Sea Monster Week

A Gallery of Favorite Mermaids

In honor of Sea Monster Week and the impending release of Mark Siegel’s mermaid-centric graphic novel, Sailor Twain, (look for a sneak peek of it later today) the author is sharing some of his favorite mermaids with you! Take it away, Mark:

First off some classics. Herbert James Draper’s “Ulysses and the Sirens.” He really, really, really wanted to hear that song of theirs. But the diving down to his doom part, not so much.

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Click to Enlarge


Here’s the great Edward Burnes-Jones pre-Raphaelite painting “Depths of the Sea,” done in 1887 (the year in which Sailor Twain unfolds.)


Also from the same year (what is it with ’87 and sea maidens?) is Arnold Böcklin’s “Calm Sea.” I like her because she’s like a big tuna, not exactly graceful or nubile.

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Click to Enlarge


With Marc Chagall’s “Sirène au poète” we see a mermaid have an other effect: as a poet’s muse. She may be trouble, but she’s inspiring.


Norman Rockwell painted one, too. If this one is a muse, she’s been snagged and crated, and is off to the fish market. Did Mr. Rockwell feel guilty of the same?


There are countless mermaids in novels. One of my favorites is Gene Wolfe’s Seawrack in his Books of the Short Sun. Like my South in Sailor Twain, she has an unpronounceable name.


A little-know gem among B-movies, Mermaid Chronicles, Part 1: She Creatures is far and away my favorite mermaid movie. Rufus Sewell and Carla Gugino shine, it’s tightly plotted, and again, it’s set in or around the year 1887. Neither Disney nor Darryl “Splash” Hannah can touch it.


The great picture book illustrator and comics author LeUyen Pham created this one called “Shino.”


I have a terrible soft spot for Mike Mignola’s Hellboy. And he bashes a mean mermaid mama.

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Click to Enlarge


As I was serializing Sailor Twain as a webcomic, I regularly got fan art. This one puts me to shame and I love it—by Jake Wyatt:

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Click to Enlarge

Any other favorites? Tell me below!

Mark Siegel is an author and illustrator. His other works include Seadogs, Long Night Moon and others. He is the editorial director of First Second Books. Check out his website here.

Disclaimer: Mark Siegel is a Macmillan employee.


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