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From dinosaurs to Conquistadores, The Ancient Southwest, a dynamically illustrated collection of natural history and early-day recorded history, takes its cue from the tradition of storytelling in pictures. The narrative medium is the comic strip, applied here "to increase popular interest in geology," as one of its original contributors described the project. An enormously popular feature in the West Texas newspaper where it originated more than fifty years ago, The Ancient Southwest has been painstakingly restored and annotated by the cartoonist and cultural historian Michael H. Price as a follow-through to a lengthy collaboration with the primary artist, the late George E. Turner. The strips, originally designed for serialized weekly publication, have gone unseen since 1951-1952. Inspired by the permanent collections of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas, the cartoons cover a vast span of prehistory, from the earliest invertebrate and reptilian life to the Age of Mammals and the Paleo-Indians. The volume also contains a full restoration of Turner's The Palo Duro Story, recounting one of the earliest Spanish explorations of North America from the viewpoint of Cabeza de Vaca. An appendix reproduces a selection of Turner's college-newspaper cartoons of the post-World War II years, foreshadowing the style he would bring to bear upon The Ancient Southwest and The Palo Duro Story.
Texas Christian University Press,U.S.
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