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Death Threat

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  418 ratings  ·  66 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 Threa ...more
Hardcover, 60 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by Arsenal Pulp Press
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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  418 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Lala BooksandLala
Apr 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Book 28 of 30 for my 30 day reading challenge.
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, recs
A surreal graphic memoir vividly recounting Shraya's reaction to transphobic hate mail she received; made in collaboration with Ness Less, the work swiftly considers a vast array of topics, from online harassment to state violence.
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.
Ashley Lynne
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Gorgeous artwork, loved the color scheme.
this was really like I had never read before, it really evokes a whole atmosphere (but I imagine it could potentially be very triggering for people who experience online harassment and transphobia so take care of yourself!)
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.
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s both amazing and unsettling how Shraya can imbue the horrible letters she received with such a mesmerizing, lyrical quality. The art is fantastic, the story got under my skin. 4.5/5 stars
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.
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.
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: have-in-paper
Very vibrantly illustrated but it just didn’t resonate with me. I spent too much time being confused to fully get the story the first time. It’s short so I just read it again— it’s powerful and innovative but didn’t fully hook me. I love everything else I’ve read from Vivek Shraya, though, and will continue to read her books.
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.
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Artist Vivek Shraya began receiving disturbing letters from a person using their real name and address! Tired of the psychological turmoil the emails were causing her, she reaches out to Ness Lee to create this graphic memoir quoting the text from the emails she received.
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think the time between me hearing about this comic and me buying it must have been five minutes, tops. I received death threats anonymously online nine years ago. My death threats were homophobic, Vivek Shraya's were transphobic. I was not an adult at the time, I wasn't a fully formed person with an informed, powerful support network. I was hounded and encouraged to take my own life, over and over again.

Vivek Shraya and Ness Lee's comic book turn the words of a transphobic harasser into a gor
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, t
Charlotte Jones
I have read one of Vivek Shraya's poetry books in the past so thought I would give another one of her works a go. This is a short comic book that details an experience the author had with a series of transphobic emails from someone she didn't know.

Ness Lee's illustration style brought this to life. The portraits of Vivek looked realistic enough while the overall style was very cartoon-like and modern. The fact that this was based in reality, Vivek didn't have to use many words to bring the story
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

A very short visual rendering of hate mail/death threats that Vivek Shraya received from a stranger. The artwork on display by Ness is beautiful. The bold linework and bright colours contrast with the rather dark material, and using fluidity and ephemeral imagery was a smart way of depicting that is intangible like this.

It’s very short, but packs a punch. I’m happy to see work by queer POC out in the world, and I commend Shraya for taking something as negative as this an
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
Oct 29, 2019 added it
Shelves: can-lit, library
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 co
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it

This is basically a picture book for adults but it is also an act of resistance. Real-life artist Vivek Sharya starts getting weird and worrisome emails that contain death threats because she is trans. She announces on social media that she is going to turn the emails into a book with another artist (this very book?!) and gets a cease and desist email from her harasser!

Read my other reviews here: https://blackandwhitepandaduh.wordpre...
Sarah Rigg
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
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.
There is nothing about a death threat or any hateful speech that is justified and it's so damn hurtful and uncalled for. I don't even know how to rate this because this is very real and I can't judge this book. The art style is a trip in all the best of ways, all of the emotions just jump out of the page. I really wish the best for the author and the artist, I hope there is a future collaboration between them.
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.
Juniper Allen
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 16, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a super short story that was a little confusing for me. However, there was a lot to like, mainly that Vivek was able to flip a traumatic and hateful experience into an art piece that shed light on the harassment that non-men face in the world. The artwork was incredibly beautiful too, and a tad bit haunting.

Trigger warning: online harassment, transphobia
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!
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.

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Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, theatre, and film. She is the author of The Subtweet, Death Threat, even this page is white, The Boy & The Bindi, She of the Mountains, and God Loves Hair; and her best-selling I’m Afraid of Men was her­ald­ed by Vanity Fair as “cultural rocket fuel”. She is one half of the music duo Too Attac ...more

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