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Bowery Boys Hardcover – August 18, 2015
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About the Author
About Cory Levine
Writer, editor and graphic designer Cory Levine is a former editorial staffer for Marvel Comics where he edited hundreds of collected editions of comic books, encyclopedic handbooks, special edition magazines and foreign-licensed comics including the company's well-received line of Soleil graphic album adaptations. In 2010 he founded First Edition Publishing, Inc. -- a publishing solutions firm offering editorial packaging, graphic design and pre-press production services. His writing is featured in the VIZ Media graphic novels Monsuno Combat Chaos Vol. 2: Revenge/Sacrifice and Ben10 Omniverse Vol. 1: Ghost Ship. He lives and works in New Hampshire.
About Ian Bertram
A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, artist Ian Bertram was chosen as the Best New Talent of 2011 by Comicbookjesus.com, and selected to the Society of Illustrators 2012 Student Scholarship Competition. His work has appeared in the anthology magazine INK, the Detective Comics #27 anniversary special, and Batman Eternal from DC Comics. He has been a featured artist at the Greenpoint Gallery and the 30 Rooms art gathering. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
About Brent David McKee
Brent David McKee has worked for various skateboard companies, licensed Nintendo products, Marvel/Upperdeck's Marvel Masterpiece cards and comic book work The Glass Tarantula for Sequentialink.com. His work appeared in Image Comics’ Noble Causes with Geoff Johns and the Eisner-nominated anthology Outlaw Territory Vol. 3.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's the summer of 1853 in New York City, in The Bowery, on the edges of the notorious "Five Points" slum neighborhood in Manhattan. Crime and corruption of all kinds are rampant, labor unrest is at the boiling point, and the conflict between the newly formed labor unions and the rich and powerful determined to crush them is becoming ever more violent and bloody. In the middle of this powder keg, four kids are thrown together by events that end up forging a unique set of bonds between them:
- Nikolaus "Niko" McGovern, the son of a labor leader, Bill McGovern
- Paully Basso, a street kid, a homeless tomboy frequently mistaken for a boy
- Isaac Feinstein - a Jewish student at the local shul
- Mary Ann Murphy, a pretty but tough-minded young girl who lives (and possibly works) at a local brothel
The themes in Bowery Boys are reminiscent of Scorsese's film Gangs of New York, which is not surprising as both draw on the same time and place in history, but Bowery Boys is actually the more accurate in terms of time. The illustration art by Bertram and McKee is stylish and wonderfully rendered, giving both the setting and the characters a compelling larger-than-life feel. Stylistically, I am reminded of Régis Loisel's Peter Pan, another graphic novel which I felt was wonderfully done.
Bowery Boys does a good job of conveying just how different life in New York was 160 years ago. For one thing, police forces were a comparatively new development in major cities of the time. The NYPD itself was created in 1845 to replace the old night watch system that had proven woefully inadequate to the needs of a burgeoning city. So in 1853, when the story is set, the whole idea of police was only about eight years old. Fire-fighting was even less developed and the function was largely left to self-organized 'volunteer' fire departments which in reality were little more than street gangs with some fire-fighting equipment and were as likely to loot a place as they were to save it, which they only did if you paid them.
Highly, highly recommended.
The first pages hooked me, and although I would have liked a few more panels increasing the drama during the climax, I finished the read satisfied and wanting more, and isn't a good wanting of more exactly what you look for? Levine, Bertram and McKee all need to be watched.
Also, in my humble opinion, the cover is worth the price itself. Absolutely striking cover art.
Mesmerizing and engrossing, Levine has crafted a truly one-of-a-kind comic here, all-the-more heightened by the sumptuously detailed and urbane art of Ian Bertram.
The writing is also top-notch! The story never seemed to turn in the way I was expecting, but by the end, everything had played out in a way that felt like it was truly the only way the story could have gone. It felt very realistic when all was said and done.