Monday, July 4, 2016

Rest in peace, Dr. Ralph Stanley

In June, the world lost one of its great musicians and singers, Ralph Stanley. To honor his memory, I've chosen his haunting rendition of the Carters' "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone."

Dr. Stanley, yes, me are missing you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Winding Stream" now streaming and on DVD!

I heard from Beth Harrington today that her film "The Winding Stream: The Carters, The Cashes, and the Course of Country Music" is NOW available for streaming and on DVD!!!  If you're a Carter Family fan, or simply someone who enjoyed our graphic novel "The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song", I can tell you that you'll love this movie!  And now everyone with access to the Internet has a chance to see this movie...

Here is Beth's announcement:

Dear Friends –
The wait is over!
The Winding Stream – The Carters, the Cashes and the Course of Country Music is available today!

Our award-winning, critically-lauded, audience-beloved film about the foundational family at the heart of Americana music is finally out!
It’s available for download on iTunes

or on DVD through or wherever DVDs are sold!

As you might imagine, we’re incredibly excited. For those of you who have not yet seen the film at festivals or in your local theater, we sincerely hope you enjoy the film. We are grateful for how supportive and patient you’ve been.

Hope you’ll also spread the word about this new development to your music-loving friends!
Beth and The Winding Stream Team
* * * * *
More praise for The Winding Stream

 “Wonderful interviews, transcendent music, a heartfelt emotional story…among the greatest of all music documentaries, an instant American classic.”
- Gerald Peary, The Arts Fuse
“…a real crowd-pleaser about American roots music royalty…”
- Loren King, The Boston Globe
“…a gift to anyone interested in our musical roots…”
- Michael Mechanic, Mother Jones
“…extremely enchanting…”
- Richard Thompson, Bluegrass Today
“…a pure delight”
- Volkmar Richter, Vancouver Observer
“… a marvelous, meandering journey through American musical history that you will never forget.”
- Larry Carlin, California Bluegrass Association News

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Arhoolie acquired by Smithsonian Folkways

Arhoolie Records was crucial to the "Carter Family" graphic novel having a CD of music included with each copy. I am happy to hear that the legendary label has been acquired by The Smithsonian!

The NYT reports on it too.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Today is the birth anniversary of Maybelle Carter...

On this day in 1909, Maybelle Carter, one of the most important musicians in American music was born in Nickelsville, Virginia. Thanks, David Steward, for linking me to this Writer's Almanac page which marks the occasion and describes Maybelle's role in the historic Bristol Sessions.

This image of Maybelle at the Bristol Sessions is actually the color layer (without the usual inked linework on top of it), exquisitely created by Frank M. Young, from our graphic novel "The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song."


Saturday, April 9, 2016

A.P. Carter and Spiderman (and Pizza)

Emerald City Comic Con has taken over the WA State Convention Center this weekend, and to mark the occasion, Seattle pizza chain Pagliacci has interviewed me about superheroes in their newsletter. (Yes, it's a pizza restaurant with its own newsletter!)  Writer Louis Whitford and I got pretty deep talking about superheroes as part of the culture... and of course we also talked about The Carter Family.  It may be the first time A.P. Carter has ever been compared with Spiderman!
Pagliacci's online newsletter

Friday, February 26, 2016

Johnny Cash, Born on This Day in 1932

I am honored to announce that I was asked by one of the world's greatest radio stations, KEXP, to create a short comic about Johnny Cash on the anniversary of his birth, and event they have named International Cash Day. June Carter is of course a character in "The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song", and she and Johnny appear in the coda of the book. I am excited to have continued the story...

You can read the two pages as one long scroll by clicking here.

Thanks KEXP for making this possible!


Saturday, December 12, 2015

About "The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song"

“The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song” is a graphic novel that tells the true story of one of the earliest and most influential recorded country music groups. At the heart of the story is Alvin Pleasant Carter (known as A.P.), a farmer born in a lonely valley in Appalachia who has dreams of making a living with music, his great passion in life. And amazingly, his dreams do come true – but at the price of his marriage and the stability of his family.

A.P.'s wife Sara, orphaned at a young age, lives with a permanent sadness that colors her haunting singing voice. Sara has little desire to be a celebrity, but follows the whims of her husband.

Sara's teenage cousin Maybelle is a guitar virtuoso who would become as innovative and influential with her acoustic Gibson as Jimi Hendrix would later be on the electric guitar. 

Together, the three Carters changed American music in ways that would touch, among others, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and Johnny Cash (who would become Maybelle's son-in-law through his marriage to June Carter). 

The “Carter Family” graphic novel was co-plotted by Frank Young and David Lasky. David drew the art, assisted by a small team of background inkers. Frank wrote all the dialogue, and also colored the entire book in a palette that beautifully evokes the great newspaper comic strips of the 1930's. They've attempted to capture the in words and pictures the heartfelt honesty heard in the music of the Carter Family.

This book will make an excellent gift for anyone in your life who loves a good story. Please ask for it by name at your local general store. Or, if you must, order it from a reputable online merchant.