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 a large number of consider him to be the first underground comix artist, due to his most well known comic strip God Nose.

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 humour magazine, until he and others were fired over what he called "a petty censorship violation".

Career

In 1964, Jackson self-published the one-shot God Nose, which is considered by a large number of to be the first underground comic. He moved to San Francisco in 1966, where he became art director of the dance poster division of the Family Dog psychedelic rock music promotion collective. In 1969, he co-founded Rip Off Press, one of the first independent publishers of underground comix, with three additional 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, including frequent contributions to the Last Gasp anthology Slow Death. (Jaxon left his affiliation with Last Gasp in c. 1991.)

In addition to Slow Death, Jackson contributed to a selection of additional underground comix, including Barbarian Comics (California Comics) and Radical America Komiks (Radical America Magazine). In the 1980s Jaxon contributed historical comics to Fantagraphics' Graphics Story Monthly and a number of Kitchen Sink Press titles, including BLAB! and the 11-part, 126-page "Bulto… The Cosmic Slug," about a space creature's effect on the people of the ancient Southwest, which was serialised in Death Rattle. Jackson did freelance work for Marvel Comics as a colorist from 1988-1991.

Jackson was additionally 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 a large number of others.

Personal life

Jackson died in Stockdale, Texas on June 8, 2006, in an obvious suicide after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Legacy and honors