Saturday, March 18, 2017
Western Comics Focus on: INDEH
Troy D. Smith
Ethan Hawke starred in not one, but TWO western films last year: The Magnificent Seven and, to less fanfare, In a Valley of Violence (opposite John Travolta). But did you know that he also authored a graphic novel about Geronimo, called Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars?
He had originally written it many years ago as a screenplay, inspired by the 1990s Geronimo film which featured Wes Studi as the title character -but gave him fourth billing, after three white actors who played guys who met Geronimo. He recalls thinking that no one would do that with a movie about, for example, Malcolm X -but that it seemed perfectly acceptable to Hollywood to do it to a Native character.
Once he had finished, however, he realized it would cost in excess of 200 million dollars to make -and that he would never be able to get anyone in Hollywood to spring that much cash for a movie that didn't have a white person as the main character. So instead of a film, he decided to go the route of a graphic novel (where there is no special effects or location budget.) He teamed with artist Greg Ruth, whose work had appeared in comics such as Star Wars and Conan, to produce a story centered on Cochise and Geronimo, set in 1872. When it came out last summer (2016) it immediately became a New York Times bestseller.
Hawke and Ruth strive to put the Apaches back at the center of their own story, and tells it from the Apache characters' point of view. The foreword is by Douglas Miles, owner of the company Apache Skateboards (and an Apache). The book, in a rarity for a graphic novel, includes a bibliography so that readers who want to learn more about Apache history will know where to look.
I heard about this book when it came out, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. I plan to remedy that soon.
It certainly looks good! Anyone out there want to tell us if it was?