The true story, 65-page graphic novel of a cunning wolf, a tireless hunter, and his legacy of redemption.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
6 months ago
– Sun, Jun 25, 2023 at 09:08:35 AM
We are very grateful to have Ernest Thompson Seton's granddaughter write the Foreword for our book. She has been a champion of this project and will be sharing information about the book during presentations around the world. She is also involved in a motion picture project being developed. The following is a draft of her contribution. We will be trimming it down, especially the gooshy part about us in the beginning. Enjoy!
Robert Young masterfully and dramatically retells the Lobo story. The words are enhanced and put into context with the beautiful, bold, and colorful illustrations by Daniel A. Becker that transport us back to the New Mexico Territory in the 1890s. Young also exposes some history that points out the differences between how Native Peoples of North America and the Europeans who came to conquer them view and treat the natural world, wolves in particular.
The story of Lobo is based on true experiences recorded by Ernest Thompson Seton in his field journal. He hunted wolves from 1882 through 1894. In the original published story, he combined characteristics of several wolves he had known into a “super” wolf, that is extraordinarily cunning, noble, and courageous. The Lobo story is a part of the fabric of my life. As a youngster, I was awed by Lobo’s character. I learned to respect and cherish wild animals and the wilderness from this and other stories he wrote.
Seton penned stories that trigger sympathy for animals and make humankind a dangerous, unrelenting enemy. Portraying an animal as an intelligent, thinking, and emotional creature was unconventional and highly controversial to the nature writers of the time. He proved to the naysayers that he had observed these behaviors by showing them his scientific observations recorded in his journal.
The skepticism no longer exists. Now we readily accept that animals learn, feel emotion, and have social networks; characteristics once reserved exclusively as human. Seton was at the forefront of this change.
I am enthusiastic about this graphic novel because it reaches new audiences and new generations who would probably not pick up a regular book and have never heard the story. This modern format draws them in to read about and love the wily character of Lobo, king of the Currumpaw with his small pack of wolves and Ernest Thompson Seton, the man responsible for the tragic ending.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Julie A. Seton
Granddaughter of Ernest Thompson Seton
Progress report: 1-year on...
6 months ago
– Sat, Jun 10, 2023 at 12:57:52 AM
Page by page...
It is beyond disappoint that I write this progress update...1-YEAR from when we first launched our Kickstarter to fund this graphic novel. At the time, I presumed a lot of things; things that realize now I couldn't back up with action. Prior to taking on this project I was working as a FULL TIME artist, but in July 2022 I took on a part-time job, partly for income, and partly for my own sanity and wellbeing. I foolishly presumed I could continue to produce a fulltime output on a part time schedule. Yeah nah...
Second, and this one is always worth considering, life happens. And more often than not, its good stuff that you've got to make time fore, and not throw friends, family, or your own well being overboard simply to keep cracking on. Nonetheless...time adds up, and before you know it, you're cancelling conventions that you were sure you were going to have a fresh graphic novel to showcase at...
Point being with all this self-pity is that I'm personally VERY sorry that this book has not yet reached your hands, dear supporters. The thought that I would still be working on the book 1-year after launch is thoroughly disheartening, and a massive blow to my pride as an artist that is used to hitting deadlines on the dot. But alas, there is light at the end of this tunnel...
Yeah, the book is looking GORGEOUS. I'm happy to say that the artwork has been coming out as good as I've hoped. Furthermore, I've adopted a more efficient work flow, one that is helping to get more out of my slim time. Some of you may already know of and employ the 'pomodoro technique', which is to work for 20-25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. By breaking up your focus, you're actually giving your mind a chance to double check what you've done, and when you get back to it, you might notice what is working and what needs changing. Furthermore, its helped keep me from narrowing in tooooo much on certain details, and instead see the 'whole' of the image and not start over-cooking it.
After having the story read by some advanced readers, there were some unanimous notes that meant changes were needed. One thing that was brought to my attention was that Ernest Thompson Seton NEVER wrote with a typewriter, that he wrote all his stories by hand. This meant that certain panels in certain scenes needed to be COMPLETELY redone.
