Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Item Code: APR121096
PREVIEWS Page #295
In Shops: 06/27/12
This is how I take my history: immersive.
Jack Jackson delivers an amazing pair of nonfiction stories in Fantagraphics’ compilation of Texas history. A historian and a master comics artist, Jackson first pulls forward a seldom heard voice in American history—that of the Mexican immigrant. Following Juan Seguín, a Mexican citizen from an influential family, Jackson is able to intimately demonstrate the pressures of racial tensions and the tides of public opinion in the largely lawless Texas frontier.
The reader follows Seguín as he took leadership roles on the battle field in war times and in civil service in peace times. He was often the voice of reason between Mexican and European settlers, showing them to have common cause, first in Texas freedom from Mexican rule and later when the independent nation of Texas was absorbed into the US. Seguín was hated by both sides during his life — by the Mexican nationals he fought, who shared his heritage but not his goal of an independent Texas; and by the swelling tide of European settlers who distrusted his race and laid the blame for the deaths of heroes like Crockett and Bowie at the feet of all Spanish-speaking people, whether they considered themselves Texan citizens or not. The story of his life is fascinating, frustrating, and real, set with Jackson’s lush illustrations that show a love of detail and accuracy.
Fantagraphics does not leave us with Seguín, though. Jackson’s study of Texan history continued well into the Civil War years. His second impressive epic again resounds with racial tensions, warring camps, and the unhealed wounds of frontier divided. He follows this time the story of the Taylor and Sutton families though one of the nastiest multi-generational feuds in Texas History. Based on the autobiography of a gunslinger and one of the longest-lived fighters in the feud, Wes Hardin, Jackson pulls the reader through decades of heart-wrenching murders and vengeances. Until law was established by respected leaders, Texas bled—and through these two men’s accounts, the reader understands its history in a visceral and personal sense.