Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Single Girl" Page Evolution

I think I first heard "Single Girl, Married Girl" on Harry Smith's landmark Anthology of American Folk Music.  I'd never heard a song like it, or a voice like Sara Carter's.  It planted the seeds of my interest in the Carter Family, and in my collaboration with Frank Young on the graphic novel.  So the page in which Sara and Maybelle record the song was very important to me. I think of it as the cornerstone of the book. 

Originally I had a vision of the moment as Sara and Maybelle performing in empty space, with no panel borders, as an expression of the haunting quality of the song...


The sequence went on for several panels and covered a good bit of the song. When Frank and I learned that the Carter Family's lyrics were largely not in the public domain, we had to change plans!  Frank came up with the large single panel you see at the bottom of the page:

 
It didn't feel quite right to me, for such a momentous moment.  I tried it as a closeup:

 
 
This wasn't working for me either. I wanted a 1930's comic strip look, but this panel felt more like a 1960's DC comic book. I stopped right in the middle of inking and decided I had to pull the view back. But I liked the idea of the words being words and word balloons at the same time, and I kept that concept...
 
 
I was very happy with this result!  But it took a little longer than most of the other pages in the book. 
 
One side note: Quilts were hung on the walls of the makeshift studio to muffle outside sounds. All the quilts I drew were researched for accuracy...
 
 
 

5 comments:

Frank M. Young said...

Oy! Those elongated arms on Sara... well, I drew it, so I gotta live with it ;)

skip heller said...

Just gorgeous and full of spirit.

Lasky said...

Thank you, sir.

Frank: it was a step in the working process. You might say Sara's long arms gave me 'a leg up'.

Paul Tumey said...

Goes to show, Frank, ya can't escape the long arm of the law. Kidding aside, I really enjoyed this post a lot -- more of these behind-the-scenes posts would be very welcome, tho I know you guys are busy being famous. I love the way this page came out in the book - it's not as much a cornerstone to the story for me, but it's sure a highlight. And the idea to show the song titles as organic musical forms that echo the speech balloon concept is a wonderful invention that adds a lot -- which shows that the process between you two is very productive and powerful. I grew up sleeping under the handmade quilts of my ancient Granny James -- and I can say the quilts you drew David feel right to me!

bitguru said...

I do like the 60s-style panel, with the big mic in the foreground.