Though a pretty good shot (and a damned fine drawing of a typewriter, in perspective, thank you very much), it nonetheless needed to change. At first I simply thought to keep as much of the image as is and just change out the typewriter for a writing stand, but the more I looked at this image, I realized it too was not getting the most out of the space. Sometimes, its just easier to start from scratch and forget about all the hard work that must be scrapped...
This is a much simpler shot, but it works a lot better than the above. And sometimes, that's the best approach, being easy to understand and visually move through the story.
There's so much more progress I'd love to show you all, but it should really just wait for when the book is FINALLY COMPLETE! And this, I hope, will be soon. Seriously, I'm aiming to have the rest of the book (about 30-pages) completely coloured and FINISHED by July. Its a tight schedule (something I'm obviously bad at keeping now), but usually when put under pressure, magic happens.
Till then backers, THANK YOU all again soooooo much for your patience and hopefully a bit of understanding. It will be rewarded soon...
Road Trip Update
7 months ago
– Sat, May 27, 2023 at 09:05:43 AM
My 3,000 mile road trip turned into 3,800 miles and took me through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho before returning to my beloved Oregon. The trip was everything I hoped for. Plus more!
In addition to connecting with family and friends, I was able to take some time to focus on the Lobo story. Daniel's visit to the area las fall inspired me. In Santa Fe, NM I got to meet up with David Witt, Director of the Seton Legacy Project, and a great resource for me when writing the graphic novel. He has studied Seton for several decades and wrote a biography: Ernest Thompson Seton - The Life and Legacy of an Artist and Conservationist. I had peppered David with questions over several years, clarifying and verifying information I came across. David answered them all, with patience and grace. When we met in Santa Fe, David shared many of Seton's original artistic creations, and he walked me around the house that Seton built.
From there, I drove to the northeast corner of the state, where I visited the National Scouting Museum, outside Cimarron, which interprets Seton's contributions to the founding of the Boy Scouts as well as houses artifacts from his life (including Lobo's pelt, which Daniel posted previously).
To top off the experience (literally), I walked the trail atop nearby Capulin volcano. From up there I got a wonderful view of the surrounding area. This was Lobo's territory, where the story took place. It was amazing to be there, and I couldn't help feeling the wolf's presence.
Since returning home, Daniel has sent me his finished artwork and layout for notes. As you've seen in his samples along the way, he's doing a great job! Several trusted editors are going over the book and offering suggestions. As I read through it, I'm wearing my "picky" hat, trying to find anything (typos, wrong words, spacing, confusing illustrations, etc.) that could be revised. Not an easy job for this work. We've had several communications around this, and things are moving along nicely.
The end is nearing...for real.
The progress is progressing
8 months ago
– Wed, Apr 26, 2023 at 04:57:47 PM
This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.
As The End Nears
8 months ago
– Sat, Apr 08, 2023 at 09:31:55 AM
As Daniel finishes up with the coloring, I'll be soon setting out for parts east. My travels will take me to northeast New Mexico, the area where our Lobo story took place during the winter of 1893-94. I'll stop in Santa Fe to meet with David Witt, who wrote an excellent biography of Ernest Thompson Seton and who endured many rounds of questions from me when I was researching and writing the story. David leads the Seton Legacy Project at the Academy for the Love of Learning in Santa Fe. As curator, he oversees research, collections, and exhibitions as well as films and educational programs to continue the legacy of Ernest Thompson Seton.
From Santa Fe, I'll continue to the northeast, to Clayton, where Seton arrived by train in October, 1893. Nearby is Cimarron. On the outskirts is the National Scouting Museum (Seton is credited as one of the founders of the Boy Scouts) and the Philmont Museum, which houses the Seton Memorial Library.
Typically, I like to visit places I'm writing about before or during the research and drafting. So it was when I wrote books on topics such as Ellis Island, Monticello, Mesa Verde, and Old Ironsides. Unfortunately, for several reasons, I didn't take the opportunity for this book. So really, I'll be visiting these places as an interested visitor. Very interested!
I am really grateful for your patience as our book gets completed. I know something about patience. Writers do. We have to, or else we'd go crazy! I began working on this project in 2017, with only a glimmer of hope that it would see the light of day. To be clear, most writing projects don't. But that glimmer was enough, especially given the importance of getting this story out there. That glimmer became a blast of light when Daniel got involved. And now, we are on the edge of completion, and getting it to you.