To tell the story of the first family of country music, Lasky poses simple, flat figures before minimal backdrops, letting color and shading conjure atmosphere. Panels vary little in size; a half-pager’s a real event. Altogether, the art recalls early daily comics and old Carter Family photos. Perhaps only a very distinctive stylist—say, R. Crumb—could have made the book look “better,” even then not making it look better suited to the subject. As for that subject, readers of Mark Zwonitzer and Charles Hirshberg’s Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? (2002) will appreciate how closely Young and Lasky reflect that masterpiece of country music history. The Carters preserved an enormous body of traditional Appalachian song that affected the repertoire, attitudes, harmonies, and rhythms of country music, up to and including rock ’n’ roll. An 18-minute CD lets those who’ve never heard them get acquainted, but chances are that most readers will already know their hits—the likes of “Wildwood Flower,” “Can the Circle Be Unbroken,” and “Keep On the Sunny Side.” --Ray Olson
About the Author
Frank M. Young is a writer and editor who has contributed to newspapers and magazines across the country. Born in the Deep South, he now lives in Seattle. David Lasky has written and illustrated a number of highly acclaimed comic books. Originally from Virginia, David now makes his home in Seattle.