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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Jack Jackson, R.I.P.

Sad to hear that comic book artist Jack Jackson, aka Jaxon, passed away a few days ago at age 65. Jackson did some excellent books, my favourite of them was probably LOST CAUSE, the story of John Wesley Hardin. A lot of his books explored aspects of Texas history, and he really brought that era to life, showing a genuine love for the subject matter and a gruff, realistic approach to it which is refreshing when history is too often sanitized and simplified.

Jackson also did some great work in the early undergrounds. I especially like his contributions to the ecology themed anthology SLOW DEATH, including this back cover.

One of his more obscure works, but one I enjoyed, was his adaptation of Cooper's LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Which is interesting since I never could get more than a dozen pages into the novel. Not a great story, but his art really is enchanting in how well it sets the scene and tells the story.

In addition to his actual work, Jackson was a great and obvious influence on a lot of later artists I admire, both in the style and approach to comics. You don't have to look at the work too long to see how artists like Steve Bissette, Rick Veitch and Tim Truman, among others, took a lot from Jackson's style, and you can see echoes of him in stuff like Truman's historical work and the more extreme horror that Bissette and Veitch would revel in.

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