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    • Now available: The Lovecraft eZine 2014 Megapack! August 10, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, So for the brief week off. But I had a case of life. I was on a bit of a mission and it went quite swimmingly. But fear not wicked ones. I am still here to bring you the strange and spooky! Today we have some news from a wonderful ezine […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • A Conversation With Craig Yoe August 1, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Today I was fortunate enough to sit and have a chat with the wonderfully fascinating creative genius, Craig Yoe. Craig and I met at HeroesCon this summer when he accepted an award at The Inkwells on Steve Ditko‘s behalf (sort of). I was beyond thrilled when this incredible talent agreed to […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh —- The Review! July 29, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day seven of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean Strauss […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh: Interview (/Happy-Hour) With Actress Tara Walker July 28, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day six of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director –Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean Strauss – […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh: An Interview With Director of Photography Ryan K. Johnson July 27, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day five of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin II – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – Zombies Need Love Too July 25, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day four of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and yesterday’s interview […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – An Interview With Documentarian and Location Manager Sean Strauss July 24, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day three of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director of the film and yesterday’s article written by yours truly!  Today we will be talking with […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – Through The Eyes of the 2nd Assistant Director – Madness, Mayhem, and Love July 23, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Welcome to day two of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out yesterday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director of the film.  Today you get to hear me ramble on about my time on the set. […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – An Interview With Writer/Director Edward Martin III July 21, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Those of you who know me personally and professionally have probably at one time or another been regaled with the stories of my time on the Flesh of my Flesh movie set. For those who are not aware, I was 2nd Assistant Director (amongst other things) of a feature film shot […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • So Long For Now and Hello Again! July 11, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Today is both a sad and joyful day for us at She Never Slept. Our Assistant Editor Sean Lee Levin has stated he would like to step down for personal reasons… we hate to see him go, but we wish him the best of luck in all of his endeavors and […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt

Sailor Twain

Hey folks,

I am a regular reader of Cory Doctrow‘s online site, Boing Boing, and a couple of weeks ago, he included there a link to an online comic called Sailor Twain. I followed that link and, after reading a couple of pages and thinking it something of interest to our devoted readership, contacted Marc Nocerino, who was at that time a Guest Minion and who had completed a great review of The Happy Undertaker, to see if he could investigate further. Below we present his findings to you.

Enjoy!

Floyd Brigdon, Assistant Editor

Sailor Twain –or– the Mermaid in the Hudson byMark Siegel is a story about man’s heart, religious mores, women’s rights, mythology, mystery… oh  yes, and mermaids. Released one page at a time, Siegel slowly peels back the layers of his story as we fall ever deeper into the strange goings on aboard the steamship Lorelei.

It has me hooked right in the gills.

Set against the backdrop of New York in the late 1880s, Sailor Twain takes us on a mystical voyage along the Hudson River of yesteryear. Captain Elijah Twain, a solitary and introspective character, tells us a story of mysterious occurrences and fascinating characters aboard his ship, the Lorelei. “What story, what mystery, what characters” you ask? Well, I’m not giving any spoilers so go check out this fabulous unfolding story and become part of the crew of the Lorelei. Suffice it to say, Siegel touches on quite a few topics as important today as in 1887.

The “gaslight” setting of the story is perfectly complimented by Siegel’s use of only charcoal for all of the illustrations, which lends an air of antiquity to the overall feel of the strip. This feeling of authenticity is reinforced by the amazing research Siegel has put in to the period, evidenced in the details like the clothing people wear, political issues of the day, and even the overall construction of the ships. Aside from the overly comical look of his characters, I could almost believe that I was looking at old tintypes or newspaper clippings.

As for the people in Sailor Twain, most have an overly exaggerated comic quality to them; or more precisely, to their faces. I was originally turned off by the childish appearance of the faces, which looked amateur in contrast to details such as the elaborate attention paid to their clothing and surroundings, and it actually took me a few pages before I realized that they were drawn that way intentionally. The faces have an unrealistic quality to them; but there is a kind of magic in their difference from the rest of the artwork, they possess a kind of uniqueness, and I know that I would not love this comic even half as much if the faces were as precise and realistic as the rest of the elements of Siegel’s art. It is as if by overly simplifying their faces, he is able to put more meaning into their expressions. Go read a few panels; you’ll see what I mean.

The dialog is believable and well paced, and the interaction of the characters feels authentic. In many panels, the story is moved along simply by Siegel’s subtle but richly decorated settings or the aforementioned masterfully drawn facial expressions of characters and passerby, with no dialog needed to convey his message.

As for continuity, let us just say that Siegel has that on lock. It is obvious that this story was mostly completed before the first panel was ever released. Do yourself a favor and do not click the link for Chapters, as the titles are spoilers in themselves. At the rate he’s releasing the pages, three every week, it will take until mid 2012 for Siegel to tell the entire tale of the Lorelei and her captain. It moves at a pace uncommon in modern fiction, and I find it a welcome change. I really am looking forward to following this story along its twists and turns, as surely as the Lorelei wends its way along the river Hudson.

Final Thoughts:
Like some kind of printed burlesque act, Mark Siegel expertly unveils his compelling story one tantalizing page at a time in a long, slow striptease that has me on the edge of my seat. (Speaking of which, this web comic is FAR from G-Rated, so reader be forewarned. There are a few F-Bombs, a bit of nudity, and a raunchy feel to some of the characters and situations.) Siege’s characters are relatable, the settings are moody, and the art is unique. Like a passenger aboard the Lorelei, I have no choice but to wait with patience to reach the story’s destination as Sailor Twain travels slowly toward its climax. So far, I’m loving the ride. I give this web comic a ±4 ½ out of 5 Tentacles, with the “±” to be determined once the entire story is released. I expect it will be more + than -.

Marc Nocerino, Minion (Reviewer/Columnist)

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