At Untapped Cities, we’re no strangers to the fact that New York City’s history is full of secrets, mysteries and mythology. In the comic book series, The Wonder City, author Justin Rivers (tour guide for our popular Remnants of Penn Station tour) and illustrator Courtney Zell, ask the question: where does the myth end and the real history begins? Their graphic novels, The Great Whale of Coney Island and the brand new The Tovernboak, re-imagine the entirety of New York City’s vast 400-year-old history with a mystery buried in the heart of the city. The Tovernboak was released last night at the Floyd in Brooklyn.
The series features all sorts of New York City’s iconic locations, including Coney Island and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The novels explore the city’s New Amsterdam and Dutch Colonial history and should be of interest for anyone who enjoys comics, mysteries and history. According to illustrator Courtney Zell, “There’s a character who speaks to everyone in this story, no matter your age.”
Cover of “The Wonder City: The Great Whale of Coney Island”
The Great Whale of Coney Island is set in 1940s Brooklyn and follows Velma Graydon, “a gal Friday turned gumshoe,” as she tries to recover a lost New York City charm called the “Parelzaad.” The charm was forged before the city’s foundings and holds unbelievable power over the fate of New York. However, just as Velma comes within reach of the jewel, it is suddenly lost – and the fate of the city is left unsure.
Page from “The Great Whale of Coney Island”
The newest volume to the series, The Tovernboak, promises to pick up where “The Great Whale” left off. Just a few months later, Velma teams up Owen and teaches him the mysterious ways of the “Light Keepers,” and their 400-year duty “to guard New York City from its foretold destruction,” while they search for his disappeared sister.
Cover of “The Wonder City: The Tovernboak”
Author Justin Rivers says, “I was inspired by Washington Irving’s character Diedrich Knickerbocker and JRR Tolkien’s epic, The Lord of the Rings. Irving, mainly because he was the creator and keeper of New York City’s first satirical founding myth.”Page from “The Tovernboak”
Page from “The Tovernboak”
To buy The Wonder City series online, click here. You can also see the other talents of author, Justin Rivers who leads our exciting Remnants of Penn Station Tour, this Sunday at 2 pm. Tickets are still available, use code EAGLES for 10% off: