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Winner of the 2013 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work! The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song is a rich and compelling original graphic novel that tells the story of the Carter Family—the first superstar group of country music—who made hundreds of recordings and sold millions of records. Many of their hit songs, such as “Wildwood Flower” and “Will the Circle Be Unb Winner of the 2013 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work! The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song is a rich and compelling original graphic novel that tells the story of the Carter Family—the first superstar group of country music—who made hundreds of recordings and sold millions of records. Many of their hit songs, such as “Wildwood Flower” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” have influenced countless musicians and remain timeless country standards. The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song is not only a unique illustrated biography, but a moving account that reveals the family’s rise to success, their struggles along the way, and their impact on contemporary music. Illustrated with exacting detail and written in the Southern dialect of the time, its dynamic narrative is pure Americana. It is also a story of success and failure, of poverty and wealth, of racism and tolerance, of creativity and business, and of the power of music and love. Includes bonus CD with original Carter Family music. Praise for The Carter Family: "What a fine marriage of form and content! Humble and moving—straightforward with occasional breathtaking bravura passages—this book echoes the Carter Family's rough-hewn sounds. It tells of the lives, sorrows, and values of a lost America in short episodes like a giant stack of old 78s. Using the vocabulary of comic strips like Little Orphan Annie and Gasoline Alley, it's as obsessive in its dedication to vernacular craft and hard work as A.P. Carter himself. Frank Young and David Lasky have spun a work of visual music that will replay in your head and heart well after you've finished reading it."—Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer/artist of Maus “Charming, faithful, and resonant . . . will charm the pants off you.” —The Comics Journal “Lasky’s gorgeous artwork animates the story and evokes a mood that mirrors the era and the music.” —NPR.org “Pure pleasure for anyone interested in music history.” —The Seattle Times “Cracking open The Carter Family feels like putting on a vintage 78: moody hearty Americana emanates hauntingly. Enlivening this graphic biography of the legendary country music family are both Frank M. Young’s dialogue, which replicates the vernacular to a T but oh so naturally, and David Lasky’s understated and elegant illustrations which resonate like the music they depict.” —HeebMagazine.com  


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Winner of the 2013 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work! The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song is a rich and compelling original graphic novel that tells the story of the Carter Family—the first superstar group of country music—who made hundreds of recordings and sold millions of records. Many of their hit songs, such as “Wildwood Flower” and “Will the Circle Be Unb Winner of the 2013 Eisner Award for Best Reality-Based Work! The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song is a rich and compelling original graphic novel that tells the story of the Carter Family—the first superstar group of country music—who made hundreds of recordings and sold millions of records. Many of their hit songs, such as “Wildwood Flower” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” have influenced countless musicians and remain timeless country standards. The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song is not only a unique illustrated biography, but a moving account that reveals the family’s rise to success, their struggles along the way, and their impact on contemporary music. Illustrated with exacting detail and written in the Southern dialect of the time, its dynamic narrative is pure Americana. It is also a story of success and failure, of poverty and wealth, of racism and tolerance, of creativity and business, and of the power of music and love. Includes bonus CD with original Carter Family music. Praise for The Carter Family: "What a fine marriage of form and content! Humble and moving—straightforward with occasional breathtaking bravura passages—this book echoes the Carter Family's rough-hewn sounds. It tells of the lives, sorrows, and values of a lost America in short episodes like a giant stack of old 78s. Using the vocabulary of comic strips like Little Orphan Annie and Gasoline Alley, it's as obsessive in its dedication to vernacular craft and hard work as A.P. Carter himself. Frank Young and David Lasky have spun a work of visual music that will replay in your head and heart well after you've finished reading it."—Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer/artist of Maus “Charming, faithful, and resonant . . . will charm the pants off you.” —The Comics Journal “Lasky’s gorgeous artwork animates the story and evokes a mood that mirrors the era and the music.” —NPR.org “Pure pleasure for anyone interested in music history.” —The Seattle Times “Cracking open The Carter Family feels like putting on a vintage 78: moody hearty Americana emanates hauntingly. Enlivening this graphic biography of the legendary country music family are both Frank M. Young’s dialogue, which replicates the vernacular to a T but oh so naturally, and David Lasky’s understated and elegant illustrations which resonate like the music they depict.” —HeebMagazine.com  

