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  • Dakota comic book hero fights negativity in 2nd release

    Indianz.Com. In Print.
    URL: http://www.indianz.com/News/archives/003543.asp


    Dakota comic book hero fights negativity in 2nd release
    Monday, February 2, 2004

    News from the United Tribes Technical College in North Dakota.

    BISMARCK, ND - The vibrant red and blue inks jump from the pulpy pages, as KODA the Warrior is ready to tackle a new adventure. The American Indian Superhero, star and role model in a series of educational comic books, is fighting negativity in his second volume.

    KODA, which means "friend" in the Dakota language, springs from the imagination of writer/illustrator Mark L. Mindt, an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Nation and educator at United Tribes Technical College. Mindt introduced the action hero to school audiences with a premier edition last year.

    "KODA is on a journey in this volume," said Mindt. "He travels into northern Montana and learns about the diversity of Native Cultures there. Of course it isn't just a vacation, it's a journey of discovery."

    In the latest volume, titled "Fighting Negativity," KODA confronts the forces of negativity by alternating between his warrior mode and his secret identity as KODA Two Hearts, a member of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe.

    "Understanding negative influences is the first step in confronting cycles that keep attacking our lives," says Mindt. "KODA learns that negativity can't be entirely destroyed, but we can be prepared for its next visit."

    Mindt bills the latest issue as a "44-page spectacular." He developed the comic book from childhood drawings and conceived the action hero with the idea of modeling positive American Indian values. The books have been distributed around the region.

    "I never realized KODA was part of my life at such an early age, but my father had saved so many of my drawings from as early as age four."

    With a degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Mindt knows the importance of traditional values and culture to young people. "Everyone has a right to know their heritage. Sometimes adults begin later in life to learn of their ancestors. I think young people should have the same experience."

    At United Tribes Technical College Mindt is the college's Physical Fitness Specialist and 3-D Animation Instructor. He spreads the "Warrior Code" exhibited in his comic books by speaking to school groups and other organizations. He likes to show others how to tell their own stories in the comic book format.

    KODA The Warrior comic books are available through Mindt's publishing company, Pony Gulch Publishing, PO Box 276, Harvey, ND 58341, phone 701-471-6257. Book one sells for $4.50 each and book two for $5.50.

    Relevant Links:
    United Tribes Technical College - http://www.unitedtribestech.com

    Related Stories:
    Comic book aims to educate Native youth (01/31)

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