- Full Description
In 1847, Churubusco was the stronghold of the San Patricios, a motley battalion of soldiers — including some runaway American slaves — who deserted the United States Army for a just, if suicidal, cause, holding out against the expansionist plans of the U.S. and savage U.S. soldiers. In this graphic novel, Andrea Ferraris uses a bold charcoal technique to tell the story of the San Patricios through the eyes of Gaetano Rizzo, a 22-year-old Sicilian immigrant (based on a real soldier of the time).
Promised citizenship and a parcel of land, Rizzo joins the U.S. Army in the fight to take California away from Mexico. Before long, he realizes that the cruelty he is ordered to inflict is no different from the horrors he escaped from in his home country. And his loyalty begins to change.
A serious of flashbacks show Rizzo as a youngster in the Southern U.S.His poor, dirt-farming family is barely getting by, poaching from nearby landowners. His brother is killed for that crime, and Rizzo is literally sent away in order to save his life. To enlist in the U.S. army... Ferraris nicely dovetails these short flashbacks by doing them in brown sepia tone instead of black and white.
It's a cruel but riveting story and like some of my favorite graphic novels, I not only enjoyed reading it, but I learned something that I never before knew. The art style is similar to that of French master illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti (Fires and Murmur).
It turns out Ferraris was inspired to write this story of a little-known episode in history by a song written and performed by the famous Irish group, The Chieftains. Hence the introduction by the lead singer of one of the most respected bands in the world.
And there is a second introduction, "The Martyrs' Courage," by Carlos Zepeda, Counsel General of Mexico and former Mexcican Ambassador to Ireland. Today Churubusco is the site of the Museo Nacional de las Intervenciones..."commemorating all the people who have fallen defending Mexican land. Ferraris draws Churubusco, now a neighborhood of Mexico City, as a phantasmagorical setting. There, in the mid-nineteenth century, some Mexicans, a handful of Irishmen, a couple Italians, and a few other Europeans, banded together, as if washed up from a shipwreck, to fight for a cause they knew was lost, yet just..."
- Additional Information
Item Code BACHU Publisher Fantgraphics Publish Date 2017 ISBN 9781683960577 Binding Soft Cover Dimensions 7x9 # Pages 192pg Color b&w