Sword in the brownstone

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

An artist has turned the neighborhoods of Park Slope and Bay Ridge into characters in a new graphic novel.

Teenager Aliera Carstairs is a typical Brooklynite trying to balance her life between honing her foiling skills at her school’s fencing team for nationals and carrying the burden of her new-found role as the sword-wielding defender of the Fairies in artist Mike Cavallaro and author Jane Yolen’s new kid-friendly “Curses! Foiled again.”

Along the way, readers get a tour of Brooklyn.

Aliera’s apartment is modeled after the brownstone where Cavallaro lives. Her high school is based on an old school building on Vanderbilt Avenue near Grand Army Plaza — it has since been converted into condos. Another home is modeled after some Bay Ridge neighborhoods, and there are plenty more glimpses of brownstones and bodegas out of the bus windows as Aliera rides to school.

“Brooklyn really had to look like Brooklyn,” Cavallaro said.

Cavallaro’s reality-based locales are the perfect counterbalance to the fairy tale facets — even if it meant a lot more work. Drawing all those winged, pointy-eared, and tentacled creatures was the easy part, said the artist.

“[It’s] harder to draw the real stuff,” Cavallaro said. “The fantasy characters just have to look cool and be fun to draw. Most of them are just background characters, so no one can tell me that I drew that tentacle wrong, it’s whatever I want it to be — but you know, a car is a car, and we all know when it doesn’t look right.”

Of course, it’s reality that Aliera, the defender of the Seelie Court, can’t get away from. Not only does she have to save the fairy realm, she needs to make it home in time to finish her chemistry homework, somehow fit in among all the jocks, jockettes, goths, nerds, and preps she passes in the hallways, and make nationals.

Keep hustling, Aliera.

“Curses! Foiled Again” is available at Bergen Street Comics [470 Bergen St. between Flatbush and Fifth avenues in Park Slope, (718) 230–5600].

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reasonable discourse

Michael from Park Slope says:
Success! Park Slope and (my former stomping ground) Bay Ridge have finally made it to the funny pages. Something told me, long ago, that this was inevitable.
Jan. 23, 2013, 9:31 am

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.