In Mark Siegel's dense, romantically tragic graphic novel, the reader is drawn into New York in the Gilded Age as a riverboat captain pulls a mermaid from the Hudson River. The charcoal art adds to the feeling of dipping into the mists of history.
‘Harvey Pekar's Cleveland' by Harvey Pekar and Joseph Remnant
Writer Pekar (“American Splendor), who died in 2010, is the writer of this memoir of Cleveland, interspersed with his own personal stories of life in the city. Artist Joseph Remnant brings the stories to life.
‘Underwater Welder' by Jeff Lemire
Jack Joseph welds underwater pipes for an oil rig off the Nova Scotia coast. As he prepares to become a father for the first time, something unusual happens: He's visited by the ghost of his dead father. The story has been compared to “Twilight Zone,” and that's both fair and apt.
‘The Hive' by Charles Burns
In the second part of Charles Burns' trilogy that began with “X'ed Out,” Doug travels into a dark alternate world where he is an employee of the Hive. The surrealistic tale is part “Tintin,” part David Lynch.
‘The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song' by Frank M. Young and David Lasky
“The Carter Family: Don't Forget This Song” relates the story of the first superstars of country music, the Carter Family. (Member June Carter Cash later married Johnny Cash, who makes a brief appearance in this book.) The voices behind hit songs like “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” have their humble beginnings and rise to fame outlined in a compelling graphic novel.
‘Wizzywig' by Ed Piskor
Piskor tells the story of hacker Kevin “Boingthump” Phenicle, an early hacker who starts off getting free phone calls and continues on with more extensive pranks. Eventually, Kevin becomes a fugitive, despite having no particular intent to harm others at any point. Inspired by elements from the stories of noted hackers Kevin Mitnick, Kevin Poulsen and Phiber Optik, among others, “Wizzywig” shines a light on the hacker culture and showcases what it was like when being a geek was still dangerous.