“The Heyoka in Lakota culture is a “contrary;” a man who does everything backward, such as walking backward, or saying things that mean the opposite of what he says. He brings humor to the band or Tiospaye, which is important, especially in the closeness of the village during the long months of winter. He is often a holy man as well, and a person who will through humor and ridicule put down a bully, for instance, or someone trying to be bossy.
“An editorial cartoonist must have the mind and soul of a Heyoka, and the trickster spirit of Iktomi, or coyote, or raven or any of those wonderful critters that Indian cultures have used throughout the centuries to puncture egos and bigotry with humor. And he must have the courage of Crazy Horse to stand up to the bigots and bullies he has vanquished with humor and ridicule.”
Such a talent, I noted, is Marty Two Bulls, Oglala Lakota artist featured in Indian Country Today. He’s a keen observer, well-informed in current Indian policy and politics; and he’s politically astute and sophisticated. His draftsmanship is second to none in the entire field of journalism, including the mainstream press, and his wit is sharp. There is never meanness in his cartoons but, metaphorically speaking, he hits as hard as Mohammed Ali. And he is Indian – Lakota, through and through, and that comes through in his humor.
Two Bulls’ fan base is widespread across Indian Country, and would be far wider if he weren’t drawing specifically for a readership of Indians and others involved in Indian affairs, thus a reader must be familiar with the political, cultural or humorous situation he is commenting on to fully appreciate his works.”
Charles E. Trimble