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Jack Jackson's American History: Los Tejanos & Lost Cause

Overview

Two landmark works of graphic nonfiction under one cover.Jack Jackson loved American history and creating comics. He combined these into a single vocation and created a legacy of historical graphic novels that has never been equaled.Jackson is credited with creating what many consider the first underground comic, God Nose, in 1964. He co-founded Rip-Off Press in 1969, and made some of the most scathing satirical comics about contemporary America ever seen. But, Jackson was a Texan, and in the 1970s he returned to...

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Overview

Two landmark works of graphic nonfiction under one cover.Jack Jackson loved American history and creating comics. He combined these into a single vocation and created a legacy of historical graphic novels that has never been equaled.Jackson is credited with creating what many consider the first underground comic, God Nose, in 1964. He co-founded Rip-Off Press in 1969, and made some of the most scathing satirical comics about contemporary America ever seen. But, Jackson was a Texan, and in the 1970s he returned to his roots and began writing and drawing short historical comics about Texas history. He then went on to produce six graphic novels chronicling 19th century Western history focusing on his beloved Texas and the Plains Indians. Fantagraphics, which published Los Tejanos originally in 1981, is proud to bring his graphic histories back into print in a series of three volumes, each reprinting two of his long narratives. The first volume features Los Tejanos, which Fantagraphics published as a solo book in 1981, and Lost Cause (1998) — chronicling Texas history before and after the Civil War.Los Tejanos is the story of the Texas-Mexican conflict between 1835 and 1875 as seen through the eyes of tejano (literally Texan of Mexican, as distinct from anglo, heritage) Juan Seguín. It is through Seguín, a pivotal and tragic figure, that Jackson humanizes Texas’ fight for independence and provides a human scale for this vast and complex story.Lost Cause documents the violent reaction to Reconstruction by Texans. As Jackson wrote, “Texas reaped a bitter harvest from the War Between the States. Part of this dark legacy was the great unrest that plagued the beaten but unbowed populace.” The tensions caused by Reconstruction are told through the Taylor-Sutton feud, which raged across South Texas, embracing two generations and causing untold grief, and the gunslinger John Wesley Hardin, who swept across Texas killing Carpetbaggers, Federal soldiers, and Indians.Jackson’s work is as known for its rigorous research — he became as good an historian as he was a cartoonist — as well as its chiseled, raw-boned visual approach, reproducing the time and place with an uncanny verisimilitude.This edition includes an essay by and interview with Jackson about the controversy Lost Cause generated, and an introduction by the novelist Ron Hansen.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Comics’ current vogue for nonfiction was pioneered in these two works from the late underground comix founding father Jackson, who died in 2006. Jackson brought an R. Crumb–style crosshatching and love of facial grotesquery to these two densely researched historical graphic novels. Lost Cause (1998) is a tangled and bloody history of mob violence and vendetta that uses the Taylor-Sutton feud in post–Civil War southern Texas (featuring that highly homicidal teenager, John Wesley Hardin) as a fascinating prism through which to view many white Texans’ reactions to Reconstruction. Jackson’s conscious decision to use his protagonists’ point of view results in many wincingly racist moments that some readers may find hard to swallow. Even better is Los Tejanos (1981), which follows the tragic history of Juan Seguin, a heroic tejano who fought brilliantly for Texas’s independence. Anglo racism forced him into exile, where he was forced to fight with his former enemies in the Mexican Army. Disavowed by both sides, this heroic equal to Jim Bowie and Sam Houston was later written out of the history books. Jackson writes, “sooner or later, the truth finds us all.” In these epic, scrupulous, and compulsively readable histories, Jackson does his best to find the truth for us. (Dec.)
Larry McMurtry
“In Lost Cause, Jack Jackson has found a bold and vivid new way to tell an old story — the story of John Wesley Hardin.”
Tom Spurgeon - The Comics Reporter
“Of all the early graphic novels that appeared in the late 1970s, Jackson’s were the most like the form as we understand it now… Jackson’s Texas was capable of grotesquery and atrocity because Jackson’s art was able to communicate extreme, transcendent moments without hesitation or shame.”
Harry Knowles - Ain't It Cool News
“His histories were not for the faint of heart and not for those that believe the past was filled with kind and considerate polite people that cared for each others FEE-WINGS, no... he portrayed the past with all it’s warts and boils.”
The Comics Reporter
Of all the early graphic novels that appeared in the late 1970s, Jackson’s were the most like the form as we understand it now… Jackson’s Texas was capable of grotesquery and atrocity because Jackson’s art was able to communicate extreme, transcendent moments without hesitation or shame.— Tom Spurgeon
Ain't It Cool News
His histories were not for the faint of heart and not for those that believe the past was filled with kind and considerate polite people that cared for each others FEE-WINGS, no... he portrayed the past with all it’s warts and boils.— Harry Knowles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606995044
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 1/18/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 425,728
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Jackson, a.k.a. “Jaxon,” is considered by many to be the first underground comix artist. He was born in 1941 and died in 2006 in his home state of Texas.

Ron Hansen is the author of more than 20 books, stories, and anthologies. He received the Award in Literature from the American
Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters for his book Nebraska, a collection of short fiction, in 1989. Some of his other works include
Mariette in Ecstasy; the children's book The Shadowmaker; Desperadoes; The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which won the John Edgar Wideman Award in 1984; and the novel Atticus, a suspenseful murder mystery detailing a father's fierce love for his son.
Atticus was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1996. Among the anthologies written by Hansen are The Sun So Hot I Froze To Death, Can I
Just Sit Here For A While?, and True Romance. His short stories, with titles ranging from "His Dog" to "Playland," have appeared in the
Stanford Alumni Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, the Iowa Review, Esquire,
and many others. Besides holding Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, Hansen has received a Lyndhurst Foundation Grant and is a fellow of the University of Michigan Society of Fellows. Hansen has also held the position of Gerald Manley Hopkins S.J. Professor of
Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University.

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