A crowd of befuddled San Francisco residents gathered outside a back alley coffee stall in the Mission District Tuesday morning to gawk at Displaced Persons, a new original graphic novel by Eisner-nominated writer Derek McCulloch and artist Anthony Peruzzo published by Image Comics. Historical fiction set in San Francisco during three different periods in the twentieth century, Displaced Persons will be published in August, but, just like the latest iDevice prototype, an advance copy somehow made its way into the hands of the coolest denizens of the hippest city of the world (if you're privileged enough to be able to afford $4000 a month rent for a studio apartment), San Francisco. Unfortunately, none of them have any idea what to do with it.
"What is this thing?" wondered a frowning twenty-something who appeared to be dressed in the clothes of a boxcar hobo despite pulling in a $250,000 a year salary from a social media startup. "Look, you have to turn the pages by hand. How retro!"
Another bystander placed her hand-crafted Turkish Drip coffee gently on the curb and picked up the book. "It says here that it's set in San Francisco in 1939, 1969, and 1999," she remarked while reading the back cover. "Personally, I find those years to be dreadfully oversaturated. If it were me, I would have chosen 1926, 1974, and 1987. Those years are so much more obscure."
"Give me that," demanded a man wearing a tight-fitting Budweiser shirt ironically. "I always keep an old ball of twine in my pocket, just in case. You never know when you might need it."
The crowd murmured in detached agreement as the man tied the large, heavy graphic novel to his forehead. "I can't see anything," he proclaimed as he walked forward, waving his arms comically in front of him, and bumped into a wall. "What the hell kind of Google Glass is this, man?"
Suddenly, the gathering was interrupted as one of the city's large population of mentally ill homeless persons walked through the alley. "Hello! How are you doing, friend?" asked one woman as she made deliberate eye contact with the filthy, disheveled man, proving that, despite the $5000 handbag clutched beneath her elbow, she was clearly a woman who understood the plight of the common man. "Would you like to try out our new iDevice?"
"What?" the man replied, startled by the attention. "That's a book, you idiots!"
The crowd stared blankly for a moment, until a look of recognition washed over the face of one bearded twenty-something who was almost certainly wearing glasses with no lenses in them. "You mean like those antiques they sell at Green Apple, right?" he proclaimed, very proud of himself. "I've seen these before. Delightfully kitsch." The crowd nodded in agreement.
"I haven't eaten in a week," said the homeless man.
"Oh, you should check out Twenty Five Lusk over in SoMa," the coffee-drinking woman chimed in. "It's got a great lounge atmosphere, and their cauliflower creme brulee is to die for. It's only three dollar signs on Yelp."
"What the fuck are you talking about," the homeless man replied, visibly irritated. He spat on the ground in front of the dilettantes and exited the alley as quickly as possible.
"How rude," remarked the Budweiser shirt wearing man as he tossed the graphic novel in a nearby compost bin. "Let's get out of here. Want to go stand around in the Tenderloin before it gets too dark and stabby out?"
"Great idea," said the woman with the expensive handbag. "I think there's a BART station nearby."
The crowd gasped in shock at the notion they would take public transit.
"I only meant we could catch the private Google charter bus from there," the woman added quickly as the group let out a collective sigh of relief.
San Francisco. A world class city. Want to read about it? Here's a 21 page PDF preview of Displaced Persons, August 6, in bookstores August 19.
by Derek McCulloch and Anthony Peruzzo
Diamond Comics code JUN140499
168 pages, full color, paperback
Spanning the 20th century, DISPLACED PERSONS follows the travails of intertwining families as they navigate love, loss, and, most of all, time.