Evil Eyes Sea by Ozge Samanci


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33.00 Ounces

Expected release date is May 29th 2024

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Available in two formats: softcover and hardcover

“As entertaining as it is exposing, Samanci’s sophomore title is an exquisite, multilayered showpiece confronting gender inequity, religious manipulations, political corruption, and the gray zones of morals and ethics—gray zones necessary for survival.”—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

A feminist political mystery set in Istanbul during the 1995 elections tells the story of two broke students who witnessed an unusual death on a scuba diving expedition. As the case deepens, they become increasingly entangled with political corruption, religious pressure, and possibly murder.

They try to return to their every day, but their lives are increasingly entangled with the political corruption, religious pressure, and economic instability that results from their experience. Samanci says, "The autobiographically-inspired story I tell in Evil Eyes Sea emerged from my college years in Istanbul, my quirky friends, and my struggles with being a young woman in Turkey's male-centric culture. In this book, I share a window into a country where narrow political views limit personal power — a place that can be beautiful, but also cruel."

Ozge Samanci is a media artist, graphic novelist, and Associate Professor at Northwestern University. She received her Ph.D. in Digital Media from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009. In 2017, Ozge received the Berlin Prize, and was the Holtzbrinck Visual Arts Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. 

Praise for Dare to Disappoint 

"Humor and youthful angst lighten this graphic memoir of life in a country pulled strongly in different directions by conflicts between Western and conservative Muslim values. (...) A bright, perceptive bildungsroman with a distinctive setting." -Kirkus Magazine

"Every page has been expertly designed, creating a thoroughly satisfying aesthetic experience (...)" - A.V. Club

"Her art is an intriguing mix of doodle-like line drawings and mixed-media compositions made of paper, rocks, stamps, and more to build a picture of a world where the politics might seem unfamiliar but the family dynamics and personal relationships are universally recognizable." -Bookreview

"Samanci's caricatures of herself and the people around her, often drawn wide-eyed with surprise, make the sporadic episodes of political strife and urban violence oddly incongruous. But they're a crucial component of the story, one that resounds with honesty and humor." -Publishers Weekly

"Like Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis and James Kochalka's American Elf, Dare to Disappoint frames the epic through the intimate, offering a sterling experience of startling vulnerability and lasting impression." -Paste Magazine

"She’s a gifted cartoonist with an innate sense of pacing and a seemingly inexhaustible well of ideas for presenting information—the book bursts with maps, diagrams, pasted-in leaves, doodles, and ink stamps. It’s remarkably energetic on the page, and combined with Samanci’s appealing, reflective voice, offers a perfectly satisfying memoir reading experience: not just the story of someone’s life, but the chance to see the world through someone else’s eyes." - Slate

"(...) will surely be one of the books that we'll be talking about in many a year-end list. Samanci's assured command of the medium is present (...) and brings to mind other sequential art redefining cartoonists like Emily Carroll and Jillian Tamaki. This is one to be on the look-out for." - The Beat: The News Blog of Comics Culture

"As she recounts her event-filled, danger-filled childhood, Samanci manages to convey centuries of Turkey’s history as well as the political and cultural upheavals that have marked recent decades there. But the focus is always on her journey of self-discovery, the struggle to hear her own voice and find a place in the noisy, often brutal world she was born into." -The New York Times

"The work has a modest title, Dare to Disappoint, but its ambitions are large. Its creator, Özge Samancı, has produced a Künstlerroman that also recreates life in Turkey in the 1980s and early 90s, a time when the country’s secular heritage was enforced with a severity that has come under scrutiny in the era of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Here in Turkey, where her book is topping bestseller lists, Samancı has become the year’s most inspiring figure among comic artists, and a subject of intrigue for Turkish magazines, newspapers, and budding artists." -New Republic

"Autobiographies often revolve around specialness, self-aggrandisement camouflaged as the opposite. “I was always a weird kid”, and so on. There’s no such cloying humblebrag in Samanci’s affecting comic book memoir of her everyday youth in Turkey in the 80s and early 90s, of a child’s fascinations – with household items, with family and society, with (winningly) Jacques Cousteau. The art is simple but never twee – not least because, in occasional shocking moments, the horrifying state violence of the time is rendered in exactly the same style as the children’s games." The Guardian, Kathryn Bromwich

"It's a really beautiful story and beautifully told." —Chicago PBS, Paul Caine

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