Creator/Writer/Artist Arigon Starr is a member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma and was raised in various cities across the U.S. along with her Navy family. She’s been drawing since she could hold a pencil.
She’s produced cartoons, drawings and artwork for many organizations including Native Voices at the Autry, the Native Voice One Radio Service, rock group Queen, the Walt Disney Company (for their retail outlets), the National Park Service and other charitable groups around the U.S. “Super Indian” has been a long time coming.
The original idea for the comic was on a short train ride from Brisbane, Australia to a local seaside resort. “It was me, Jean Bruce Scott, Randy Reinholz and Canadian playwright Drew Hayden Taylor,” said Arigon. “We were part of Indigenous Theater Workshop and were throwing ideas around for various projects, plus just sharing a laugh. I have this habit of carrying a sketchbook around and love to quick sketch scenes I feel have a lot of humor.”
As the group continued to chat, Arigon came up with the idea of a Native American super hero, simply called “Super Indian.” “I’ve always thought our Native community didn’t have enough comic book heroes and most of the ones that were already out there weren’t created or drawn by Native artists or writers,” she remarked.
Upon her return to Los Angeles, Starr embarked on concepts for the characters. In the meantime, Jean Bruce Scott and Randy Reinholz of Native Voices at the Autry and Shirley Sneve of the Native Radio Theater Project commissioned Arigon to create a radio script featuring her new superhero. The first ten-minute script was produced at the National Audio Theater Festival in West Plains, Missouri and broadcast nationally on National Public Radio, the Native Voice One radio network and the American Indian Radio on Satellite in 2006.
The original episode of “Super Indian” was such a hit that Native Voices at the Autry and the Native Radio Theater Project tapped Starr to write a ten-episode series. Arigon expanded her original ten-minute script to chart the origins of Hubert Logan and how he obtained super powers. “When I tell people Hubert got super powers from eating tainted commodity cheese, it usually gets a laugh,” smiled Arigon. “Hey, it’s highly processed food! Could have happened to anyone!”
The ten five (5) minute episodes were recorded in front of a live studio audience at the Wells Fargo Theater at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles. Directed by William Dufris, the cast included several big time Hollywood actors including Kalani Queypo (Terence Malick’s “The New World”) as the voice of “Super Indian” and one of “Twilight’s” legendary Wolf-Pack Gil Birmingham. “Our cast and crew were just terrific,” said Arigon. “Everyone really got into the crazy spirit of the larger-than-life comic book characters.”
The radio series was aired nationally in 2007 on the Native Voice One Radio Service, the American Indian Radio on Satellite and many community and college stations around the US.
Arigon has sandwiched the artistic work on the “Super Indian” comic book project in-between her busy acting, singing and playwrighting career. “Every free minute I’ve had I’ve been teaching myself how to scan and color the artwork on the computer, plus creating the graphic design on the book as well,” she recalled. “I knew I could draw, but it’s been a huge leap to see how cool my artwork looks on the screen and the printed page.”
Arigon Starr and Wacky Productions Unlimited’s CEO Janet Miner have created “Rezium Studios” which will oversee the process of bringing new episodes of “Super Indian” to the radio and other media, plus the online Webcomic. “Rezium” as fans of the radio series know, is the mysterious element added to the tainted commodity cheese which resulted in Super Indian’s powers. Janet Miner has extensive experience in the entertainment industry, including stints at MCA/Universal, Windham Hill, BMG and Universal Publishing.
“Super Indian” will continue to live as a weekly webcomic for the foreseeable future. “If the series is a hit online, Wacky Productions Unlimited may relent and actually print some books. It’s up to the fans – if they want it, we’ll bring it,” Starr promised. “Right now, I’m looking forward to the Native community and beyond taking ‘Super Indian’ to heart and enjoying his adventures as much as I’ve been having fun dreaming them up.”