Synopses & Reviews
Reuben Award for Best Graphic Novel
YALSA, Great Graphic Novels for Teens
Bringing to life turn-of-the-century New York and the scintillating career of one of its most famous architects, as well as the vices that cost him his life, this true-crime graphic novel tells the story of one of the most scandalous murders of the times. Stanford White was one of New Yorks most famous architects, having designed many mansions and the first Madison Square Garden; his influence on New Yorks look at the turn of the century was pervasive. As he became popular and in demand, he also became quite self-indulgent: he had a taste for budding young showgirls on Broadway, even setting up a private apartment to entertain them in, including a room with a red velvet swing. When he met Evelyn Nesbit—an exquisite young nymph, cover girl, showgirl, inspiration for Charles Dana Gibsons drawing The Eternal Question and later for the movie The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing—he knew he was on to something special. However, Evelyn eventually married a young Pittsburgh decadent heir with a dark side who developed a deep hatred for White and what he may or may not have done to her.
"If Nancy Grace had been around in 1906, she would have covered the murder of Stanford White, an architect of many of New York City's greatest landmarks. White was shot that year by psychopathic rich boy Harry Thaw, because of a previous affair that White had with Evelyn Nesbit, a famous model, who later became involved with Thaw. A media sensation of the day, Nesbit graced the covers of magazines, and eventually began performing on Broadway. In Geary's account, neither White nor Thaw comes off as upright citizens. When Thaw's attention falls onto Evelyn, he pursues her relentlessly until she marries him. When he discovers that White slept with her, he becomes enraged, torturing and raping Evelyn, and obsessing over how to destroy White. At first glance, Geary's artwork appears stiff, almost sterile, but as the story unfolds, the line work captures the strangeness and excesses of the era's wealthy. As with previous entries in Geary's series of graphic novels books exploring famous murders, this is a steady and enthralling account of White's murder which also provides an impressive narrative of Nesbit's ability to survive in a world of men trying to control her and bend her to their wills." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Rick Geary is an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator. He has worked for Marvel Entertainment Group, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and Heavy Metal magazine, and has contributed to National Lampoon and the New York Times Book Review. He is the author of the A Treasury of Victorian Murder series and the Treasury of XXth Century Murder series. He lives in Carrizozo, New Mexico.