San Francisco, the twentieth century: In 1939, a private detective searches for a missing heiress. In 1969, twin brothers approach a drug heist from opposite sides of the law. And in 1999, a woman slowly comes to realize the terrible danger she faces in her own home. From the Eisner-nominated writer Derek McCulloch (Stagger Lee, Gone to Amerikay) and artist Anthony Peruzzo comes DISPLACED PERSONS, a riveting tale of murder, love, crime, friendship, betrayal, and just the slightest bit of time travel. "A mammoth, sprawling family saga-both enchantingly surrealistic and cruelly realistic- with a dazzling array of haunting and resonant characters all drawn together through an unlikely paradox. Derek McCulloch delivers an ambitious, complex work that's not afraid to take chances, and the art by Anthony Peruzzo is richly detailed and evocative." (Karen Berger, Vertigo founding editor). This graphic novel time travels through three generations of one family, whose connections are symbolized, and realized, by a house in the hills of San Francisco. The themes of politics, family, and crime are showcased in the intertwined narratives, changing through the years only in the details.
During the Great Depression, a loving father, pressed by economic forces he's unable to control, makes a shady deal to keep his loved ones together. Grandiose or ambitious, there's a lot here to consume, and digest; readers may have to check the proffered time lines more than once to keep their bearings. The sins of the past destroy some characters and cast off others, leaving a faithful few to find their way home. Drug use and dealing cast a pall in the 1960s chapters, and Cesar Chavez gets a mention through a well-meaning in-law as things fall apart in the 1990s. It seems a bit random, but in an interesting play-within-a-play conclusion, a friend writing a book and a time traveling relative find each other and some answers to the family saga. The work's narrative held together by the art: Shaded in multiple sepia tones to signal different time periods, the drawings are roughly chiseled and remarkably detailed; whole rooms, complete with clues, appear in single frames. This part mystery, part sci-fi graphic novel was crafted over ten years. (School Library Journal (Starred Review)).