Graphic Novels

For a number of years Beau L'Amour worked to get the opportunity to produce a Graphic Novel based on one or another of his father's novels and short stories. He had all but given up when he was approached by Charles Santino, a comic book adapter and packager with the same idea. Before trying their luck on the open market they made one more attempt to sell the idea to Random House and in 2010 they succeeded. The material chosen was the short story "Law of the Desert Born" and Charles began by adapting a movie script of that story that Beau had written with his long time audio writing partner Katherine Nolan.

The material went through several stages of refinement; with more screenplay drafts being written by L'Amour as well as his carefully preparing an on line encyclopedia of location, costume, prop and character photographs, sketches and maps. The screenplay then underwent a careful conversion by Santino into the graphic novel script form. Veteran comics artist Thomas Yeates was chosen to do the illustrations and over the course of two years he and Beau collaborated to produce the more than seven hundred panel in the finished book. They used both old school, meaning black and white "wash" or watercolor techniques and digital compositing to produce the final effect. The result was so stunning that Random House agreed to release the book in an oversized format to allow the art to truly be appreciated. In the end the book received a number of awards and notices; including an Eisner nomination (the comic book equivalent of an Academy Award), a Feathered Quill, and a "Best Graphic Novels of 2013" from the Village Voice. Law of the Desert Born, the Graphic Novel also received feature coverage in Publishers Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, Library Journal and Cowboys and Indians magazine.

Law of the Desert Born

The first graphic novel adaptation from master storyteller Louis L'Amour is a dynamic tale of the Old West that explores the borderlands of loyalty and betrayal with the emotional grittiness of a noir thriller.

A land in the midst of the worst drought anyone can remember. Family histories run deep, but when rancher Tom Forrester has his access to the Pecos River cut off by the son of his old partner, he convinces his foreman, Shad Marone, to pay Jud Bowman back for the discourtesy. Yet what starts out as a simple act of thievery or petty revenge quickly spirals into a cycle of violence that no one can control.

CLICK to find out more about the Law of the Desert Born Graphic Novel.

Read the original short story in PDF.

The Making of The Law of the Desert Born

The creators: (from top left) Beau L'Amour and Thomas Yeates, Louis L'Amour, Charlie Santino, and Katherine Nolan

An extensive web site was created for research and inspiration containing thousands of images in categories like Costumes/Props, Activities, Locations and Maps.

Beau and Thomas worked with a map and Beau's own
photos and on-site research to get the locations right
even down to the direction of the sun and shadows!

Thomas' amazing ability to show subtle detail
makes the pages beautiful and expressive
even without much text.

Last of the Breed

While we were producing the art for Law of the Desert Born Beau wrote a good deal of the first draft to a Graphic Novel script for Last of the Breed. It was intended to be a four part Mini Series set in the 1960s and confronting both the almost unknown era in Native American history in the '20s and '30s, and the failing experiment that was the Soviet Union.

Even though Beau only was able to write part of this script before discovering it did not have any immediate future it was still a great deal of fun and also a significant challenge. Last of the Breed is a good deal tougher to adapt than it seems on the surface. More on that later ...

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Last of the Breed Graphic Novel

Another Lost Treasure ... You can find out more and read the initial script as a part of Louis L'Amour's Lost Treasures Web Site Exclusives!