30 review for The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    We now have around 90 years of recorded music – before 1925 it’s not that good, partly due to the poor songs ("Don’t Dilly Dally on the Way", "My Word you do Look Queer", "Ma He’s Making Eyes at Me") but mostly because they had to yell down a horn to record anything before 1925. The way popular Anglo-American music evolved over the decades was fast. Genres were borned, fizzed awhile, then phoenixed into something newer. I see this as a spectacular collaboration between Scottish, Irish and Englis We now have around 90 years of recorded music – before 1925 it’s not that good, partly due to the poor songs ("Don’t Dilly Dally on the Way", "My Word you do Look Queer", "Ma He’s Making Eyes at Me") but mostly because they had to yell down a horn to record anything before 1925. The way popular Anglo-American music evolved over the decades was fast. Genres were borned, fizzed awhile, then phoenixed into something newer. I see this as a spectacular collaboration between Scottish, Irish and English people, black American people and white American people – five distinct cultures (along with a jillion subcultures) colliding, stealing, joyfully re-stealing, enhancing, rewriting, improving and getting impatient with and changing around each other’s music. Folk into hillbilly, string band, bluegrass, old timey, morphing into Nashville countrypolitan, and outlaw and newgrass, meantime race records, the original name, umbrella for gospel, jubilee quartet and country blues which citified and somewhere decades later anglified into blues rock and heavy metal – whilst at the same time race rechristened rhythm & blues became soul; jazz beginning with Dixieland getting fancier with swing and druggier with bebop, and god save us from free and fusion; black music doesn’t stand still for long, look at all the microgenres of dance music (hardcore handbag! Trip hop! Ambient frog! Terrorcore! Only one of those is made up!). The Carter Family were like the bedrock laid down as a place to stand for all the other musicians to leap off of, like the Beatles of country music if the Beatles had been mostly women singing glum religious songs and laments about mothers dying in little log cabins and children in train wrecks and the United States Postal Service wrecking people’s lives by misdirecting mail. Don’t buy a ticket to ride from the Carter Family. It will end in tears. If they want to hold your hand it will be because they’re going to be hanged tomorrow and you’re their whitehaired mother who’s a thousand miles away. Their antique, starchy but for all that moving and lovely songs reached back into the previous century as AP Carter mostly stole them from Victorian songbooks. I thought a graphic novelisation of this curious story would be a blast, and it kind of was, but there was one big pain in the neck which I must call attention to: phonetic speech. Like when you pick up Wuthering Heights for the first time and are confronted with the outrageous Nellie Dean : ‘“T’ maister nobbut just buried, and Sabbath not o’ered, und t’ sound o’ t’ gospel still i’ yer lugs, and ye darr be laiking! Shame on ye! sit ye down, ill childer! there’s good books eneugh if ye’ll read ’em: sit ye down, and think o’ yer sowls!” I imagine many a reader has dropped this classic like a rat mistaken for a chihuahua after a few pages of that. In this graphic novel we get : Put thet out! It’s pyzen! It’ll roon y’r fine singin’ voice! You ever flied in an airplane? No, but I been on a motersickle. ‘S this all y’do when I’m not here? Just lollygag around pickin’ daisies? Thing is, it kinda makes ‘em sound a bit like dim-witted-hillbillies, which no-one wanting to read this book wants to think like. Shore, it were a artistic decision, but I warn’t tickled pink ‘bout it, no sirree. If you’re thinking of writing a novel, don’t do phonetic speech! It’s never good! The Carter Family - they didn't smile much.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    AP Carter, his wife Sarah and his cousin Maybelle make up the Carter Family, who were foundational in country music, bridging the nineteenth century period of English and Scottish ballads, which they played, to the Old Time country music they spread from the Appalachians across the country. Who cares? Well Mother Maybelle, whose invention of a kind of guitar strumming influenced country music for a long time, and who was the Grandame of Country Music for decades of musicians, was the mother of J AP Carter, his wife Sarah and his cousin Maybelle make up the Carter Family, who were foundational in country music, bridging the nineteenth century period of English and Scottish ballads, which they played, to the Old Time country music they spread from the Appalachians across the country. Who cares? Well Mother Maybelle, whose invention of a kind of guitar strumming influenced country music for a long time, and who was the Grandame of Country Music for decades of musicians, was the mother of June Carter, with whom she also played with for many years. June Carter married Johnny Cash, who we all still care about today as a one who made country music popular. Talk about heritage, though eh? Don't know this music? The book comes with a rare CD recording of the Carter Family that will get you interested, I think. The book is sort of a straightforward honest biography which has too much to tell in a graphic format so it feels a bit superficial, though it doesn't just narrate events, we see stuff happen, as opposed to most biographies, so I'll give them credit for that. I like the art, it's attractive and colorful and there's a section of four panel pages in black and white that tries for something different, but it is mainly trying to introduce us to their lives and careers so doesn't experiment very much with the telling. Most graph biographies, I have come to find, sort of suck. This one doesn't, but it is still not great, in my opinion. And I like old timer music and bluegrass and was pretty familiar with them and the music. This one is informed by archival research, other biographies, interviews, and is lovingly told, and a contribution to music history, attractively if not innovatively done. It's honest, not just deifying them. AP, for instance, comes off pretty much as a jerk throughout, though he was also tireless in arching great music he found all over the South. Maybe 3.5 is more like it than the 3 I give it. And its more fun if you listen to he music as you read. All music biographies should include required listening, since it is obviously tough to get the heart of the work from just watching people play music in comic format… In this book you get a feel for music history, but you also get a feel for the South in a few deft moments over the space of a few decades.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emilia P

