Most people have probably not heard of Carol Lay. But then most people don’t know who our vice president is. Most people probably can’t find South America on a map and almost certainly not on a map of the New York subway system. The point is that despite not knowing her name, most of us have seen her work. She’s had work in daily and weekly newspapers here and abroad, MAD, The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly and a host of other publications. She’s had her own comic book series, and created the popular alternative cartoon strip Story Minute. Okay, I guess you need to willingly read to have seen her work, so we are still talking about a minority, darn it. It’s true, nearly all her work, with the lucky exception of Entertainment Weekly, is aimed at the niche of the population that reads. Anyway, why did we start with proclamations about quantities and percentages anyways? Did it just seem like a smart way to begin?
The point is, her work is really, really good. She is brilliant. She is the cartoon epitome of wit and cleverness and we are very lucky and delighted that she will be gracing our festival.
In fact, she is so funny and clever that upon reading this introduction of herself she has sent me an edited and re-written version. It is much better than what you have just read. It is funnier, more insightful but also more succinct. And yet somehow poignant at the same time. The nerve. It will never see the light of day.
I went on so long about Carol that now I feel the burden of writing an equal amount about David. Oh wait, that’s about me, not him.
In any case, David Lasky is the best looking man to ever strike me in the face and I still live in fear of him. Well, that’s still mostly about me.
Okay, David Lasky has been writing and drawing comics for over twenty years and is a long-time fixture in the Seattle cartooning scene. He is a two time Toonie Award winner — which has a really nice ring to it. He has produced a scad or two of mini-comics including the oft reprinted Minit Classics Presents: Ulysses. He’s also worked on several full size comics such as Boom Boom Comics, Urban Hipster, and Soixante Neuf, and also appeared in numerous anthologies including Kramers Ergot, Best American Comics, Yiddishkeit, The Graphic Canon vol.2, What to Read in the Rain, and many others… In fact, he’s created so many comics that his work is often listed in run-on sentences.
But Lasky has been a little slow to jump on the graphic novel bandwagon and only now, with The Carter Family, is he getting reviewed in those magazines that all the finer sorts of people read. So yes, he’s a bit of a middle-aged up-and-comer. I guess all that experience is worth something because The Carter Family is a flawless tour de force fueled with love, skill, and hours of research.
Lasky has been an exhibitor during many previous Olympia Comics Festivals but we are thrilled to feature him this year as a Guest of Honor.
Also, he is really nice. Super nice. You should ask to borrow money from him.
Frank M. Young
This guy has collaborated on two books now with David Lasky, so we thought we’d better include him. Those two books are the previously mentioned The Carter Family and a graphic novel for younger readers, Oregon Trail: The Road to Destiny. On The Carter Family, Young was the primary colorist as well as writer. These books are true collaborations and not the results of some kind of assembly line machination.
Young has several other notable accomplishments within the field of comics. He was the managing editor of The Comics Journal from 1991 – ’92, a period for which the magazine won a Harvey Award. He was the color and graytone painter for the recently released graphic novel Good Riddance by Cynthia Copeland. And in 2008 he sat on the advisory board to select stories for Art Spiegelman’s The Toon Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics.
But perhaps his coolest previous collaboration was working with Justin Green on the Musical Legends strips for Tower Records’ Pulse! Magazine. Was this the greatest strip about musicians ever? Yes, yes it was. And I expect it prepared him for working on the epic Carter Family book.
We are honored that Young will be joining us at the festival this year.