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Friday, February 3, 2023

New comic book chronicles the fall of the Aztec Empire

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
A panel from the upcoming comic book, “Aztec Empire.” Image: Courtesy

A new line of comics titled “Aztec Empire” brings to the page in stunning color an account of the fall of this great civilization.

As well as covering key historical events such as the fall of Tenochtitlán, the comic book also chronicles and illustrates the life of everyday Nahua peoples just before and after the arrival of the Spanish to the Valley of Mexico.

“We have worked very hard to get the history right and have consulted with experts from INAH at every turn. We don’t want this to be a pseudo-history,” said Paul Guinan, one of the comic’s co-creators. 

The comic book is planned to be released in both English and Spanish, though a firm date has not been revealed. 

At the time of the arrival of the Spanish to Tenochtitlán, the city was one of the largest in the world. Even the Spanish conquistadors expressed admiration for its beauty and sophistication. Now only ruins remain. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

In recent years, dramatic tellings of Mesoamerican history and allusions to its culture have become visible in mainstream media.

Earlier: Mérida’s monument to the Montejo, an icon of history or bigotry?

For example, the upcoming Marvel Studios “Black Panther 2” will feature several characters of Maya and Nahua origin, complete with wardrobe inspired by ancient traditions. 

The topic of the conquest of Mexico remains a touchy subject in Mexico, despite the fact that these events took place over 500 years ago. 

This complexity is perhaps best captured by the famous inscription at Tlatelolco in Mexico City: “On Aug. 13, 1521, heroically defended by Cuauhtemoc, Tlatelolco fell to Hernan Cortes. It was neither a great triumph nor a defeat. It was the painful birth of the Mestizo (mixed-race) Mexico of today.”

Though the Aztecs included people of different ethnic groups, most were Nahuatl speaking. They carried their language and culture far and wide their vast empire and area of influence across Mexico and deep into what today is Central America.