Innovative Indigenous Artist/author shortlisted for the BC Book Prizes
The West Coast Book Prize Society has announced the finalists for the 2020 BC Book Prizes and Carpe Fin by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, has been shortlisted for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize. This prize is awarded to the author of the book which contributes the most to the enjoyment and understanding of the province of British Columbia. Winners will be announced on Saturday, April 25th, 2020, at the Pan Pacific Hotel in downtown Vancouver.
In the prequel to the award-winning Red: A Haida Manga, acclaimed artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas blends Asian manhwa/manga with the Haida artistic and oral tradition in another stunning hand-painted volume. In a small near-future community perched between the ocean and the northern temperate rainforest, a series of disasters is taking a heavy toll. It is early fall and a fuel spill has contaminated the marine foods the village was preparing to harvest. As food supplies dwindle, a small group decides to make a late season expedition to search for sea lions. Surprised by a ferocious storm, they abandon one man, Carpe, on an isolated rock at sea. After ten days they are finally able to return, but he has vanished. The story follows Carpe’s encounters with the Lord of the Rock, who demands retribution for Carpe’s role in the hunt, and Carpe’s fate in the half-life between human and animal, life and death.
Yahgulanaas began creating pop-graphic narratives, riffing on traditional Haida stories and painting techniques, and quickly developed the distinctive art form for which he is most widely known. "I started off trying to do comic books because comic books are about accessibility," he says. Karen Duffek, MOA’s curator of contemporary visual arts, adds, “Michael brings together his own version of the language and imagery of Haida painting with the mass-circulation and graphic aspects of Japanese manga.” A trickster-like sense of humour contributes to his work’s appeal. Yahgulanaas’s books include Flight of the Hummingbird, A Tale of Two Shamans, The Last Voyage of the Black Ship, and Hachidori, a bestseller in Japan. The artwork from Carpe Fin is currently on exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum. Yahgulanaas lives on Bowen Island, British Columbia.