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Pete Brown collection of Native Americans in comic books

Identifier: Ayer-Modern-MS-BrownP

Scope and Content of the Collection

The collection consists of comic books, graphic novels, dolls, DVDs, and promotional ephemera produced by various companies. The collection spans from the late-1930s to 2015 with the strongest representation in the years 1970-2010. The comics are from both major publishers such as DC and Marvel and independent publishers such as Dark Horse. The collection includes some comic books produced specifically by the Canadian government for First Nations communities and by tribal governments or members themselves. Individual series that are well represented include Alpha Flight, Coyote, Gen 13, G.I. Joe, Jonah Hex, Lone Ranger, New Mutants, Weird Western Tales, and X-Force.


  • 1937-2015



Materials are primarily in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Pete Brown collection of Native Americans in comic books is open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

See the Newberry Library’s “Access to Culturally Sensitive Indigenous Materials” page.

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Pete Brown collection of Native Americans in comic books is the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Pete Brown

American businessman, teacher, and collector.

Pete Brown is originally from Detroit. His research interest in the historical representation of Native Americans in popular culture started in 2001 when he began work as an elementary school teacher in Three Rivers, Michigan. He was interested in how the depiction of Native Americans, especially around the Thanksgiving holiday, influenced his students. Aware that most of his students didn't self-identify with any specific tribal affiliation or have any personal understanding of Native cultures, he was curious about the influences shaping their understanding of Native American identities and cultures. Their introduction to Native Americans came primarily through cartoons, comic books, video games, and toys.

Several years later, as the Public Programs Manager for the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Brown was able to invest significant time on this project—researching, collecting, and conducting outreach. Over a three-year-span, he amassed a large collection of Native American-themed pop culture items. He spoke regionally on the topic, interacted with Native and non-Native writers and artists, and created several public programs devoted to the subject of Native American representation in popular culture.

Today, Pete Brown owns a multimedia production company in Indianapolis called ASH Interactive and teaches at the University of Indianapolis.


9.7 Linear Feet (9 boxes)


Comic books, graphic novels, and pop culture ephemera with Native American themes, characters, and imagery produced in North America from the years 1937 to 2015.


Collection arranged alphabetically.

Collection Stack Location

3a 57 1


Purchase and donation, Pete Brown, 2016, with subsequent donations by others.

Processed by

Matthew P. Messbarger, 2017.


Inventory of the Pete Brown collection of Native Americans in comic books, 1937–2015
Matthew P. Messbarger
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States