    Ok, I read this book for a book club. It was first of all, pretty great, well told, quietly dramatic, but ultimately (and hence the 3 stars) extremely dry. Like ... I think it probably captured the reality of the story it was telling but it was documentary to the point of dragging. I was all prepared to go to book club and sing its praises but in hindsight, it was just okay, and I would not have sought it out or been particularly intrigued by it. I would rather watch a PBS documentary on the Car Ok, I read this book for a book club. It was first of all, pretty great, well told, quietly dramatic, but ultimately (and hence the 3 stars) extremely dry. Like ... I think it probably captured the reality of the story it was telling but it was documentary to the point of dragging. I was all prepared to go to book club and sing its praises but in hindsight, it was just okay, and I would not have sought it out or been particularly intrigued by it. I would rather watch a PBS documentary on the Carters or listen to the recordings referenced in the book....yep. For Carters/old time country devotees and not for everybody.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steve Bennett

    This graphic novel deserves high praise. I guess my highest recommendation is that I stayed up until 1:30AM last night to finish reading this book. It tells the story of The Carter Family, focusing mostly, but by no means entirely, on AP Carter. The book reads almost like a modern passion play, including tales of innocence, love, betrayal, success, lonliness, racism, greed, and ultimately death, all anchored by the strength of family and love for music. One of the things I like most about the bo This graphic novel deserves high praise. I guess my highest recommendation is that I stayed up until 1:30AM last night to finish reading this book. It tells the story of The Carter Family, focusing mostly, but by no means entirely, on AP Carter. The book reads almost like a modern passion play, including tales of innocence, love, betrayal, success, lonliness, racism, greed, and ultimately death, all anchored by the strength of family and love for music. One of the things I like most about the book is that it aptly describes all the characters' moral strengths and weaknesses. While the drawings are less than perfect (I constantly had trouble differentiating most of the people drawn) the drawings certainly add to the joy of the book. This book has a very high Fun Factor, on the same scale as driving a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee with a V-8 engine, listening to Bob Dylan play Honest With Me live with Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton on dual guitars, or playing with a Scottish Terrier puppy. Good stuff.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    Excellent graphic novel biography of the Carter Family. A bit of focus on AP Carter, which was nice--his obsession resulted in their success, but at great cost to his family.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dov Zeller

