GRAPHIC NOVELS

La Voz De M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo. Vol. 1

Top Cow: Image. Nov. 2019. 128p. ISBN 9781534313637. pap. $16.99. Rated: Teen+. BIOG/hist
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Barajas (Unite and Take Over: Stories Inspired by the Songs of the Smiths), joined by artist Gonzo (La Mano del Desitno), explores the role his great-grandfather Ramon Jaurigue, aka Tata Rambo, played in improving the lives of members of the Pascua Yaqui tribe in Arizona in this loving tribute. After serving in the Marine Corps during World War II, Ramon cofounded the Mexican American Yaqui Federation, working with the Model Cities program to direct the use of municipal funds in developing infrastructure on Yaqui land, and running a candle factory that provided locals with job experience. When the city of Tucson announced plans to expand a freeway through Yaqui land in 1969, Ramon leapt into action, organizing protests and fighting for his community to receive federal recognition.
VERDICT Barajas’s passion for his subject is clear, but haphazard pacing and a lack of context regarding the legal and tribal issues involved in the dispute make for an occasionally confusing read. Nevertheless, this is still an essential volume in what Frederick Luis Aldama’s introduction calls “reclaiming, restoring, and affirming Lantinxs as significant shapers of the historical record.”

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