Evil Eyes Sea cover.

The graphic novel Evil Eyes Sea by Özge Samanci is scheduled for publication by Uncivilized Books on April 30th, 2024. Today, you can watch a trailer for Evil Eyes Sea, right here on Comics Beat! In addition, Samanci has written an insightful introduction for you to peruse.

Be sure and let us know in the comment section if you plan on picking up Evil Eyes Sea when it arrives at your local book store and/or public library later this spring.

By Özge Samanci

Samanci author pic.

Our pasts are full of bizarre anecdotes. Creativity emerges when we recognize the value of these silly moments. I attended a public university, Bosphorus University, in Istanbul in the 90s.

I was surrounded by unexpectedly surprising, curious, and oddly imaginative people maybe because acceptance to this university required years of persistent studying with an obsessive determination.

Most of us were coming from middle-class families and staying in underfunded dorms. My roommates and I, eight women, lived in a tiny dorm room. By today’s standards, this dorm room was small even for one student. Hot water, laundry machines, refrigerators, and television weren’t available. There were however plenty of wild dogs, cats, and mice living with us.

In this environment, many absurd events emerged from moment to moment. I wanted to create an atmosphere for a fictional story using my memories from these years. I told a slice of life from the 90s about being a woman in Istanbul. Evil Eyes Sea is a humorous survival story, and a murder mystery.

My goal was to create a subtle magical realism and chose the underwater Bosphorus Strait as one of the key environments of the story. I interviewed a military scuba diver who led rescue and criminal research missions. That interview helped me to shape the fictional plot development.

The political characters in the book are a mixture of the political figures of Turkey. In Turkey, supposedly a democratic country, a political leader can remain in power for twenty years or more. Evil Eyes Sea looks at the tragi-comic dynamics of such paradox.

Read The Beat’s 2015 interview with Samanci by clicking here!

You can preorder Evil Eyes Sea in advance of its release on April 30th by clicking here.