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Oil And Water: Upcoming Book from Shannon Wheeler and Steve Duin

Shannon Wheeler, comic book creator and New Yorker cartoonist, and Steve Duin, writer and Oregonian columnist, both part of the PDX to Gulf Coast team, have partnered to create Oil and Water. This is a  book length comic that is a fictional account of the experiences of the PDX to Gulf Coast team as they traveled from New Orleans, LA to Mobile, AL to witness, firsthand, the impacts of the BP oil spill.  Fantagraphics Books has just signed a contract with Steve and Shannon for a Fall 2011 release.


When nine Oregonians travel to the Gulf Coast in August to plumb the devastation wrought by the Deepwater Horizon spill, they discover that “Oil and Water” is just the first of the insoluble contradictions.  Between the tarred sands of Grand Isle and the fouled waters of the Louisiana bayou, they come to find out that Gulf Coast residents are economically dependent upon the very industry that is wreaking havoc on their environment.  In the shadow of the greatest ecological disaster of our time, they are forced to reassess their roles as witness, critic and environmental steward.

In this 120-page graphic novel — written by Steve Duin, a columnist for The Oregonian, and illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler — readers will tour the shark-pocked beach at Grand Isle with the local head of Homeland Security; step aboard the crabbing boat of a 20-year-old Mississippian who works 16-hour days and spends his nights dreaming of M.I.T.; enter the “Hot Zone” where volunteers work desperately to save brown pelicans drenched in British petroleum; and hear shrimpers, Vietnamese and good ol’ boys alike, describe what happens to their livelihood when 200 million gallons of oil flood the scene.  The readers’ perspective on what hope and what mission remains along a ravaged coastline, and one awash in both seafood and oil, will be changed as irrevocably as that of these nine Oregonians.

Shannon Wheeler is the Eisner Award-winning creator of “Too Much Coffee Man.”  Steve Duin, twice named the nation’s best local columnist by the Society of Professional Journalists, is the co-author of “Comics: Between the Panels.”




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