Perhaps the most acclaimed and significant graphic novel ever produced, Spiegelman's powerful anthropomorphic Maus chronicled the life of his fathePerhaps the most acclaimed and significant graphic novel ever produced, Spiegelman's powerful anthropomorphic Maus chronicled the life of his father, Vladek Spiegelman, a Polish Jew Holocaust survivor. The powerful tale, related from a series of interviews between the Spiegelmans, employed cartoon, traditionally funny, animals as avatars for the various nationalities -- mice for the Jews, cats for the Germans, pigs for the Americans, etc. -- to great effect in this serious, intelligent, and important story. For his efforts, Spiegelman was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize, the first graphic novel to receive the honor. Though Maus tales were serialized in various publications beginning with the 1972 underground comix Funny Animals, the initial graphic novel first appeared in 1986. To commemorate the event's 25th anniversary, the gorgeous behind-the-scenes hardcover Metamaus recounts Spiegelman's tribulations in creating his singular, personal family memoir. Amidst the rare art and family photos in the 300 page book, the magnificent tome includes a lengthy interview with the author, the Spiegelman family tree, transcripts of the interviews with Vladek, and a time line of the events in Maus. Additionally, the volume comes with The Complete Maus, a hyperlinked DVD of the entire graphic novel, an in-depth archive of audio interviews with the Spiegelmans, and lots more....more
With her horrifically comic first novel The Loving Dead, Amelia Beamer taps into the cultural zeitgeist of the early 21st century. Much like the greatWith her horrifically comic first novel The Loving Dead, Amelia Beamer taps into the cultural zeitgeist of the early 21st century. Much like the great zombie film progenitor, Night of the Living Dead, Beamer uses the undead to represent the fractured real world around her, albeit from a hyper-sexual millennialist bent.
Sure enough Kate's friend was roped to the bed. Naked. She wore white contacts, and her skin was a fine gray. Her gaze moved among the men, and she licked her lips.
Michael was stunned. He knew Kate had a sense of humor, but this was beyond expectations. She'd turned her friend into a perfect sexy zombie. He turned to her. "You had me all worked up! You two must have been doing the makeup all this time. And I never knew you were such an actor."
"I'm not," Kate said. She wasn't grinning like she should have been. "I don't know what happened."
"My compliments," Cameron said. "She looks awesome."
"Wow, Kate," Sam said. "You know, what would be even been better is if you'd put some blood on her. Or some black goo, or something. I guess you don't want to mess up your sheets, though."
"Kate, you can cop to the joke," Michael said. "It was masterful. Smile already."
Kate blushed. "It's not a joke."
Twenty-something housemates and Trader Joe coworkers Kate and Michael confront the terror of watching their friends turn into horny zombies, literally. Marauding sex-crazed undead shamble throughout the Oakland hills spreading the sexually transmitted disease that produces the horror.
The zombie raised her arms, not forward like he expected, but to the sides. Her arms writhed like snakes. The ripple moved out form her shoulders to her elbows, her wrists, and her fingers. The skin around her wrists was torn, with scabby bracelets of black blood where the rope had been. Her hips swung around, to one side and then the other. She took a step forward, and Michael stepped backwards. The zombie wore a stage smile, big and brilliant. There was no music, but she kept time, stepping forwards. Knees bent, she rocked her pelvis back and forth. The motion was sharp and practiced. Beautiful, in its own way.
While indeed, as the back cover copy promises, a bizarre cross-pollination of Chuck Palahniuk and Christopher Moore, Beamer's work lacks the innate coolness of the former's prose and the snappy comedic timing of the latter. Its true literary strength lies in her unflinchingly realistic portrayal of the Millennials' Facebook-managed, no barriers world -- an entire life, every secret, presented in living color for all to share. Despite their differences, the youth of The Loving Dead, similar to previous privacy-oriented generations, struggle with the feelings and misunderstandings spawned by their peers and their world as they struggle for their own identities.
Kate interrupted his thoughts. "Hey, does anyone else think that scene in Living Dead, where the white girl slaps the black guy, and he clean knocks her out and then lays her on the couch and undoes the buttons on her jacket—does anyone else think that scene is hot?"
"Racist," Audrey said.
"Liberal," Henry said, in the same tone.
Michael was stunned. It was the sexiest thing anyone had said in a long while. Deliberately provocative. And a total non-sequitur. It took his mind off of their zombie problem for a blessed moment.
Peppered with several ironic moments, uncomfortable family encounters, zeppelins, and an over-abundance of sex, The Loving Dead barrels along at an entertaining clip to an ultimately disappointing conclusion that feels more tacked-on rather than planned. Still, Beamer's insightful observations about her contemporaries combine with a fascinating application of the current zombie phenomenon elevates this debut novel above the plethora of increasingly mediocre undead sub-genre offerings. Ultimately, The Loving Dead presages the talents of an intriguing new author.