Cleveland artist Gary Dumm and his wife Laura, who often work in tandem, are among the area’s busiest and most exhibited artists, whose graphic work often addresses social/political issues, and cats.
Gary is also known for his work illustrating graphic novels, including a history of 60s radical group the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) and the stories of the late Harvey Pekar.
In Fire on the Water, Dumm and his frequent collaborator, Cleveland author Scott MacGregor, relate a story based on true historical events about immigrant workers building a tunnel under Lake Erie and the corporate bosses who flagrantly disregard their safety and put their lives at risk. Hmmmm…. Haven’t we heard this story somewhere recently?
In any case, this attempt to build a tunnel to draw drinking water from four miles out to bypass the increasing industrial pollution of the lake ultimately cost 20 lives — and the rescue attempts involved legendary Cleveland African-American inventor Garret Morgan, Sr. whose gas mask allowed rescuers to descend into the collapsed tunnel.
The dramatic story is perfect material for such a work, relating a story that feels contemporary in its confluence of environmental disregard, racism and economic inequality. The book’s publication date is May 12. Order it now from one of our local independent bookstores!