ethic once you get there.

“The emergence of pop culture in Native art is something that I imagine will be a staple for this era,” Frazier said. “This is a time where I think their genre of art is really starting to blossom and getting a lot of attention. I think if you read the history books fifty years down the line, when people talk about art for this time period, people will be talking about Native artists and I’m just thankful that I had five of them here, willing to come for this Q& A panel.”

There was also a special opening performance by Saylor Woodmansee accompanied by the Miss Indian Oklahoma City Princesses, as well as panels discussing everything from The Walking Dead and Star Wars to various aspect of gaming, both video and tabletop.

Plenty of attendees came in cosplay, featuring a wide array of costumes from hyper-realistic Star Wars outfits to small children in homemade Superman capes, all competing for a chance to win gift certificates or tickets to Wizard World OKC 2017. Con-goers were also entered in special raffles to win tickets to Walker Stalker Tulsa 2017 or a Return of the Jedi limited edition Pendleton blanket.

“I think the biggest thing, from my perspective, is that this event is the first of its kind in our area, a pop-culture event actually geared towards Native Americans,” Frazier said. “This is gonna be a staple for us and the first opportunity for a lot of people who’ve wanted to attend a comic-con to actually attend one and I hope they do attend so we will be able to put it on next year, and the following year. To know that you attended the first IndigeNerd, hopefully, when we have our 50th IndigeNerd, they can look back and say “I remember when that happened, I was at the very first one.” 

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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