Blowhard, Esq. writes:
I enjoyed Mark Siegel’s Sailor Twain, a dark fantasy-romance graphic novel set during the late 19th century on a Hudson steamboat, quite a bit. I had planned on writing a longer review until I realized that, er, all I had to say was that I really, really liked it! (If for some bizarre reason my enthusiasm isn’t enough of a recommendation, check out these reviews here and here.) I especially loved Siegel’s moody charcoal art.
Click on the images to enlarge.
A major appeal of the book is its Gilded Age setting, which has always had a hold on my imagination. I took an upper-division seminar in college on post-Civil War American history, and man, what a drag that was. The predictable Race-Gender-Class™ critique. Taking that class, you never would’ve known that this era saw the Beaux Arts/City Beautiful movement, the glories of the 1893 Expo in Chicago, the emergence of vaudeville, the beginnings of movies, or indeed the creation of mass popular culture as we know it. And don’t get me started on how art history courses still largely ignore Academic art.
Anyhoo, here’s a collection of images that conveys some of the splendor and sophisticated fussiness of the era to me.