As a medical librarian, I know that the information about COVID-19 is overwhelming, so the information most important to families and communities is something that should be highlighted and shared often. Communication about the Novel Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 sheds light on how comics help communities in different areas.
Native American communities across the US are not immune to the pandemic. As cases are rising in tribal communities, many nations have announced stay at home orders for citizens and are preparing for the worst outcomes. In response, Native artists and creators have put their energy into creating art that informs communities and increases awareness.
These comics are something I wanted to share with the graphic medicine community that show Native representations in the time of COVID-19.
The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health created COVID-19 Materials for Tribal Use to disseminate information about COVID-19 within Tribal Communities.
Ricardo Caté, the only Native American cartoonist carried by a daily mainstream newspaper (Santa Fe New Mexican), posts comics daily, some political and some showing everyday life, to his Facebook page. A documentary about his work is currently being crowdfunded as well: Ricardo Caté: A Documentary.
Native Realities has worked with some of the best Native comic artists and graphic designers to bring you a series of C-19 Health Propaganda Posters!
They are free to download (higher resolution) or you can share directly from this page, though we ask that you show some love to the artists by patrolling their sites and maybe grabbing some of their work!
Sequoyah Sez – Roy Boney Jr. (royboney.com)
Clean Hands Save Lives – Arigon Starr (superindiancomics.com)
Common Sense – Vanessa Bowen (bowencreative.com)
Keep Him/Her Safe – Dale Deforest (daledeforest.com)
You can also order physical posters HERE!
Remember Your Community, Dale Deforest
More Native Creators to follow and support:
- Weshoyot Alvitre
- Shaun Beyale
- Jonathon Nelson
- Johnnie Jae
- Darcy Little Badger
- Jeffrey Veregge
Naomi Bishop, MLIS, AHIP, is Akimel O’otham /Pima from the Gila River Indian Community. She is the Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. She served as chair for the American Indian Youth Literature Awards from 2014-2018. She is a member of the American Indian Library Association,Medical Libraries Association, and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
For more on our ongoing coverage of COVID-19 and graphic medicine, visit COVID-19 Comics.