Press Release The Wonder City

Press Release The Wonder City


Funding for Publishing Raised Through Kickstarter
Brooklyn, NY — The Wonder City: The Great Whale of Coney Island, the first volume in a series of graphic novels written by Justin Rivers and illustrated by Courtney Zell, was self-published in June 2011 and is now available for purchase. The five-year collaboration between long-time friends, Rivers and Zell, was realized after successful fundraising efforts provided through largest funding platform for creative projects, Kickstarter.

The Wonder City is a graphic novel that re-imagines the entire history of New York City, an adventure where myth and history become intertwined in a mystery over 400 years old. It begs the questions: Where does myth end and history begin? What if there was no difference between the two?

Set in Brooklyn in 1942, 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 the incredible power it holds. After years of research she finds the charm in the possession of a working-class Brooklyn family. Just as it’s within her reach one summer day on Coney Island, the charm suddenly vanishes, and this time without a trace. To find it again, Velma will have to travel through the seedy underbelly of New York City’s tumultuous and larger-than-life history.

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. In The Wonder City Velma Graydon picks up her adventure where Knickerbocker left off. I thought it would be fun to meld the two together and use New York’s history as a backdrop.”

Illustrator Courtney Zell comments, “There’s a character who speaks to everyone in this story, no matter your age. I especially loved having the opportunity to develop interesting and brainy heroines.”

The Wonder City will be released in soft cover for $10.00 with a first printing of 900 copies.

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Contact: Sara Fox,, 646-522-5480

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