RED: A Haida Manga – Sheet 15
Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (Haida) is known for pioneering the hybrid “Haida Manga” style. “Manga” are Japanese-style comics that developed out of ancient caricatures, illuminated scrolls, brocade prints, and were influenced by the arrival of American and European comics after World War II. Yahgulanaas’ hyper-kinetic drawings combine the bold lines of traditional Northwest Coast design and the narrative form of manga, to retell the family legends in a genre-bending, mind-twisting way. The combination of these two cross-Pacific cultural artforms is an exhilarating and successful genre pairing that he has explored across multiple media.
Yahgulanaas’ masterpiece is the 18-panel, 15ft long narrative mural, RED. Painted in 2009, RED was the culmination of two years of storyboarding and three months of painting. Yahgulanaas’ art is chameleonic throughout, showing tell-tale influences from Hokusai to Eisner, MAD Magazine to Edenshaw to Picasso.
This open edition run of prints debuts with Stonington Gallery. Each sheet represents two sections of RED’s narrative, and comes with a reproduced artist’s signature. Printed on high quality watercolor paper, the prints have been color-matched to the original watercolor masterpiece. The full mural is 18 sheets, though they may be purchased individually.
The plot is based on a story from Yahgulanaas’ family. Red and Jaada are orphans growing up on Haida Gwaii. When Jaada is captured by raiders from another village, Red swears to recover her. Red becomes leader of his village, but can think of nothing but his missing sister, and brings his people to the brink of war and disaster in his quest for revenge.
Yahgulanaas made his formal American debut in 2015, with a solo exhibit at Stonington Gallery, displaying RED at SAM, and having work enter the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Limited and open edition prints of RED are available through Stonington Gallery. A book form of RED is available through the gallery or booksellers.