Dive Into The Deep End With The Girl In The Bay

by Vince Brusio

We all have an identity crisis at some point. For many of us, that identity crisis typically occurs when middle age comes knocking at midnight. But for seventeen-year-old Kathy Sartori, the identity crisis happens when she learns 50 years of her life have passed since she was attacked and left for dead in Brooklyn's Sheepshead Bay. Writer J. M. DeMatteis explains that in his new comic, The Girl In The Bay, Kathy Sartori might be more like each and every one of us more than we realize. We might all co-exist in the same surreal painting.

Pick up The Girl In The Bay #1 (DEC180403) from Dark Horse's Berger Books imprint on February 6th at your local comic shop!


Vince Brusio: "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce comes to mind when reading about the circumstance of Kathy Sartori’s "death" in The Girl In The Bay. Is this mini-series in any way a reflection on Mr. Bierce’s former work? 

J. M. DeMatteis: Not at all.  I’ve always been fascinated by the speed with which our lives pass, how years can sometimes seem like minutes, how decades can pass like a swiftly-passing dream.  This story really drills down into that idea, as well as another theme that runs through my work: personal identity. Who we really are versus who we think we are. 

Vince Brusio: Why does this book find a home at Berger Books?

J. M. DeMatteis: Karen is an old and dear friend (our friendship predates either of us working in comics).  We worked together at DC pretty much from the time she started there and I was part of the original Vertigo launch.  She’s someone I respect and admire both professionally and personally.  

It had been a while since we’d had a chance to work together, and the launch of Berger Books created that opportunity.  

The Girl In The Bay is a book very much in line with both Karen’s creative sensibilities and my own, and it’s been a real pleasure collaborating again.

Vince Brusio: There is an interior page of artwork shown for the book in the December PREVIEWS catalog. It shows Kathy speaking with someone who could be the “madman” who murdered her. It’s a surreal scene, with the background similar to the design of “The Starry Night” by Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. Why was this page chosen out of all others to be the accompanying artwork that helps preview The Girl In The Bay?

J. M. DeMatteis: I don’t know why it was chosen — but the Van Gogh sky was very intentional. In that scene our main character has taken hallucinogens and so the world around her has taken on an extremely surreal bent.  That image also underscores one of the themes of the story, which is that reality itself is fairly surreal, whether we’re “under the influence” or not.   

In a way we’re all living in a Van Gogh painting! 

Vince Brusio: What has given you the most joy working on this project?

J. M. DeMatteis: The chance to work with Karen again and the opportunity to collaborate with the amazing Corin Howell. I wasn’t familiar with Corin’s work before Karen brought her to my attention, but I am now a major fan. She’s hugely talented, a gifted storyteller, and I hope we get to do more stories about Kathy Sartori in the future.

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