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Death Threat

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  36 reviews
In the fall of 2017, the acclaimed writer and musician Vivek Shraya began receiving vivid and disturbing transphobic hate mail from a stranger. Celebrated artist Ness Lee brings these letters and Shraya's responses to them to startling life in Death Threat, a comic book that, by its existence, becomes a compelling act of resistance. Using satire and surrealism, Death ...more
Hardcover, 60 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by Arsenal Pulp Press
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  232 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Not surprising since this is by the versatile, multi-talented artist Vivek Shraya, but this graphic memoir is completely unique and unlike anything I've read before. Shraya turns an experience of internet hate mail into a moving, complex short book with bright, evocative illustrations by Ness Lee. More detailed review to come on my blog!
You had to smile when the hateful person sent their cease and desist letter after they learned they would be outed and it was rightfully deleted. If only all hateful people sending death threats could be publicly outed.
Shea Proulx
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and chilling. A perfect mix of style, grace under fire, and brutal honesty. Everyone should read this.
Brooklyn Cribdon (The Wild Library)
I'm a big fan of graphic memoirs, and a big fan of Shraya, so naturally I was eager for this book's release. Having just finished it though, I feel disappointed. I think it had to do with the artwork.... For some reason the artwork just didn't connect me to the story and I was left feeling less emotional than I expected. I might try reading it again in the future to see how I feel.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Short but affective. The art is beautiful.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
The illustrations were really powerful (particularly at the very end), I just found this a little too meta for my liking. I love Vivek Shraya's work, I just had a harder time connecting with this one.
Heather V  ~The Other Heather~
"Doesn’t being trolled on the internet go hand in hand with being feminine?"

I never realized a book about an artist being stalked and harassed online could be something I'd call "beautiful," but in this case it's a word I cannot avoid. Perhaps mostly because Vivek Shraya has safely made it through the hatred and emerged victorious.

DEATH THREAT is a very quick read that packs a wallop. It's inspiring as hell to see Shraya take a torturous experience - an endless stream of hateful, transphobic,
Oct 29, 2019 added it
Shelves: library, can-lit
I feel like this is impossible to rate because how do you rate somebody opening up about their experience receiving pointless hate?
One thing I will say is that the messages that Vivek received were so scattered and obscure to me that I actually couldn’t find an actual death threat in them. Is that just me being dense? I think that might be the case.
Anywho..I still think everything this writer puts out is relevant and it’s worth it to grab this one from the library like I did, it only takes a
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the artwork and concept of turning hate into art. Though short the voice in the letters is so distinct and odd that you're immediately like WTF is happening? The phrases are already so visual and the illustrations to go with it are so interesting, especially when reinterpreted at the end, which I especially enjoyed. I think for a lot of readers there won't be satisfaction because it's an incomplete story and picture of the situation but I liked the feeling. I think it's part of this small ...more
Willow L
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a really brilliant take on how harmful hate messages are, but also how we can learn from them. The illustrations were powerful and vibrant, and I kept wanting more and more of them.

Most of all, though, I think it's a very important piece on how damaging social media and the internet can be, especially when it comes to being hateful, and sending bigoted messages, like the transphobia that Vivek received.
Sarah Rigg
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
I picked this up at my library after reading a review of it here:

The book is absolutely beautiful, if disturbing. I love the overall theme of taking these bizarre death threats and transforming them into art. I sort of expected a bit more commentary from Vivek but apparently she wanted the death threats themselves to make up the bulk of the text.
Alicia Kaiser
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
An important little book packaging a big sentiment—one of owning your fear, taking the power from you harasser and turning hate into art. This was an empowering story and a big “fuck you” to trolls.

Separately, I loved the art and I loved the storytelling. Together, they meshed a little awkwardly. This didn’t really take much away as it helped to articulate the apparent and immense discomfort of sharing such a difficult story.

Definitely recommend.
Enid Wray
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
As always, Vivek can be counted on to produce a work quite unlike anything else you’ve come across before.

Death Threat is an interesting artist act of transforming hate into art. It would be a great teaching tool, within a classroom context, for launching a discussion about all manner of things related to transphobia, hate speech and the internet… as well as the creative process.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not gonna lie, this was kind of bizarre, but I loved it. The premise was great, turning a negative (hate mail) into something positive (this book, and getting the chance to strike back at the letter-writer in a non-threatening way.) But what really blew me away from this book was the art. It was bold and bright, surreal and stunning.
Ariel (Jaberwocky) Demong
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to take my time with this but I ended up devouring it whole. Amazing, as always. Haunting, and meta as well. Definitely left me with a certain suspenseful sense of unease, which I believe was entirely intended. I love the interplay between the somewhat blocky, colourful (and stunning!) artwork and the sheer sense of horror conveyed by the text. Just really really good.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
I remember being in my children's literature class with Vivek as a guest lecturer and she mentioned that she was in the process of creating this book. I love how she took the hate and the death threats and decided to make it into art instead. She is one bad-ass woman!
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was so satisfying to see Shraya turn hate into art and call out this scumbag who's been harassing her for all the world to see. The illustrations by Ness Lee were dope and really brought the story to life.
This book is beautiful. It's different from anything else I've read. I loved reading it and I loved that it was written. Not in a way where I say "I'm glad this book exists," but the act of writing it is actually part of the story. Perfect illustrations. Truly a treat to read.
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love Vivek Shraya and I love Ness Lee. I think Vivek captured the scariness of receiving death threats, harassment, and hate mail. This is a beautifully illustrated exploration of that experience.

I'm generally a fan of Vivek Shraya's work, and this is no exception. She is incredibly open about a string of hateful messages here, and that honestly just feel incredibly powerful. I really liked the art as well.

Definitely recommended!
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Especially beautiful artwork.
Holy cow.
This graphic novel by Vivek is a powerful work.
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
A beautiful, moving and disturbing graphic novel by Vivek Shraya and Ness Lee. Really gorgeous art. Story is based on real life death threats that Vivek received.
Christine Montgomery
Great illustrations; I love the vibrant hues. I read it twice. It puzzled me a bit, but things cleared up on the second read
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-comics, queer
Intense. Upsetting. Brief. Beautiful.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stunning + awe-mazing art... oh Ness Lee. So much gratitude to Vivek for sharing this experience.
Muhemed Masika
Nov 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Threats means nothing without action
Actions are the threat
Read more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, women
Beautifully written and illustrated
Aliza Flowerpot
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No matter who you are, this story and illustration will speak to you. This book identifies an important problem in society (with social media) and makes it public.
Sasha Boersma
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A bit too surreal for me. Great art and fascinating story, but I was very confused. ...more
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Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, poetry, fiction, visual art, and film. A Publishing Triangle Award winner, her books include I'm Afraid of Men, even this page is white, The Boy & The Bindi, and She of the Mountains. Shraya is one half of music duo Too Attached and founder of publishing imprint VS. Books. She teaches creative writing at the ...more
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