I discovered Chickaloonies because it was on the bartop at one of my favorite bars in all the world: Seattle’s Twilight Exit. Run, don’t walk there, and order the fried mozzarella.
It turned out the bartender was the author, drawing on his experience as an Alaska native and tribe member. I was immediately drawn to the bright and colorful cover and asked for more details. He described it as “Avatar from the perspective of Native American myth.” Sold. The book is chock full of details unique to the setting. The native language in the story is spoken only, so one of the characters speaks in emojis to demonstrate the meaning that can’t be captured in words. There are little activities sprinkled through to add depth for the reader, and the myth at the center of the story has that storyteller, oral history flair familiar to anyone who likes that type of story.
In the story, the world is wrapped in perpetual darkness, and our main characters, Mr. Yelly and Sasquatch E. Moji stumble upon prophecy and are forced to leave home to try and bring back the light. I really can’t say much more than that, because so much of this story is told through the medium. The art is immaculate and the enjoyment is woven into the comic medium. Anything I say is going to miss the asides about cultural notes and details the printing adds to the telling. You’ve just got to pick up a copy and experience it for yourself, which you should!
Chickaloonies Vol. 1, available from 80% Studios.