Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Anthropology

First Advisor

Esteban Gómez

Second Advisor

Kelly Fayard

Third Advisor

Dean Saitta

Fourth Advisor

Elizabeth Escobedo


Comic books, Decolonization, Indigenous, Representation, Sovereignty


This research examines the experiences of Indigenous comic creators when making comic books, and I aim to investigate the individual and communal motivations for creating comics. Representations of Indigenous characters and storylines have primarily been told through a white lens in mainstream comics. Within the past five years, this trend has shifted with increased academic and public attention on Indigenous comic books and the rise of comic conventions like Indigenous Pop X. I argue that these comics are acts of decolonization and self-determination where creators use comics as educational tools and as a form of cultural preservation by documenting Indigenous histories, languages, and perspectives. The data was captured through participant observation at Indigenous Pop X and semi-structured interviews with six self-identified Indigenous comic book creators. These experiences were categorized with thematic and narrative analysis, and analyzed through the frameworks of postmodernism, decolonizing theories, and Tribal Critical Race theory.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Melissa Ann Kocelko


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

235 p.


Native American studies, Cultural anthropology