Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
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A young woman is haunted by the ghost of her conjoined twin, in Lisa Brown's The Phantom Twin, a sweetly spooky graphic novel set in a turn-of-the-century sideshow.
Isabel and Jane are the Extraordinary Peabody Sisters, conjoined twins in a traveling carnival freak show―until an ambitious surgeon tries to separate them and fails, causing Jane's death.
Isabel has lost an arm and a leg but gained a ghostly companion: Her dead twin is now her phantom limb. Haunted, altered, and alone for the first time, can Isabel build a new life that's truly her own?
"In the tradition of Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love, Lisa Brown’s The Phantom Twin explores the behind-the-scenes lives of performers in an old-timey circus sideshow, tapping into our fascination―and on some level identification―with these obvious 'outsiders.'" ―New York Times
"Brown’s expressive line illustrations effectively serve the story, conveying the early twentieth century setting and particulars of the sideshow, delineating the various characters and their nuanced relationships (particularly between Isabel and the phantom Jane), and driving the plot toward its satisfying conclusion."―Horn Book, starred review
"Fans of Brosgol’s Anya’s Ghost will want to get a ticket to this satisfyingly strange tale."―The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Brown delivers a sensitive, nuanced meditation on ability, agency, belonging, family, and otherness."―School Library Journal, starred review
"[Brown]...incorporates commentary on the mixed experiences of freak performers, always treating this subject with respect. What emerges is a marvelous story marked by tragedy, courage, personal growth, and first love that is as singular as Isabel herself." ―Booklist, starred review
“Lovely. A fascinating and heartfelt tale of two sisters, beautifully told, beautifully drawn.” ―Ransom Riggs, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
“A ghost story, a story of outsiders and carnivals, of vanity and friendship, innocents and monsters, and the way our loved ones haunt us even after they are gone. Perfectly paced and painfully told, The Phantom Twin will break your heart over and over.” ―Neil Gaiman, Newbery Medal–winning author of The Graveyard Book
“As strange and lovely as the sideshow it portrays, The Phantom Twin is a unique delight.” ―Vera Brosgol, Caldecott Honor–winning author-illustrator of Be Prepared and Anya’s Ghost
“There’s heart and soul visible in every panel of this beautiful book.” ―Carson Ellis, Caldecott Honor–winning author-illustrator of Du Iz Tak?
“Skating the line of unsettling and adorable, Brown’s trademark tidy artwork and straightforward, emotional text will make readers wrestle with what it means to be a ‘freak.’ Step right up.” ―Daniel Kraus, New York Times–bestselling coauthor of The Shape of Water
“Fascinating and creepy and gorgeous―a ghost story that’s equal parts romance, reckoning with grief, and tale of two sisters. I’m in love.” ―Maggie Tokuda-Hall, author of The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Please. Have mercy. I’ve been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday.”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and the forthcoming The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently working on a memoir about his marriages and a feature-length documentary about his father, jazz musician and composer Dave Zoller.
His hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. He has the attention span of a gnat.