Secret of San Saba

Writer / Artist
Secret of San Saba
Secret of San Saba review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: Kitchen Sink - 0-87816-081-7
  • Release date: 1989
  • Format: Black and white
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no

This stunningly impressive western/horror mash-up from the inimitable Jack Jackson is still tragically only available in the original oversized (277 x 201 mm) monochrome softcover and hardback album editions. They’re long out of print, and difficult to find.

Known as Jaxon since his Underground Comix heyday, Jackson’s infectious fascination with the history of Texas was a signature of much of his work even from the earliest days. Here he expertly combines a love of historical documentary with the fabulous Lovecraftian horrors of the cosmic void, resulting in a breathtaking and wonderful period supernatural thriller, skillfully woven into the fabric and lore of the Southwest desert lands.

When a silvery entity crashes to Earth in a blazing fireball, it galvanises the fading dreams of Xotl, a young Faraone warrior who had lost faith in his gods. As the years pass, the natives worship the fearsomely fulgent power of the star-fallen thing, and when the mighty Apaches conquer the Faraone, the twice-defeated tribe turn to the newly arrived Europeans for help. This is a tragic mistake, revealed too late, after the tribe finds that Priests and Colonists might speak of God but only truly worship wealth. When the newcomers learn of the Cosmic Slug that fell from the stars, all they can see is the overwhelming wealth its silver mantle represents.

The decades-long battle between Apaches and Missionaries to control the slimy silver wellspring makes for a powerful if cynical tale, full of the intoxicating artistry, spellbinding storytelling, and the mesmerising aura of authenticity that is Jackson’s most telling narrative tool.

Based on the ancient Texas stories and legends of supernatural treasure mounds ‘Blanco’ and ‘Negro Bultos’, this most fantastic story should be, has to be true, if only because Jackson has drawn it.

Superbly compelling, this is a must-read item for any serious fan of both comics and horror fiction, so let’s have it back and out in every format possible, pretty please.