How To Dig for Nightcrawlers

Reading between the lines.
June 1 2012 11:30 PM

How To Make Anything Out of a 3-Liter Bottle

A charming new graphic novel about a slow-moving small-town summer.

Illustration by Dan Zettwoch.
Birdseye Bristoe by Dan Zettwoch.

Illustration by Dan Zettwoch.

When Krystal and her big brother Clint visit their old uncle Birdseye, they think they’re in for a sleepy summer. But big things are happening in this small town! An enormous cellphone tower is going up. The Great Fallen Billboard demands to be explored. And uncle Birdseye can make anything out of an empty 3-liter bottle.

St. Louis cartoonist Dan Zettwoch’s debut graphic novel, Birdseye Bristoe, is an eye-catching, rough-hewn mix of homespun storytelling, modern teen angst, and Popular Mechanics-style diagrams. Want to know how to pull a nightcrawler out of the ground? How to make your own headlamp? Or the recipe for a Red Cow, aka Uncle Birdseye’s Hot Blood Shake? It’s all in the charming, funny, and inventive Birdseye Bristoe, and Zettwoch’s art is deceptively simple and wonderfully expressive. We’re excited to have Dan Zettwoch illustrating the June issue of the Slate Book Review.

---

Birdseye Bristoe by Dan Zettwoch. Drawn & Quarterly.

Previous SBR comics:
The Manhattan Projects
by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra
Blue
by Pat Grant
My Friend Dahmer
by Derf Backderf

Dan Kois is Slate's culture editor and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Television

See Me

Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

  News & Politics
Damned Spot
Sept. 30 2014 9:00 AM Now Stare. Don’t Stop. The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 11:25 AM Naomi Klein Is Wrong Multinational corporations are doing more than governments to halt climate change.
  Life
The Vault
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 AM Thomas Jefferson's 1769 Newspaper Ad Seeking a Fugitive Slave 
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 30 2014 11:42 AM Listen to Our September Music Roundup Hot tracks from a cooler month, exclusively for Slate Plus members.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 11:38 AM Tim & Eric Brought Their Twisted Minds—and Jeff Goldblum—to This Bizarre Light Bulb Ad
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.