David Lasky's Short Comic about Johnny Cash
One of the graphic bios central to this project is Frank M. Young and David Lasky's The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song (2012). This family graphic biography focuses on Alvin Pleasant (A.P.) Carter, his wife Sara, and her cousin, Maybelle (later “Mother Carter”). Together, as The Carter Family, they recorded modernized versions of traditional Appalachian folk songs, such as “Can the Circle be Unbroken?” and “Keep On the Sunny Side,” that have become standards in the North American folk songbook.
I am interested in how The Carter Family represents the sonic culture of folk music by embracing and even transforming popular visual cultures of the US South. It plays with some Southern myths in its narrative of the family’s public and private lives, but also in its stylistic pastiche of earlier American serial comics, which of course developed along a similar timeline to American country music as two new forms of mass culture in the early twentieth century.
Today, the Carter Family name is often attached to Johnny Cash, whose marriage to June Carter forms the epilogue to the graphic biography of the older generation. So, it seems fitting that David Lasky drew a short comic for KEXP radio about Johnny Cash to celebrate the 2nd Annual International Cash Day on February 26, 2016, which would have been The Man in Black's 84th birthday. You can get to this short comic, titled "Cash '68," at the Carter Family Blog.