The Unsinkable Walker Bean
Pirates, merwitches, and an enchanted skull.
Wisconsin-based graphic novelist Aaron Renier’s The Unsinkable Walter Bean is a rollicking tale of pirates, mermaid witches, and an enchanted skull. The book is set in a familiar, yet completely imagined world. The story is just as compelling as the richly detailed images that illustrate every page. Renier’s drawings (and story) strongly evoke The Adventures of Tintin without feeling derivative. The story is full of small grace notes, smart visual references, and flights of illustrative fancy. One of my favorite touches: the pirate ship features a garden of citrus trees nestled in the forecastle of the ship. It’s these details that take this story out of the realm of the ordinary.