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Swamp Fox: Birth of a Legend is a 150 page graphic novel that was written and drawn by Jonathan Myers. It features animals in the roles of the Revolutionary War characters, and follows the adventures of the patriotic hero, Francis Marion.
The graphic novel was independently published in black and white through the now defunct Ambition Studios in 2004. It was distributed nationally through Diamond Distribution and well. The graphic novel was an origin story and introduced the Swamp Fox character to readers. It was well received critically and has since garnered a modest following.
With the disbandment of Ambition Studios, Swamp Fox: Birth of a Legend remained a stand alone graphic novel. Myers’ had plans to continue the concept as a series of graphic novels, but this idea was put on hold for four years. In the meantime the graphic novel was republished on line and in full color. Swamp Fox began to gain a growing cult following; particularly amongst fans of the anthropomorphic animal comics genre.
Myers’ received frequent letters and emails inquiring about the status of Swamp Fox and if his further adventures would ever be told. Moved by the sincerity and enthusiasm of the readers, Myers’ set out to continue the adventures of the Swamp Fox. In 2008 Swamp Fox: Birth of a Legend was reprinted and released in full color, with additional material previously unpublished, as the Swamp Fox: Collector’s Edition through Odyssey Illustrated Press. The re-release of this graphic novel was intended as a way to reignite interest in the Swamp Fox property, and herald the launch of a continuing series of graphic novels entitled, Adventures of the Swamp Fox.
Swamp Fox: Birth of a Legend Synopsis
The year is 1775 and the events of Lexington and Concord have ignited the beginnings of what would become the American Revolutionary War. Far to the south in a region known as the Santee Valley there lives a certain red fox named, Francis Marion. Marion is a respected hero of the French and Indian War, a conflict between Great Britain and France for possession of the North American continent. The fox has since retired from the life of a soldier and has settled into the role of a humble planter. He has plans to court and wed the fair vixen, Mary Videau; but the escalation of patriotic fervor and rumors of rebellion threaten to derail his plans. Early on Marion is accused of being a British loyalist and sympathetic to the crown. He is reluctant to join an insurrection against Britain, as he served with many Red Coat soldiers during the previous French and Indian conflict. He hopes that the American Colonies can peacefully reestablish their ties to Britain. This, however, proves to be an unrealistic hope. Marion attempts to maintain peace in the Santee Valley between annoyed British soldiers and his angry neighbors. This proves to be futile and ultimately brings him to the attention of certain British officers in the area. General Cornwallis, leader of the British Army in the south, is concerned by the growing attitude of rebellion in the Santee Valley. He orders Sargent Venger to arrest all instigators of insurrection and have them tried and hanged for inciting treason. Several of Marion’s neighbors are arrested by Venger and the red fox is forced to choose between maintaining the quiet life of a planter, or rescuing his friends from the noose. Being of good conscience, Marion sets into motion a daring rescue in which he engages Venger and his British soldiers in the Black Mingo swamp. During the incursion Venger’s left eye is blinded by Marion. The Sargent survives the ordeal and relays the circumstances to General Cornwallis. The British General summons Colonel Banastre Tarleton and his legendary Dragoons. He orders the Dragoon leader to route out the traitors who escaped Venger and bring them to British justice. Tarleton is eager to oblige the General and regards Venger as a fool for allowing Marion to pull off his rescue. This event ignites a rivalry between the two soldiers that will prove problematic in the ultimate capture of Marion and his Bushwhacker militia. Tarleton attempts to capture Marion on many occasions, but the patriotic leader of the Bushwhackers proves to be very sly and elusive. Tarleton resorts to much more brutal tactics in his attempt to capture the hero, and the atrocity at Waxhaux occurs. This event backfires on Tarleton and many colonists join Marion’s Bushwhacker militia. The Colonel grows increasingly frustrated with Marion and Tarleton ultimately gives him the title, Swamp Fox, and an American legend is born.
Swamp Fox/Francis Marion
Francis Marion is the heroic leader of the patriot militia known as the Bushwhackers. He knows all the swamps of the Santee Valley like the back of his paw. He is a cunning soldier and a seasoned veteran of guerrilla warfare. He is a handsome red fox who chooses his words carefully. He is slow to wrath, but quick to action. He is known as the legendary Swamp Fox to his adversaries, and is respected as an elusive tactician. Marion’s goal is to bring the war in the south to a swift conclusion, while sparing as many lives on both sides as is possible.
Mary Videau is the fairest vixen in the Santee Valley. She is also the apple of the Swamp Fox’s eye. She frequently assists him with favors that help enable his missions against the British. Mary hopes to see a swift end to the war and wed her beloved patriot.
Colonel Banastre Tarleton
Colonel Banastre ‘Bloody Ban’ Tarleton is the ruthless and crafty leader of the elite Dragoon Cavalry. He will stop at no lengths to crush the colonial rebellion in the south. He is the dreaded nemesis of the Swamp Fox, and is feared by all in the Santee Valley. Tarleton is a masterful strategist and a respected officer in the British Army.
Jonathan is a cartoonist and freelance illustrator. He has done work for Z-Man Games, Bawn Shaunts Design Studio and Barnett Works. He is the creator, writer and character artist for Adventures of the Swamp Fox.
Lola is a graduate of Pensacola Christian College and has a Master’s Degree in Commercial Art. She is the editor and a background artist for Adventures of the Swamp Fox.
Michael is a graphic designer and freelance illustrator. He has done work for various companies including Bawn Shaunts Design Studio. He is the letter, layout designer and a background artist for Adventures of the Swamp Fox.