Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Diamonds in the Rough: Sara and A.P. audition for Brunswick Records

Before the Carter Family had their breakthrough moment at the Bristol Sessions, they (or at least, Sara and A.P.) auditioned for another record label: Brunswick Records. Frank and I are excited to present a full chapter from our graphic novel which tells the story of this earlier and less successful attempt to become recording artists.

Because there is little to no documentation of the event (no one can even seem to agree what city it was in), this is our vision of what may have happened at the Brunswick Session.  All we really know is that A.P. was asked to play the fiddle on record and he refused.

The year is 1925, the place is Poor Valley, Virginia, on the modest farm of Alvin Pleasant and Sara Carter...

We hope you enjoyed this chapter. Learn what happens next in the graphic novel Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song, from Abrams Comicarts this fall...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A nice review

Seattle artist/journalist Henry Chamberlain of The Comics Grinder has interviewed Frank and me, and posted a kind review of "Don't Forget This Song":

Thank you, Henry! 
(Click to links at the bottom of the page for the video interviews.)

photo by Henry Chamberlain

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Carter Family Live in Concert!

When Frank and I planned our graphic novel, we knew we definitely wanted to attempt to recreate the experience of seeing the original Carter Family play live.  Though there are some great live recordings (made on border radio), there is no film footage of Sara, Maybelle, and A.P. playing music together.  There is not even a photograph of one of their concerts!  So we devoted a whole chapter to showing one of their live gigs, from A.P. hanging promotional posters to Maybelle chatting with the local pickers afterwards.

Here we see some local men helping the group set up in a town's schoolhouse.  The stage is wood placed over barrel drums. The lighting will be provided by coal mining lamps!

On this page, the audience has arrived, the lamps are lit, and the concert begins. You can see the full chapter, of course, when the book comes out in early October...

The background art and hatching for this chapter was inked by Sean Michael Robinson. His background inking assistance was invaluable in helping Frank and I complete the book on time.  Thank you, SMR!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Two-page Spread

Frank and I wanted the story of the Carter Family to really feel like it was set in times when the Carters lived.  For us, the best way to do this was to evoke old newspaper comics of the time.  A favorite of ours is Frank King's "Gasoline Alley" which, besides being beautifully drawn, sometimes featured ingenius Sunday pages where the panels connect up to form a landscape.  These two pages are our homage to those strips; and provide a quiet moment between A.P. and his daughter. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

David and Frank see DON'T FORGET THIS SONG the book for the first time! Video by James Gill

Frank & David see book for the first time from James Gill on Vimeo.

Just what it sez above... we held off on looking at the advance copy of our graphic novel (not in stores 'til at least September, folks...) until we could meet up and see it together. Jim Gill captured the moment, which occurred in his siren-rific apartment in Seattle's medical district. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sara Sings "Single Girl": Celebrating the 85th Birthday of The Big Bang Of Country Music!

To David and I, one of the great moments in Don't Forget This Song is when Sara and Maybelle record "Single Girl, Married Girl" on the second day of their very first recording session.

This took place at the epochal "Bristol Sessions," which is seen by many country music scholars as "the Big Bang" of country music. An entire chapter in our book is devoted to the Bristol Sessions, which also introduced the extraordinary Jimmie Rodgers to the musical world.

Above is Sara and Maybelle's exquisite 1927 original of "Single Girl, Married Girl." Take a few minutes and savor one of the finest performances in Sara Carter's career--she struck gold in her first recording session.

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's Here! It's Here! The Carter Family Graphic Novel! It's a Real Thing!Wowee!

IT'S HERE!!!!!!!

David and I each got one advance copy of our book today from New York! Woo hoo! It's really real, folks!

The printers did a super-duper job on it, and, of course, Abrams' Charles Kochman, Sara Corbett and Neal Egan (among many others) did so much to make this book a reality.

Later this weekend I'll post a video shot by our friend Jim Gill of David and I seeing the book for the first time. We waited 'til we could meet up and see it together. The temptation to rip the envelope open was enormous, but I figured... we've waited five years for this moment; what's a few more hours?
It won't be too much longer 'til this book is out in the world. It's a dreamlike experience to page through this book. It has a nice heft to it; it's printed on high-quality paper; the enclosed CD is really nicely sequenced, and offers a side of the Carter Family's performances that some folks might not know about.
More stuff very soon on this literally amazing (a word I seldom use) event in our lives and careers!