wonder-city-utc-page-colorA portion of a page in progress for the upcoming Untapped Cities teaser of The Wonder City set in Grand Central Terminal. 

Starting in December Untapped Cities will exclusively run a web comic called The Wonder City. Taken from a series of graphic novels written by your faithful Untapped correspondent and tour guide, Justin, and drawn by illustrator Courtney Zell, The Wonder City sets out to create a mythos for New York City that completely reimagines its near 500 year old history. The series follows Velma Graydon (pictured above as an older woman), an archivist at St. John the Divine by day and urban gumshoe by night who has devoted her entire life to solving one of New York’s most important historical mysteries (don’t worry you’ll find out what it is). To us, Velma represents the best of all New York characters wrapped up into one awesome librarian.

penciled-wonder-city-teaser-pagesThe same pencilled pages before Courtney starts the coloring process. 

The book jacket description really kicks the whole story off:

July, 1942: While the world is at war a great mystery buried in the heart of New York City is about to be solved. Velma Graydon, a gal Friday turned gumshoe, is hot on the trail of an important charm lost ages ago. Called the Parelzaad, it was crafted before the city’s founding, and Velma is one of the few people who knows its incredible power it holds. After years of research, she finds the charm in the possession of a working class Brooklyn family. Just as its in her reach one summer day on Coney Island, the charm is suddenly lost again, and this time without a trace… In it lies the fate of the entire city.

Courtney and I have been working on the project for 10 years and our first volume, “The Great Whale of Coney Island” was one of the first successful comic projects on Kickstarter back in 2009.

wonder-city-book-2The cover to the second volume of the The Wonder City. Those of you on our Remnants of Dutch New Amsterdam tour will recognize that map. 

Now we’re taking the story to the web and telling our tale serially on Untapped Cities. It’s coming soon and we hope you’ll join on an epic story as big as New York City itself.