Cynthia Clark Harvey's List of Graphic Novel Must-Reads (Before You Check Out This Year's Bestsellers)

sailor twain pg 75.jpeg
Sailor Twain -- Mark Siegel, First Second
5. Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel; First Second
A novel (that just happens to be graphic) filled with memorable characters, including a mermaid, who is no shiny, Disney-fied fish-girl, but is a sexy, scheming creature from the deep and charcoal illustrations that are a joy to behold. I'd hang almost any page of this book on my wall as art.

Siegel, a children's book author and illustrator, previous graphic novelist and editorial director at First Second, a graphic novel publisher, knows exactly what he's doing in marrying story, words, and pictures and it shows. This is a big fat book that can deliver the story as fast as you can flip the pages, but that begs you to return to linger and put together the pieces you missed the first time or two through. I borrowed it from the library, but I probably have to go buy this one.

Here's the catch in trying to play catch up: Each book I read didn't help me to cross off anything from my reading list -- it just made me want to read the next or the previous (or the serialized version or the minicomics or something else) work of the authors. So instead of a clean slate, I got a more crowded one -- and I haven't yet cracked a single book of the now not-so New Year.

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