I know a few weeks have slipped by without me posting another Talent Feature blog, but the truth of the matter is that my schedule just didn’t allow for it. Blogging is something that I do when I have the off-the-clock time available and the inclination to throw enough words together because I personally feel there’s something that needs to be said. And with the recent Pulp Ark Convention that I attended and a host of other projects and endeavors, I simply did not have to the time to devote to putting together a blog post, especially one that focused on a particular artistic talent.
These individual artists, all that I have focused on and plan to feature on my blog are all deserving of a certain level of focus. Each and every one of them for various reasons deserve my complete attention. And it is always my hope that by presenting them to you as a particular talent to be featured on my blog that by the end of it you too will fully agree that they are deserving of your attention as well.
And today I would like to take a moment of your time to focus your attention on a man that certainly deserves it. A man that one cannot just describe in a few short sentences. He is the type of artist that by virtue of who he is, what he is capable of, and what he has already accomplished defies simple explanation. A good example of exactly the sort of individual I think Oscar Wilde was talking about when he penned the words: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
An individual who not only was himself inspired enough to gaze up at the heavens in wonderful amazement, but also to take from it the precious gift of wanting to be an inspiration to others. So for those reasons and a host others, today I would like to take a moment of your time to focus your attention on Jon Santaanta Proudstar.
How were you first exposed to the world of comic books?
I was raised by my Grandmother. We didn’t have lots of money so the cheapest thing I could get my hands on was comic books. It was like a whole other world for me. I must have been 5 or six years old. I believe the first comic I picked up was a Superman Family. It had a big purple dragon on it!
What comic book characters and stories would you say stood out for you as a youth?
As a boy definitely Spider Man, Batman. Then when I was 12 X-men just dominated my soul! John Byrne, Terry Austin issues killed me! Issue 141 in particular was a game changer for me. But the one hero that I truly identified with was Conan The Barbarian. So much so that I went by that name Conan in High school.
Do you think that your discovery and eventual interest in comics played a role in your eventual development as a writer?
Totally! You have to understand the comics of the seventies were being written by college grads with broad social strokes as the under pinning of comic books! The Spider Man drug issues, minority super heroes, government cover ups!
Comic book or otherwise what writer or writers would you say influenced the type of stories that you wanted to tell?
Tim Truman is pretty much the end of all ends for me. I wouldn’t know what to say to the man other then quoting lines from Scout issues. I would fan boy out on that dude! He was so kind to me early in my career, even before I began writing Tim actually accepted a phone call from me and gave me words of encouragement.
In the beginning it was Chris Clairmont. That dude messed me up! Pure outside the box writing! I met him at the 96 San Diego comic con and totally choked when I tried to speak with him. I think I uttered something about Tribal Force and that I was a writer. Hahahahahaha!
But the most profound effect came from Robert E. Howard. I am basically a REH clone. Or at least trying to be. IF you are a Conan fan you will see the Conan “Easter Eggs” though out Tribal Force.
How did the soon to be released TRIBAL FORCE, the first all Indian Super Hero Comic book in the history of the United States come about?
It came about when I was a kid. Not 100% solid idea but it was there. I began changing my favorite super heroes from white to Indian or Mexican to see how it would change the overall idea or theme of the book. Then it made me wonder why there weren’t any heroes that had my skin color. Why? And the few Indian heroes that did exist were pale white washed characture of us.
What are a few things that you would like everyone to know about TRIBAL FORCE?
Tribal Force is not an “Us vs Them” book. It’s not reverse racism. It’s a story about Indian heroes. Its about stories that are important to Native people and stories that invite you regardless of who you are.
Besides TRIBAL FORCE, what other artistic endeavors as writer or in any other capacity are you currently involved with?
I am a Independent Film Director and Writer. I am currently helping a friend develop his project DOS DIABLOS! I will also be appearing in an Independent feature film about Werewolves being produced by Sonia Campbell. My first feature film project SO CLOSE TO PERFECT has been invited to screen at Red Fest in Los Angeles in November. If you are interested you can see my first award winning short DUDE VISION at this link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8774624568246016736#
Is there anyone out there that you would love to work with if given the opportunity?
Acting wise Gene Wilder or Stallone, Arman Asante.
Directing, Ridley Scott.
Comic Book Joe Madureira, Ed McGuiness,
I wouldn’t want to work with Truman or Clairmont cause they are like Space Gods! I would like to have coffee with them though. That would be cool.