Episode 5 Red Planet Books & Comics

"I will not accept the idea that within American pop culture, Indigenous culture gets to be just left behind. That's impossible — we're still here," says Aaron Cuffee, who along with Dr. Lee Francis, own Red Planet Books & Comics, the only Indigenous-owned comic store.
Apr 18, 2024 — 1 min read

Starring

Starring

Aaron Cuffee and Dr. Lee Francis own and operate Red Planet Books & Comics, the only Indigenous-owned comic store in Albuquerque and on Earth.

About this video series

Only In Albuquerque: Rooted

Only In Albuquerque: Rooted

Only In Albuquerque highlights five Indigenous-owned businesses, where each entrepreneur explores how culture and heritage shape their work. By supporting their people, these Indigenous entrepreneurs drive the progress they set out to achieve.

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Transcript

Aaron Cuffee: I will not accept the idea that within American pop culture, indigenous culture gets to be just left behind. That's impossible. We're still here. The story is still going.

It's not just people riding through the plains. It's a huge responsibility. Being the only indigenous comic shop, it's important to us to be involved in every step of the process because our mission is to make sure that the entire process is indigenized. Indigenous business owners, indigenous creators, not only for the benefit of the people we work with and the communities that we represent, but for the people who are going to be consuming our content.

I don't think that we imagined all the things that we would end up involved in. I didn't think we'd have a retail store where we'd be selling not only our stuff, but indigenous companies' products, healthy little books there. We work really hard to cultivate and curate content that helps to expand that representation.

If you don't have representation, you're not necessarily going to gain an understanding that you matter. That's what makes a difference. That's what it does to the imagination, is it gives the spark, and once that representation happens, we have kids and eventually adults who know they matter and they're represented, who then contribute their own stories.

I do want to make our world a place where you cannot deny that native people are here, are vibrant and are having an impact just as they have throughout all of human history. That's what I hope for in some of the work we do for everyone, is that your identity is valid and your story is interesting and cool, and people want to know about it. So put it in a comic book.

Related

The Square “Only In Albuquerque: Rooted” series highlights five Indigenous-owned businesses and explores how culture and heritage shape each entrepreneur's work.

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Episode 4 Ts’uyya Farm

Apr 18, 2024 — 1 min read
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Episode 1 Lynnette Haozous Art

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