…”Los Tejanos,” a graphic — in the pictorial sense — history of mid-19th century Texas, by the first-gen UG cartoonist Jack Jackson (“Jaxon”). It’s focus is the unconscionable — and unsurprising — treatment of native Hispanics by newer-to-the-territory Anglos, at the time of secession from Mexico. I didn’t know jack-shit about any of this, and Jaxon knew more than practically anybody. (His bibliography lists and critiques a couple dozen books, and his work’s been praised from academically credentialed historians to Larry McMurtry.) If you don’t want to burden yourself reading any of these volumes “LT” is a good way to familiarize with the subject. I am sure you can learn more about events and individuals from conventional narrative histories, but Jaxon’s text is informative and his visuals convey knowledge in a powerful and effective manner.
Jaxon seems to have made great effort to get details right: dress; buildings; furnishing; terrain; even physiognomy as an expression of character. I felt myself absorbing a greater sense of place and time by letting my eyes linger on his panels then if they were skimming down paragraphs of verbal description. It was like watching a Western with the ability to control the pace of the flickers on the screen. It gave the mind more space to roam. And when I thought of what Texans had put this country through over the last half-century and who it still had loose on the national stage, it left me shivering.