Aztec Empire, the comic about the splendor and the conquest of ancient Mexico

Two American artists have decided to illustrate, in comic book format, the wonder of the Mexica empire, its splendor, and its fall during the conquest.

Aztec Empire, the comic about the splendor and the conquest of ancient Mexico
A scene from the graphic novel 'Aztec Empire' by Paul Guinan and David Hahn. (Twitter @ AztecEmpire1520)

Two American artists have decided to illustrate, in the format of the comic, the wonder of the Mexica empire, its splendor and its fall in conquest with a vision that, they affirm, seeks to try to portray with maximum fidelity that era and its people in the first half of the sixteenth century.

It is the graphic novel 'Aztec Empire' written and sketched by Paul Guinan, resident in Chicago, and illustrated by David Hahn. The motto of this work, "History is stranger than fiction", describes to a large extent the fascination and motivation of the authors of the comic to know and explore the history of the Aztec, Mexican and Aztec empires, their people and their great capital, Tenochtitlan, and the Spanish invasion that caused its fall and unleashed a huge transformation, a process certainly dramatic and unique in history.

The conquest of Mexico, a process that began 500 years ago with the arrival of Hernán Cortés to what is now Tabasco and Veracruz in 1519 (although there is some background), was a period of cataclysm and transformation. Therefore, its history is extraordinary and its interpretation controversial, often fraught with tension, especially when talking about the enormous violence unleashed during that period and the subsequent devastation and divergent views about its protagonists, their contexts and their consequences. they exist both inside and outside of Mexico.

But for Mexico, for Spain and on a global scale it is crucial to increase reflection, analysis and valuation, beyond clichés, official histories and ingrained myths, what was the Mexica and Mesoamerican civilization (and in general that of the original peoples of America), its fall after the arrival of the European invader, the changes unleashed since then that, with their sharp chiaroscuros, are the origin of the current Mexico and the valuation, respect and support for the current indigenous people.

Thus, the first big question is whether the comic book 'Aztec Empire' is part of that desire for knowledge and understanding. Guinan and Hahn have proposed that their work be as accurate as possible both visually and narratively and for this, they have counted on the advice of historians and archaeologists, including Enrique Ortiz, Matthew Restall, and Michael Smith, as well as the collaboration of the National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico City.