The Alamo: An Epic Told from Both Sides. By Jack Jackson. (Austin: Eakin Press,
2002. Pp. 172. Illustrated. ISBN 0-9720779-01. $22.95, paper.)
In this adult comic book version of the Alamo story, Jackson separates fact
from legend. He successfully interweaves the Texan and Mexican actions that
led to the fall of the Alamo. Along with the traditional, themes on both sides of
the Alamo story include women and the rivalries and inner conflicts that the
Texans and the Mexicans faced in their governments and military forces. Maps
of Coahuila y Texas, San Antonio de B6xar, and the Alamo compound provide
helpful references for the reader.
Jackson's story begins with the departure from San Antonio of James Grant,
Frank Johnson, and their volunteers for the Matamoros Expedition. With their
departure, Lt. Col. James C. Neil and the men of the regular army begin the job
of repairing and fortifying the old mission, while the provisional Texas govern-
ment officials fight among themselves. With the arrival at San Antonio of Jim
Bowie and his men, the action moves to the cantina and involves buxom beauties.
Jackson then takes the story to Saltillo and the difficult march of Santa Anna's
army, which includes many deaths along the way. Santa Anna, lacking under-
standing of why Lorenzo de Zavala and other Tejanos have joined the rebels,
refuses the advice of his generals. The action then shifts back to San Antonio.
At the arrival of Lt. Col. William B. Travis and his men and Davy Crockett and
his Tennessee volunteers, political discussions are overshadowed by activities at
the cantina with more drinking and bedding down of voluptuous sefioritas. This
adult comic book is not for delicate women, for Jackson's version has lots of
cleavage, fandangos, cock fights, drinking, profanity, and wenches in the bar
and bedroom. Instead of the typical view of the Alamo heroes as steadfast moral
men dedicated to the ideals of a republic, Santa Anna catches Jackson's rascals
sleeping off a hangover.
On his march, Santa Anna has been plagued by desertions, freezing weather,
sickness, and timid officers. Upon seeing the approaching army, the Texans and
Tejanos barricade themselves in the Alamo while the citizens of San Antonio flee
with what possessions they can carry. For a few scenes, the action shifts to James
Fannin and his men at Goliad before returning to the battle of the Alamo. Grisly
scenes of blood and violence, severed limbs, funeral pyres, bloated corpses, and
scavengers complete the scene of devastation-this is not a children's bedtime
story. The book ends with Susanna Dickinson departing to warn other Texans of
the fate that awaits them.
Jackson's version of the Alamo from both sides is for the adult comics audi-
ence and its value lies beyond academia. There is no bibliography, but those
familiar with the sources will recognize the research that went into this publica-
tion. With a vivid dose of imagination and humor, Jackson presents the story of
the Alamo from many sides; Mexican, Texan, Tejano, and Tejana, but remem-
ber this is a lusty version of the Alamo story and his heroes have feet of clay.
Jackson definitely chips away at the cold marble image of the traditional Alamo
legend with this iconoclastic comic book.
East Texas Baptist Universzty LINDA S. HUDSON
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/. Accessed March 3, 2015.