A Land Remembered: A Graphic Novel
When you think about Cowboys and Indians, cattle rustlers and frontier pioneers you usually picture the backdrop of the Wild West. Visions of sprawling deserts, ghost towns and rocky mesas like those in states like Arizona. You don’t expect the palm tree laden beaches and alligator infested swamps of Florida. But, in the 19th century the most popular vacation destination state in the U.S. had its own share of rough riding adventurers, chasing the American dream of freedom and prosperity. The novel A Land Remembered captures that pivotal time in Florida’s history.
A Land Remembered: A Graphic Novel is adapted from the Pulitzer Prize nominated book of the same name by Patrick Smith, originally published by Pineapple Press in 1984. The original book was an instant success, and still serves as both a learning tool for students of all ages across the state, as well as an introduction to anyone who wishes to learn a little more about the state’s humble beginnings before theme parks and retirement facilities became the norm.
The story centers around the MacIvey family, settlers struggling to carve out a place for themselves in “The Land of Flowers”. The story is spread out across three generations of the family, over the span of 100 years. During that time, the MacIvey’s experience everything from the horrors of the Civil War, to battling cattle rustlers, coexisting alongside Seminole Indians and surviving devastating hurricanes. It’s a cowboy western, turned upside down and set as far South as you can get in the good ole US of A.
On a deeper level, the story is about family, and about the inevitability of change and growth. The MacIveys are a tight knit, but flawed family, with their own personal struggles set in an environment that is constantly changing, both in spite of them and because of them. The characters are varying, relatable and inclusive, and provide strong representations for people across cultures and backgrounds, not something often portrayed in cowboy stories.
The novel is adapted by Andre R. Frattino. His previous works include his original graphic novels, The Reaper of St. George Street, Lost Souls of Savannah and The Vampirate of Matanzas Inlet. A Land Remembered: A Graphic Novel became a project of passion for Andre, who pitched the adaptation to the publisher back in 2016.
A Land Remembered: A Graphic Novel is an all-age read, but doesn’t stray far from the source material. Frattino’s mission was to continue the generational theme of the book, providing a graphic novel for both older fans of the original source material (who may never have picked up a comic), as well as those younger (yet more seasoned) comic book fans.