Since its founding 90 years ago, the University of New Mexico Press has been telling stories of the American Southwest through fiction, history, poetry and scholarship. Many of those stories, of course, have dealt with Native and Indigenous cultures. UNM Press will soon start to tell those stories in a new and contemporary way, through graphic novels and non-fiction by and about Native Americans. The new series, Red Planet Books, is a collaboration with Albuquerque's Native-owned Red Planet Books and Comics.
"What Red Planet has been doing is aligning with Native American writers and Native American artists and illustrators," says Stephen Hull, Director of UNM Press. "They have this incredible footprint in the world of Native American literature, arts and letters. And what UNM Press brings to them is deeper pockets and greater reach." The first book in the series, author Stephen Graham Jones’s graphic novel, Memorial Ride, is expected to appear in Spring 2021.
In this longer version of the interview, Stephen Hull talks in greater detail about this new partnership, as well as addressing how common it is for a university press to publish graphic novels. "We're not the first to dip a toe into graphic novels and histories. We will be the first to have a series dedicated to Native American graphic novels. There is nobody else doing that."