Thursday, September 29, 2011

Buffalo Chips: The Shocking Truth!

We'll spare you an illustration. David rendered this all-organic prairie alternative to wood several times in the course of The Road To Destiny.

When I wrote this book, I thought about how to approach this very real aspect of frontier life. I knew that the mention of "buffalo chips" would cause boy readers to smirk and guffaw--much as I would have done, in my childhood.

The best way to lay it on the table is as matter-of-factly as the emigrants would have faced the issue. Picking up the droppings of buffalo is no Sunday picnic, then or now. With trees at a premium--one that would increase tenfold as more people took the Oregon Trail trip--the dried leavings of these hoofed beasts were a traveler's best insurance of being able to cook a hot meal, boil water for drinking, shaving and washing, and (most importantly) make coffee.

David did a beautiful job on this page, in which Rebecca makes a practical decision between great literature and fuel for the fire:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our First Review (That We Know Of)!

Barbara Lloyd McMichael reviewed The Road To Destiny for the Bellingham, Washington Herald. Here's what she says about our book:

So now for something completely different: "Oregon Trail: The Road to Destiny." Sasquatch Books has just published this graphic novel by two Seattle cartoonists, Frank Young and David Lasky.

The story follows the fictional Weston family as it sets out on the Oregon Trail in 1848. We experience their bumpy progress and misadventures through the eyes of 11-year-old Rebecca Weston.

This is a story with action and pizzazz: SMASH! THUD! GRRRRRR... typical cartoon sound effects abound as the overland party fords rivers, meets with Indians, hunts game, crosses treacherous mountains, and copes with drought, disease, and heart-wrenching loss.

There is plenty of historical information packed into these energetic pages, but kids are so busy being entertained they won't resist being educated at the same time - heck, they won't even notice!

See Ms. McMichael's review in the Bellingham Herald HERE. We've gotten a couple of nice reviews on, and we hope to get more press coverage of the book this fall. In the meantime, Thanks, Barbara!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Secret Garden Book Signing...

If you weren't able to attend Tuesday night's book launch and singing at Seattle's Secret Garden bookstore, here are a couple-three photos taken by a friend who attended the event. It was a great time overall--around 80 folks showed up, and we sold at least 40 copies of the book. All in all, a most heartening event in which to christen the release of our first graphic novel as a collaborative team (and our first graphic novel, period)!

Local videographer Ron Austin shot some footage of the event. When he gets that edited together, we'll post a link to the video here. For now, still images will have to suffice...

Intrepid creative duo David Lasky (in suspenders) and Frank Young (not in suspenders) sign copies of the graphic novel (including free-of-charge sketches) and socialize in eight different directions at once!

A dramatic rear view as we improvise our way through a talk about how the Oregon Trail graphic novel came together. The talk went well, and we had some great questions from the other attendees. Thanks, folks (especially for laughing at my jokes)!

More book signing. We signed a lot of copies that evening! David did a delightful sketch of protagonist Rebecca Weston in many copies; I did my best generic ox portrait in several as well.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who attended--you made it a really special moment in our lives and careers!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Oregon Trail Book Signing in Seattle Tuesday, September 13th!

Photograph by Paul C. Tumey. Thanks, Paul, for snapping this shot for us!

Our fine friends at Secret Garden Books, located in Seattle's charming Ballard neighborhood, are hosts of the first official Oregon Trail graphic novel event.

Tuesday, Septembee 13th, from 7 PM to 8 (and possibly later), David and I will be at the Secret Garden to sign copies of our graphic novel. If you're in the area, please stop by and say hi!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On Sept 13, 2011, at Secret Garden Books, in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood, Frank and I will be having our Oregon Trail book launch party! Come on by at 7pm and have your copy signed. I will even draw a little sketch of Becca, the book's main character, if you ask.

If you can't make it, the book is in stores NOW and also available from online retailers!