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By the author of the critically acclaimed Giant. On the German front, in the spring of 1945: the war leaves only death and destruction in its wake. To escape the horror of the present, Al, an American soldier, the only survivor of his unit, immerses himself in the memories of his New York life. Son of German immigrants, born in the United States, he was not yet ten years old when, in one night, under the approving eyes of anti-immigrant Americans, he lost his parents and his home in a terrible fire. Turning his back on his origins, Al has no choice but to live on the streets; he becomes a Bootblack, a shoe shiner. With his friend Shiny, they somehow manage to survive by sticking together. Six years later, in 1935, they meet Buster and the ambitious Diddle Joe. And then there's Maggie, the girl Al is in love with and whose esteem he ardently longs for. And this, even as she makes it clear to him that they do not live in the same world. New York offers no future for the poor, Al understood that. He is therefore determined to earn more money, whatever the means. But he does not imagine, at that point, that the war which threatens will soon give him an appointment with his past...
About the Author
An autodidact, French artist Mikael, adoptive of French Canada, has illustrated award winning children’s books and created graphic novels since 2001. Among his awards are 2 Grand Prizes of the City of Quebec (2015, 2016) and a special mention of the jury for youth at Ouessant, France. Since 2006 he has turned to adult comics, some in collaboration with other writers and artists. He is the author of the highly acclaimed Giant.
"Occasionally the action pauses just enough to allow readers to take in the spectacularly realized period setting, an endless labyrinth of busy immigrant neighborhoods, rat-infested harbors, rattling streetcars, and seedy cabarets. Fans of historical thrillers and classic comics alike will delight in this tour through vintage neighborhoods so real one can almost smell the shoe polish." —Publishers Weekly
"Readers looking for books set in Depression- and Prohibition-era New York will enjoy all aspects of this offering." —Suzanne Temple, Booklist
Press for his previous graphic novel Giant: "It’s tough, it’s depressingly honest about 1930s immigrant life, and you’ll want to read Giant again sometime in the future." —Slings and Arrows
Press for his previous graphic novel Giant: "Giant is a beautiful story, beautifully told. It's sad in many ways, but also hopeful. It's deeply human, and well worth the time it takes to read it." —Rambles.NET
Press for his previous graphic novel Giant: "Giant is a stunning saga of uncommon folk in perilous times and one no lover of grand stories could possibly resist." —Now Read This
Press for his previous graphic novel Giant: "Mikaël conjures drama in each frame, with high-contrast and earth and sepia-toned washes that fit the period feel, which is underscored by historical references." —Booklist
Press for his previous graphic novel Giant: "Set during the construction of Rockefeller Center in the 1930s, this spectacularly drawn historical epic brings Depression-era New York City to riotous, romanticized life. Lives up to its inspiring setting, a muscular young city in a nation of immigrants, brimming with stories to tell." —Publishers Weekly