Te Arawa Superheroes graphic novel on its way
Chanz Mikaere is working on a brand new graphic novel book focusing on Te Arawa super heroes. Titled 'Te Arawa Superheroes' the first edition is dedicated to legendary tūpuna wāhine.
"We're ready to release the first book of Te Arawa Superheroes. There will be eight characters of this book all of them current kaihaka of Te Arawa."
Six well-known Te Arawa kaihaka were used as models to depict their tūpuna. For example, Kurungaituku will be portrayed by Miriama Hare of Te Mātārae I Ō Rehu while Renata Curtis of Ngāti Rongomai will portray Hineheru.
Mikaere says the kōrero depicted are more than just 'stories'.
"These legacies, these are not just stories of our tūpuna. They're actually lived, right now. And so it's those links that I wanted to make explicit. And I'm hoping that when people see them, particularly at the opening that it will make them think, 'Wow'!
She also adds that this graphic novel could eventually start a trend.
"Even though as Arawas, yes we are talking about being super heroes, and only Te Arawa can do this I think, well, start off the trend of super heroes. But I think we need to have an alternative to the likes of the ones that we see now. "
It is believed that the graphic novel will help a younger generation make the connection between modern super heroes, kaihaka, and their ancestors.
"The first eight super heroes happens to be a Maaori medium educator. And that in itself is quite exciting because when we're seeing the legacy of those tūpuna matched with the excellence of each these wāhine portrays in their everyday lives, you know that's something that's really encouraging and wonderful especially with me being the mum of a seven-year-old girl."
So, what's to feature in the first book?
"In the first book Jojo Waaka was the very first Te Arawa super hero cast. It's because the cuzzy loved super heroes, so we often joked about creating a superhero that wasn't like the others. With our whanaunga being gone now she's the cover of the Te Arawa super heroes it's only appropriate that it's her. It's a way of celebrating our whanaunga as well as celebrating those kei te ora tonu."
Once these books are released Mikaere will work on superhero men.