    I read this sometime in the last year and will need to read it again before I can write a review. But I do remember enjoying it and learning quite a bit, so, for now I'll leave it at 4 stars. I read this sometime in the last year and will need to read it again before I can write a review. But I do remember enjoying it and learning quite a bit, so, for now I'll leave it at 4 stars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris Browning

    This is a lovely book and possibly the best biographical comic I’ve read: mainly because Young and Lasky very obviously love the subject matter deeply but add to it this beautiful sense of melancholy and space. It’s a book where distances between people on the page speaks volumes, where body language is as much of a character as the people, where figures are setting off or returning from long journeys... it’s a book where the action seems to happen off the page as much as it does on it. The occa This is a lovely book and possibly the best biographical comic I’ve read: mainly because Young and Lasky very obviously love the subject matter deeply but add to it this beautiful sense of melancholy and space. It’s a book where distances between people on the page speaks volumes, where body language is as much of a character as the people, where figures are setting off or returning from long journeys... it’s a book where the action seems to happen off the page as much as it does on it. The occasional playing with the format, when black and white comic strip pastiches turn up for example, helps enormously to balance the story out. And there’s a beautiful, minimalist fluidity to the art too. It’s a huge achievement and almost made me cry in a couple of places

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kimee

    What a gorgeous little book. I want to read a graphic novel about all my favorite music artists. I love the panels with Sara and A.P. singing that would turn into roses; the way A.P.'s heartbreak was depicted; the apple tree. What a gorgeous little book. I want to read a graphic novel about all my favorite music artists. I love the panels with Sara and A.P. singing that would turn into roses; the way A.P.'s heartbreak was depicted; the apple tree.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Miss Eliza)

    While it's a very interesting biography on the Carter Family, I feel that it suffers from a lack of actually showing their impact on music. What about the 50s, 60s, 70s? This just ends and it's over. Even just a timeline of later events would have shown the scope. As it is it feels like a story of musicians who might have been regionally popular but didn't have a big following. Which could be farther from the truth. Also the artist isn't good and distinguishing between characters and don't get m While it's a very interesting biography on the Carter Family, I feel that it suffers from a lack of actually showing their impact on music. What about the 50s, 60s, 70s? This just ends and it's over. Even just a timeline of later events would have shown the scope. As it is it feels like a story of musicians who might have been regionally popular but didn't have a big following. Which could be farther from the truth. Also the artist isn't good and distinguishing between characters and don't get me started on how badly he draws children. I did like the inclusion of a CD of their music. That was a nice touch.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Owen Curtsinger

    A wonderfully charming and informative biography of an American family and their undeniably capital-A American story: their modest origins, their rise to greatness, flirtations with the dangers of business and profiteering, their struggles to maintain a family, and their heartbreaking downfall. Young and Lasky have perfected the art of graphic history, but not just because they have few great contemporaries to be found. Young's capturing of the old Virginian drawl coupled with Lasky's simple and A wonderfully charming and informative biography of an American family and their undeniably capital-A American story: their modest origins, their rise to greatness, flirtations with the dangers of business and profiteering, their struggles to maintain a family, and their heartbreaking downfall. Young and Lasky have perfected the art of graphic history, but not just because they have few great contemporaries to be found. Young's capturing of the old Virginian drawl coupled with Lasky's simple and bold illustrations make for a memorable history lesson that isn't too flashy in narrative or overly full of conjecture. They just show and tell us what is known about the Carters, and the result is effortlessly entertaining. The book itself is a marvel to hold in your hands, and to listen to the accompanying tunes while reading along is an experience that any music lover, history buff, or comic reader savor.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tatiana

