As a young person growing up in Haines Junction YT, artist Cole Pauls performed in a traditional song and dance group called the Dakwäkãda Dancers. During that time, Pauls encountered the ancestral language of Southern Tutchone. Driven by a desire to help revitalize the language, he created Dakwäkãda Warriors, a bilingual comic about two earth protectors saving the world from evil pioneers and cyborg sasquatches.
Pauls’ Elders supported him throughout the creation process by offering consultation and translation. The resulting work is a whimsical young adult graphic novel that offers an accessible allegory of colonialism. Dakwäkãda Warriors also includes a behind-the-scenes view into the making of the comic and a full-colour insert featuring character illustrations by guest Indigenous Canadian artists.
Cole Pauls is a Tahltan comic artist, illustrator and printmaker hailing from Haines Junction (Yukon Territory) with a BFA in Illustration from Emily Carr University. Residing in Vancouver, Pauls focuses on his two comic series, the first being Pizza Punks: a self contained comic strip about punks eating pizza, the other being Dakwäkãda Warriors. In 2017, Pauls won Broken Pencil Magazine’s Best Comic and Best Zine of the Year Award for Dakwäkãda Warriors II.
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