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Jack Jackson
Born (1941-05-15)May 15, 1941
Pandora, Texas, US
Died June 8, 2006(2006-06-08) (aged 65)
Stockdale, Texas, US
Other names Jaxon
Occupation Cartoonist, illustrator, historian, writer

Jack Edward Jackson (May 15, 1941 – June 8, 2006), better known by his pen name Jaxon, was an American cartoonist, illustrator, historian, and writer. He co-founded Rip Off Press, and many consider him to be the first underground comix artist, due to his most well known comic strip God Nose.[1]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Legacy and honors 4
  • Publications 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Jackson was born in 1941 in Pandora, Texas. He majored in accounting at the University of Texas and was a staffer for its Texas Ranger humor magazine, until he and others were fired over what he called "a petty censorship violation".


In 1964, Jackson self-published the one-shot God Nose, which is considered by many to be the first underground comic.[1] He moved to San Francisco in 1966, where he became art director of the dance poster division of Family Dog. In 1969, he co-founded Rip Off Press, one of the first independent publishers of underground comix, with three other Texas transplants, Gilbert Shelton, Fred Todd, and Dave Moriaty. Despite this, most of his underground comics work (heavily influenced by EC Comics) was published by Last Gasp.

Jackson was also known for his historical work, documenting the history of Native America and Texas, including the graphic novels Comanche Moon (1979), The Secret of San Saba (1989), Lost Cause (1998), Indian Lover: Sam Houston & the Cherokees (1999), El Alamo (2002), and the written works like Los Mesteños: Spanish Ranching in Texas: 1721–1821 (1986), Indian Agent: Peter Ellis Bean in Mexican Texas (2005), and many others.

Personal life

Jackson died in Stockdale, Texas on June 8, 2006, in an apparent suicide after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.[2][3][4]

Legacy and honors


  • Long Shadows: Indian Leaders Standing in the Path of Manifest Destiny, 1600–1900. Amarillo, TX: Paramount Publishing, 1985.
  • Los Mesteños: Spanish Ranching in Texas, 1721–1821. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1986.
  • (with Maurine T. Wilson) Philip Nolan and Texas Expeditions to the Unknown Land, 1791–1801. Waco, TX: Texian Press, 1987.
  • Secret of San Saba: A Tale of Phantoms and Greed in the Spanish Southwest. Northampton, MA: Kitchen Sink Press, 1989.
  • Mapping Texas & the Gulf Coast: The Contributions of Saint-Denis, Oliván, & Le Maire. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1990.
  • Optimism of Youth: The Underground Work of Jack Jackson. Seattle, WA:  Fantagraphics Books, 1991.
  • (with Neal Barrett, Jr., adapted from the novel by Joe R. Lansdale) Dead in the West. Milwaukie, OR: Dark Horse Comics, 1993.
  • God's Bosom and Other Stories:  The Historical Strips of Jack Jackson. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics Books, 1995.
  • Imaginary Kingdom: Texas As Seen by the Rivera & Rubi Military Expeditions, 1727 & 1767. Austin, Texas: Texas State Historical Association, 1995.
  • Flags Along the Coast: Charting the Gulf of Mexico, 1519–1759. Austin, TX: Book Club of Texas/Wind River Press, 1995.
  • "Threadgill's: The Comic Book," in Threadgill's: The Cookbook. Atlanta, GA: Longstreet Press, 1996.
  • Lost Cause: John Wesley Hardin, the Taylor-Sutton Feud, and Reconstruction Texas. Northampton, MA: Kitchen Sink Press, 1998.
  • Shooting the Sun:  Cartographic Results of Military Activities in Texas, 1689–1892. Austin, TX: Book Club of Texas/Wind River Press, 1998.
  • Indian Lover:  Sam Houston & the Cherokees. Austin, TX: Mojo Press, 1999.
  • (ed., with trans. John Wheat) Texas by Terán: The Diary Kept by General Manuel de Mier y Terán on His 1828 Inspection of Texas. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2000.
  • The Alamo: An Epic Told from Both Sides. Austin, TX: Paisano Graphics, 2002.
  • Indian Agent: Peter Ellis Bean In Mexican Texas. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2005.
  • Almonte’s Texas:  Juan N. Almonte's 1834 Inspection, Secret Report, and Role in the 1836 Campaign. Austin, TX: Texas State Historical Association, 2005.

Jaxon's Illustrated Tales: 1984, FTR Publishing


  1. ^ a b Booke, Keith M. 2010, Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels, ABC-CLIO, LLC, Santa Barbara, CA
  2. ^ M. B. Taboada, "Austin cartoonist dies: 'Jaxon' known as first underground cartoonist" , Austin American-Statesman (June 10, 2006).
  3. ^ Robert Faires, "Texas in Bold, Dark Strokes", Austin Chronicle (June 16, 2006).
  4. ^ Moser, Margaret (August 11, 2006). "Arts: General Jackson".  
  5. ^

Further reading

  • Kim Thompson and Gary Groth, "Devoured By His Own Fantasies", introduction to Optimism of Youth: The Underground Work of Jack Jackson, Fantagraphics, 1991.
  • Gary Groth, Excerpts from A Tribute to Jaxon, Monday, September 18, 2006

External links

  • Jack Jackson profile at Lambiek
  • Jack Jackson interview, The Comics Journal #213
  • Art and Artifice
  • Jack Jackson on the Rag Authors' Page
  • documentary short interviewJaxon's Last Ride on YouTube
  • Vimeo Jaxon: Drawn to the Task interview
  • UT Texas Ranger Magazine archive
  • Jaxon at Find a Grave
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