    I was very sorry indeed when I finished this book, I wanted it to keep going! A compelling and amazing story of one of America's greatest music acts. The characters come alive on the pages. The classic composition of the artwork harkens of Lil Orphan Annie, The Yellow Kid, Gasoline Alley, and other newspaper comics of the time. The old-timey feel to the linework and text, as well as the choice of colors, helped to create the time warp I took back to the 1920s, where I avidly followed the Carter I was very sorry indeed when I finished this book, I wanted it to keep going! A compelling and amazing story of one of America's greatest music acts. The characters come alive on the pages. The classic composition of the artwork harkens of Lil Orphan Annie, The Yellow Kid, Gasoline Alley, and other newspaper comics of the time. The old-timey feel to the linework and text, as well as the choice of colors, helped to create the time warp I took back to the 1920s, where I avidly followed the Carter Family's heartbreaking, inspiring, and mind blowing exploits and exploitations, as they climb the ladder of fame by any means necessary.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alger Smythe-Hopkins

    The Carter's story is so compelling and tragic that it is hard to imagine a book that could fail to be interesting so long as it stuck to the story. Fortunately Young has done more than that, and the episodic approach that he takes to their lives meshes well with the fits and starts of their career. The CD is nothing special, a collection of 1939 XERA broadcasts that includes a few of the older hits alongside a few of the new ones from that year. It supports the book which is it's intended purpo The Carter's story is so compelling and tragic that it is hard to imagine a book that could fail to be interesting so long as it stuck to the story. Fortunately Young has done more than that, and the episodic approach that he takes to their lives meshes well with the fits and starts of their career. The CD is nothing special, a collection of 1939 XERA broadcasts that includes a few of the older hits alongside a few of the new ones from that year. It supports the book which is it's intended purpose.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Anyone not named Frank M. Young or David Lasky should just ask for their GN's back from the Eisner comitee. I have always been a fan of the band the Carter Family but, shy of June knew little about them. If you want to experiencee how wonderful and dreadful the South was in the 20's through the 40's this may be as close as you will ever get. The storytelling is down home but always wildly inventive. Just a joy to read even when thing got a bit dire and depressing. Anyone not named Frank M. Young or David Lasky should just ask for their GN's back from the Eisner comitee. I have always been a fan of the band the Carter Family but, shy of June knew little about them. If you want to experiencee how wonderful and dreadful the South was in the 20's through the 40's this may be as close as you will ever get. The storytelling is down home but always wildly inventive. Just a joy to read even when thing got a bit dire and depressing.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    This is just a fantastic book, really! And for some reason, the graphic novel format just matches up perfectly with the story that it tells. I am not particularly a fan of the Carter Family or their style of music, but I loved this book all the same.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Snow

    reviewing for Unshelved's Book Club reviewing for Unshelved's Book Club

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marq

    I've been waiting years for this book. It didn't disappoint. I've been waiting years for this book. It didn't disappoint.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brian Sendelbach

    Can't recommend this highly enough. Can't recommend this highly enough.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jen Vaughn

    Hell yeah! Quiet story about quiet people. Beautiful music.

  19. 5 out of 5

    MariNaomi

    This is fantastic.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cooper Renner

    A very cool history of the Carter Family focusing on their "glory" years from the late 1920s to the '40s, written in graphic novel format. A very cool history of the Carter Family focusing on their "glory" years from the late 1920s to the '40s, written in graphic novel format.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    http://mariesbookgarden.blogspot.com/... Told in graphic novel style, The Carter Family tells the story of how this country's Americana grandmothers and grandfathers got their start in music. I enjoyed reading about the history of this talented musical family. http://mariesbookgarden.blogspot.com/... Told in graphic novel style, The Carter Family tells the story of how this country's Americana grandmothers and grandfathers got their start in music. I enjoyed reading about the history of this talented musical family.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This book is written like a Comic Book strip which somehow I didn't realize until after I had purchased the book. I was worried this might drive me crazy but once I started reading it I really enjoyed the format. If you are interested in music history or the Carter family I would highly recommend this book. The only negative is that the print is small so get out your reading glasses. This book is written like a Comic Book strip which somehow I didn't realize until after I had purchased the book. I was worried this might drive me crazy but once I started reading it I really enjoyed the format. If you are interested in music history or the Carter family I would highly recommend this book. The only negative is that the print is small so get out your reading glasses.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Susan Haines

