YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS is a graphic novel that tells a variation of the story of Emily Morgan (aka Emily West). Not much is known about Emily Morgan, except that she was born in the East, was either a slave or indentured servant to a family that moved to Texas, and that she spent some time as a prostitute. Legend has it that Gen. Santa Anna was sleeping with Morgan when Gen. Sam Houston and the Texas army swept into the Mexican camp at the Battle of San Jacinto, catching Santa Anna and his army with their pants down. Emily Morgan is supposedly the woman whom the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas” was written about. This graphic novel weaves together some of the legends and facts about Morgan into a coherent whole that is a joy to read.
In YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS, Emily Morgan is a slave to Ranse Morgan and his daughters Rosalie and Clementine. The book begins with the family being chased by outlaws as they attempt to cross the Guadalupe River. The Morgan’s are rescued by Erastus “Deaf” Smith. Smith and his friends escort the family to Gonzales, but before they arrive they are met by Santa Anna’s army and brought to his camp. What enfolds is part of the story of the Texas revolution interlaced and tied together by a love story between “Deaf” Smith and Emily Morgan.
Orsak’s artwork is well done. It’s not the computer-perfect imagery typical of comics today. Instead, it is reminiscent of old school comics. Some people like flashy computer generated art in their comics, but I prefer a more classical approach.
Overall, YELLOW ROSE OF TEXAS is a great graphic novel that tells a good story while teaching some Texas history. The story has appeal to both men and women. I also think it would make a solid basis for a movie. It was a wonderful read. It's another great book from McFarland Publishing (www.mcfarlandpub.com 800-253-2187).