Yakari is a Franco-Belgian comic book series, aimed at a younger audience, originally written by Job, and illustrated by Derib, both from Switzerland. The series is now written by Frenchman Joris Chamblain.
Yakari is one of the best-known Franco-Belgian comics in Europe. Yakari has (on two occasions, 1983 and 2005) been adapted into a cartoon series on television. A French animated movie adaptation was released in 2020.
Yakari is a young Sioux Native American who has the ability to understand and speak animal languages. During his adventures, he meets all sorts of North American animals. His best friends are a Sioux girl, “Rainbow”, a Sioux boy “Buffalo Seed” and his pony “Little Thunder”. He has a totem animal, “Great Eagle”, who frequently appears to him to give him critical advice.
The setting is the North American Great Plains, mainly. Horses have already been introduced by the Spanish, but there is no mention of white men whatsoever in the series. (In one book, there is even an observation by an old tribesman that there is a mystery as to how the horse came to the land, and that it has not always been there.) It can therefore be assumed that Yakari’s adventures take place after the 15th century, but long before the settling rush in the late 18th/19th century.
The comic shows a very positive view of the culture of the Sioux and depicts them as peaceful people who live in harmony with nature.
Yakari: the main character. He is a little Sioux boy and has the ability to talk with animals; this gift was given by Great Eagle, Yakari’s totem. Unlike the other young boys, Yakari rejects the use of weapons; he is also the only Sioux in the comic whose name does not mean anything further (like “Little Big-Shot”).
Rainbow (Arc-en-Ciel): A Sioux girl and Yakari’s best friend. She knows of and genuinely admires his special ability, and often accompanies him on his adventures, and learns the ways of healing from Yakari’s mother.