Storeyville
story & art - Frank Santoro
production - Kate Glicksberg
1995 • Sirk Productions

40 pages; tabloid newspaper format (11” x 16”)

Also, NOW AVAILABLE in a deluxe hardcover edition.

A perfect match of form and content, Storeyville is a 40 page tabloid newspaper -- printed in black and white and a set of muted tones ranging from sandy yellow to a deep sepia -- that describes the arc of a youthful adventure that takes its protagonist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the USA to Montreal, Quebec in Canada at the opening of the 20th century.

This sprawling mis-en-scene gives Santoro ample opportunity to showcase his love of drawing: cityscapes, landscapes & seascapes, rendered in a unique combination of pencils, inks and grey-scale markers, beautifully contain this drama.  The narrative concerns the tried-and-true rite of passage story of a young man in search of his future self, but this is probably the only aspect of the work that can be considered as being “traditional.”

Executed in 570 uniformly square panels arranged in a gutterless 3 x 5 grid over 38 pages, Storeyville works to develop a compromise between the requisite third-person omniscient of standard comic book narratives with the first-person singular of contemporary autobiographical comics.  The genius of Storeyville is that the first-person extends beyond the voice of the narrator to the execution of the art itself. The mood and mind set of the narrator are revealed as much, if not more so, by the various styles of rendering and degrees of detail in the drawing through which the action of the story is displayed as with the textual voice employed by the narrator in relaying it.  In other words the voice of the protagonist as well as that of the author is embedded in the art as much as it is in the text.  To clarify: obviously this conveyance of narrative voice through artistic style is one of the central components of the Comics form, and has been key to Comics’ appeal throughout its history.  What is novel in Storeyville is the degree to which Santoro’s deliberate modulation of the style, methods, and media of the illustrations to match the mode and state of the narrator’s voice in relaying the narrative is in and of itself responsible for communicating the experience of the protagonists.

The narrative itself while clearly the product of a romantic imagination nevertheless manages to steer clear of cliché and brings to the page a vision of its subject that comes alive to the reader.  The central protagonist and narrator is Will, a young man stuck in the Pittsburgh of way-back-when and rarin’ to go, but not sure where to until he learns that his former mentor/partner/best-friend, the Reverend Rudy, has been sighted in Montreal, and then he’s off!  It is during the course of his quest -- which includes obligatory yet visually elegant explanatory flashbacks -- and finally in its completion that Will comes to terms with himself and his fate.

Storeyville is a rare one-of-a-kind treat that anyone who is at all passionate about comics is sure to not only enjoy reading, but also to come away from the experience with a deeper appreciation of what the medium of Comics is capable.  

Storeyville  has been out of print for quite some time and had a limited print run most of which was subsequently destroyed.  In other words, you probably won’t find it at your friendly neighborhood comics store -- unless, of course, you happen to live in Pittsburgh, PA.

________

P.S. -- The title Storeyville was deliberately spelled Storeyville instead of Storyville for a reason. 

OK, we have sold out of our stock of these and have been reduced to begging for stray copies from those involved in the original production.  So, if you really want to read Storeyville in its original form check back, or let us know you're looking for a copy and we'll see what we can do.   But remember:  you now have the option of purchasing the new deluxe hardcover edition featuring a swellegant introduction by none other than Mr. Chris Ware, along with bonus extras.  From PictureBox, of course.

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price and availablity current as of 22 April 2010 -- out of stock