Alamo All-Stars (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales)

Where's this book been?
by Nathan Hale | Graphic Novels |
ISBN: 9781419719028 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 9/25/2023
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, September 25, 2023
I found this slightly-battered ex-library hardcover in this new-to-me Little Free Library in Waltham MA on this rainy day, while dropping off some books of my own, and was glad of another release copy. I've loved Hale's quirky graphic-novel-format histories since I read One Dead Spy, in which Nathan Hale, on the scaffold, pulls something of a "1001 Arabian Nights" trick to delay his execution by regaling his hangman and the British officer in charge with his own and other tales from history.

The books are all lavishly annotated, with poignant and awe-inspiring historical details mixed with snarky comments by Hale and his listeners, and with bonus material at the end.

This book deals with the famous "last stand" at the Alamo, a mission in San Antonio, Texas. [How did a Revolutionary War hero like Hale know about this? He fell into a magical history book, of course. Silly question.] It opens with maps on the endpapers, one of the Alamo itself and another of southern Texas showing the many battles of the Texas Revolution of 1835-36. (These are reproduced in the back so obscuring the front one with a BC label was OK.) The hangman quips "This is the first time we've had TWO maps in the endpapers," tipping the reader off that the fourth wall will be broken often here {wry grin}. Another example: the narrative itself opens with a weary man riding through the rain with an important message - and this is interrupted by the hangman lifting the panel-frame to comment on how dramatic the opening is...

As if that weren't enough, Hale and his listeners are joined on the scaffold by their Mexican counterparts, Vicente Guerrero and his executioners: "Today, we are doing a little Mexican-American history crossover!"

Between them, Hale and Guerrero provide a summary of the history of Texas settlement and the basis for the current conflict, and they introduce the many characters involved on both sides. Some of them are depicted in a, shall we say, over-the-top manner, such as the increasingly-vitriolic William Travis, Jim Bowie (whose marriage to "the prettiest girl in Béxar" is of more interest to some of the scaffold-audience than any of the battles), and of course Davy Crockett (whom all the scaffold-audience decides must be a stand-up guy).

The battle of the Alamo is depicted in detail, with followup showing the aftermath and the first use of "Remember the Alamo!" as a battle-cry. And the whole thing is capped off by a rather touching scene on the scaffold, as both sides take time to honor the fallen - one by a moment of silence and the other by firing their guns in the air (cue dead bird dropping on the head of the British officer - can't stay serious for *too* long in this series!).

Informative, lively, and fun - I really like this series!

Released 1 mo ago (10/2/2023 UTC) at Little Free Library, Old Rockingham Rd in Salem, New Hampshire USA


I left this book in the Little Free Library on this lovely day; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

** Released for the 2023 10 Letter challenge, for the 10-letter author's name. **

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