    It was an informative book, maybe a good introduction into the Carter family that kept things simple and told a narrative that sounded part-true, part-folk tale. There are lots of unanswered questions, such as what happened to AP for taking credit for writing the songs he was collecting and why they were so poor even after becoming famous but kept the producer who was ripping them off.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Luke Shea

    Contains maybe my favorite visual depiction of music of all time. Beautiful work!

  25. 4 out of 5

    D.

    A strangely arms-length-distance biography of the titular singing group, done in the style of old-time comic strips. It's interesting, but it never really connected with me on an emotional level. I think this would be best read with a more book-length biography, because I spent a lot of time feeling like I didn't quite "get it." Clearly a labor of love for the artist and writer, and very well done, but it just didn't work for me as a casual fan. A strangely arms-length-distance biography of the titular singing group, done in the style of old-time comic strips. It's interesting, but it never really connected with me on an emotional level. I think this would be best read with a more book-length biography, because I spent a lot of time feeling like I didn't quite "get it." Clearly a labor of love for the artist and writer, and very well done, but it just didn't work for me as a casual fan.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Loraine

    This is my first "graphic novel experience," unintended and . . . disappointing (at best). I requested a number of books from different libraries, because I have a great love for the music of The Original Carter Family. They were what is called a bridge band, in that they somehow bridged the cultural chasm between 19th century ballads, Irish scaffold songs, laments and hymns and the emerging musical tastes shaped by the modernity of the 20th. A.P. Carter is responsible for mining the hills for v This is my first "graphic novel experience," unintended and . . . disappointing (at best). I requested a number of books from different libraries, because I have a great love for the music of The Original Carter Family. They were what is called a bridge band, in that they somehow bridged the cultural chasm between 19th century ballads, Irish scaffold songs, laments and hymns and the emerging musical tastes shaped by the modernity of the 20th. A.P. Carter is responsible for mining the hills for vast numbers of old-time music. Those tunes were heard across the country via the magic of radio, and became the source of country, folk, and bluegrass music as we know it today. I did not pay attention to detail and would not have requested The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song if I had noticed that it was a graphic novel. So there you go. Maybe it's just my predisposition to a lack of enthusiasm for this format that my reaction is so strongly negative. I even sought out a number of reviews in the hopes that my reaction might soften a bit. I think the authors were/are sincere in their love and respect for The Original Carter Family, but . . . I didn't think the line drawings, the cartoons, were that good. And the whole book just seemed like one Beverly Hillbilly stereotype after another. So . . . despite reading a number of interesting (and positive) reviews, I'm still left with the impression that I read a Cliff Notes version of the life of the Carters, one loaded with stereotypes.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jack Cheng

    Frank Young and David Lasky’s Carter Family is told almost like a serialized comic. Many “chapters” are 1-4 pages long, detailing a particular event -- Maybelle marrying AP’s brother Eck, or AP asking his publisher to give songwriting credit to a fellow song collector. Being less familiar with the Carter Family’s story, some of these events suggested portent (Janette saving up for her own autoharp and AP buying chickens with the money instead) or highlights that I didn’t recognize (the dates for Frank Young and David Lasky’s Carter Family is told almost like a serialized comic. Many “chapters” are 1-4 pages long, detailing a particular event -- Maybelle marrying AP’s brother Eck, or AP asking his publisher to give songwriting credit to a fellow song collector. Being less familiar with the Carter Family’s story, some of these events suggested portent (Janette saving up for her own autoharp and AP buying chickens with the money instead) or highlights that I didn’t recognize (the dates for the first recordings of particular songs, for example. The Carter Family does not shy away from character flaws and bad choices. AP walks around with his head in the clouds, leaving for long stretches to find new songs, Sara meets her second husband, Coy Bays. In contrast, Eck and Maybelle are shown to have a happy marriage, investing in new technologies like a washing machine while AP and Sara always seem on the brink of bankruptcy. At one point, AP cuts down Sara’s favorite tree to make a cabinet out of the wood and her reaction shows the marriage is doomed. Young and Lasky’s story is told in color except for a section where the vignettes are shortened to a four panel strip format for ten pages. The art is not particularly stylish or bold and the characters can sometimes be hard to distinguish, although the dialogue clears that up. The Carter Family also comes with a cd of radio recordings from 1939.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Cash

