Folks across the West know a cowpoke named Jake. A good-hearted guy, he's always up to his eyebrows in debt or drought or prickly pears looking for them dad-blamed ole wild cows. In fact, he's so real a fella that it's hard to believe that Ace Reid made him up.
This book brings together 139 of Ace Reid's popular "Cowpokes" cartoons, reproduced in large format to show the artistry and attention to detail that characterized Reid's work. Grouped around themes such as work, weather, bankers, and friends, they reveal the distinctive "you might as well laugh as cry" sense of humor that ranch folks draw on to get through hard work and hard times.
In the foreword, Washington Post cartoonist Pat Oliphant offers an appreciation of Reid's "Cowpokes" cartoons, noting that "Ace's work has a magic of its own, and it owes nothing to anyone else." Reid's longtime friend Elmer Kelton recounts Ace's life and career in the introduction, describing how a shy boy who grew up on ranch work transformed himself into an artist-entrepreneur who never met a stranger and who made ranch work the subject of his real love, cartooning. This collector's volume belongs on the shelf of everyone who loves the "Cowpokes" cartoons, knows a fella like Jake, or enjoys the dry wit of the American cowboy.
By Ace Reid
The late Ace Reid grew up on a ranch near Electra, Texas. He broke intocartooning at the West Texas Livestock Weekly and syndicated his cartoonsto newspapers across Texas and the West. Fifty years later, "Cowpokes"cartoons retain an enthusiastic following.