A Wolastoqey artist based in Windsor is hoping to inspire a new generation of Indigenous superhero fans.
Marlene Paul is teaching herself how to make 3D printed figurines of lesser-known superheroes with Indigenous heritage.
“When I was telling younger Native Americans at the powwow that were fans of Marvel and DC about the superheroes, they were so excited! They were like, ‘Really? There’s Native American superheroes?'”
Paul said there’s a whole wealth of inspiring Indigenous superheroes for young ones to look up to.
“Believe or not, Marvel and DC actually have a massive amount of superheroes that are all Native American. But people don’t know them. Like Dawnstar… she comes from a planet where they’re all Native American… Believe it or not, the first Raven from Teen Titans Earth Prime is Native American. She’s Navajo. But the Raven everybody sees is the one they all know from Teen Titans,” she said.
“I wanted to take all of these different Native American superheroes and say where they appeared and make 3D action models of them, design them from scratch.”
She’s currently taking lessons online to learn how to make the 3D models on a digital sculpting program. The goal is to start making the superhero figurines by the end of June.
This is not Paul’s first venture into the art world. She’s an experienced local artist known for making one-of-a-kind dreamcatchers. They’re made by mixing traditional weaving techniques with 3D printing. She’s also been a photographer, graphic designer and created beadwork.
She decided to stop making dreamcatchers after a bicycling injury to her arm made it difficult to continue weaving. But she’s hoping to carry on with this new chapter in her artistic career.
“I’m actually looking forward to that… maybe making some fans of the Apache Kid and Dawnstar and Moonstar and all that.”