The Woman and the Woods and Other North American Stories is the 5th volume of the Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales series and the first volume to be published by Iron Circus Comics. The campaign is live on Kickstarter and will be until Saturday, September 11, 2021. Before the end of the first week of the campaign, approximately $143,000 had been pledged, giving a clear indication that there is a tremendous audience for comics inspired by Folktales of Indigenous Nations. Jimmy Gaspero was lucky enough to chat with Alina Pete, Kel McDonald and Kate Ashwin about this anthology.
COMIC BOOK YETI: Alina, Kel, and Kate, welcome to the Yeti Cave. When I first heard about this anthology, I was very excited to support it, and am thrilled to have a chance to talk about these comics. Alina, as editor and cover artist, how did you become involved in the project, and what was your approach/inspiration behind the cover artwork?
ALINA PETE: I've know Kel from the comic convention circuit, and was a contributor to Kel's werewolf anthology, "Can I Pet Your Werewolf?" Kel asked me to join the Cautionary Fables team for the North American edition in order to be a cultural consultant as well as a co-editor.
"All Indigenous stories belong to the nations who tell them, not to any individual storyteller, so we asked our writers to ask for permission from their Elders and/or nations to tell these stories in this anthology. It was very important to us that we respect the protocol of the nations featured in this anthology."
AP: For the cover, I knew that I wanted to feature the legend of Turtle Island, which is another name for North America. In this legend, Sky Woman falls to the world, which was originally entirely covered in water, and lands on Turtle's back. This cover shows Sky Woman dancing for joy, and the patterns of plants on Turtle's shell show that his shell will soon become the land. The constellations feature characters from two of the stories in the anthology - Chokfi the trickster rabbit from "Chokfi," and the white horse from "White Horse Plains."