    This is one of the greatest musical biographies and graphic novels I have ever read. It is a great supplement to the more detailed Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?: The Carter Family and Their Legacy in American Music. This book makes you feel as if you are a personal friend of the Carter's. You see their struggles and their triumphs first hand. The centerpiece of the story is A.P., the flawed yet brilliant and under-appreciated folk song collector. His impact on country music is enormous, and it This is one of the greatest musical biographies and graphic novels I have ever read. It is a great supplement to the more detailed Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?: The Carter Family and Their Legacy in American Music. This book makes you feel as if you are a personal friend of the Carter's. You see their struggles and their triumphs first hand. The centerpiece of the story is A.P., the flawed yet brilliant and under-appreciated folk song collector. His impact on country music is enormous, and it would be rare to find someone who does not connect with his story. I read this in one sitting, but it felt like I just lived through decades of history. The Carter Family is most importantly a story of love and music. To not recommend this book is impossible, it is not only educational in many ways but it is thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking. It is also very powerful, moving, and inspirational. To adapt this story to the form of a graphic novel was a perfect choice. I can't highly recommend this enough. The music and The Carters live on.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    This graphic novel is, as its title suggests, about the Carter Family -- a husband, a wife, and a cousin in Virginia who become successful country/folk singers (one member of the group is mother to a little girl who will grow up to be June Carter Cash, although June's appearance in this book is relatively minor). We start with the courtship of two of the he group's singers, see the process by which Pleasant Carter assembles and arranges songs, and watch as they catch attention, grow popular, end This graphic novel is, as its title suggests, about the Carter Family -- a husband, a wife, and a cousin in Virginia who become successful country/folk singers (one member of the group is mother to a little girl who will grow up to be June Carter Cash, although June's appearance in this book is relatively minor). We start with the courtship of two of the he group's singers, see the process by which Pleasant Carter assembles and arranges songs, and watch as they catch attention, grow popular, endure financial ups and downs, witness Jim Crow, and eventually helm a radio show in Texas. Meanwhile, the pursuit of songs takes its toll on marriage and family, although part of what is nice about the book is the underlying loyalty family members have to on another throughout. I would have liked to see a bit more about the songs and their lyrics (I am not a country or folk music fan so was not familiar with the hints), but the book does come with a CD that permits you to hear the Carter family in action.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is fairly well-done, based on thorough very research of relevant interviews (some conducted by the author) and archival materials. The drawing style is reminiscent of Harold Gray's Little Orphan Annie or perhaps latter-day Chester Brown in his Louis Riel mode. It's a compelling story and Young paces the material nicely, though it sometimes feels a bit like a book report, with certain sequences being overburdened with info-dumps about things like developments in recording technology, etc. Th This is fairly well-done, based on thorough very research of relevant interviews (some conducted by the author) and archival materials. The drawing style is reminiscent of Harold Gray's Little Orphan Annie or perhaps latter-day Chester Brown in his Louis Riel mode. It's a compelling story and Young paces the material nicely, though it sometimes feels a bit like a book report, with certain sequences being overburdened with info-dumps about things like developments in recording technology, etc. There are moments when the minimal drawing style doesn't really serve the material well (different characters are drawn very similarly, backgrounds are often almost non-existent) but there are also moments of almost lyrical beauty, such as some of the black and white vignettes done in the style of four panel newspaper strips or the beautifully-drawn endpapers, including an almost Jim Woodring-esque depiction of A.P.Carter's mother being scared by lightning under an apple tree.

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