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The Adventures of Unemployed Man

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  65 reviews
MAIN STREET, USA-Against incredible odds, jobless crusader UNEMPLOYED MAN and his sidekick PLAN B embark on a heroic search for work-and quickly find themselves waging an epic battle against The Just Us League, a dastardly group of supervillains including THE HUMAN RESOURCE, TOXIC DEBT BLOB, PINK SLIP and THE INVISIBLE HAND.

Experience this action-packed story in THE ADVEN
Paperback, 80 pages
Published October 18th 2010 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  274 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Sophie (Blame Chocolate)
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a parody of our current economical meltdown done right, with tons of fun moments and ingenious puns to keep the reader entertained. It's not all fun and games, though. Seemingly lighthearted and leisured at first, this comic touches very serious topics haunting our world, such as the high unemployment rate, health care, debt, education, morals, greed, gender inequality, the growing devaluation of human beings, and much more.
It's a wake up call, but while it can get a bit depressing
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was completely great and well worth the read. I was drawn in by the sort of silly premise, not fully knowing what to expect, and I was really pleased with the whole thing.

On the lighter side of it all, this is a great parody of comics. The various superhero names and parallels to DC and Marvel characters were great. I loved the retro art as well as the "amazing facts" and silly little ads, everything that made it feel like a real comic from decades past was great. I loved how no
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
The Adventures of Unemployed Man provides readers with a glimpse into our rigid society through witty satire and recreating classic hero’s. This graphic novel deconstructs relevant issues within the US such as mothers in the work force and college debt into a format which readers of all ages can understand. You’ll see not only familiar superhero’s favorites within the graphic novel but also well known political figures with a satirical spin. The Adventures of Unemployed Man is an insightful call ...more
Jan 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Grab your bootstraps! Thirty years ago, corporate CEOs like The Man were paid only around 78 times more than minimum wage earners, but thanks to the hard work of the Just Us League, today's CEOs earn over 4000 times more! In fact, they can make more in one year than average earners (not the lowest) make in 90 years! They're that good.
Reach for the sky! If the USA maintained the same income distribution we had in the 1970s, heroes in the work force would earn at least three times as much as they do today--ave/>Reach/>Grab
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this a lot more than I expected to; this partially explains a lot of the messed up economic/social policies that led to the current recession, but it's also an over-the-top superhero parody. My one criticism is that in trying to do both it never fully achieves either. A lot of economic realities are mentioned but not fully explained and it never achieves a full superhero narrative either: it's really stringing together various economic concepts and news events and overlaying a different ...more
Apr 13, 2011 rated it liked it
A modern superhero satire on our current economic crisis with characters such as Wonder Mother, Everyman, Plan B, and Lemur Brothers. It hits on a lot of the issues of the Great Recession and offers actual facts that helped our current situation to happen. A very fun read unless you're one of the few who weren't hit that hard by this.
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
While not exactly an even-handed treatment, this book is still a good, thought provoking read. Should be on everybody's shelf right next to Howard Zinn.
Feb 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Spot on take on America's recession, and how "in denial" most Americans prefer to be about it.
A refreshingly cynically harsh take on our current descent into new medieval times.
Jen Kanke
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So much clever word play! It almost gave me back all the hope that's been sucked from me by teaching critical theory during the primary season.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great writing and fantastic art--it would actually perhaps served even a little better if it weren't such an overt parody. While the economy was in the doldrums in 2008-? this serves as a reminder of how fortunate and out of touch vast parts of the public were with chants like "The Power of Positive Thinking"

Capetown USA is the Hooverville for Unemployed superheroes. There's problem with The Ageists, Nepotismo, White Rage, The Invisble Hand (becomes an Iron Fist!), The Just Us League, The Dereg
Vincent Konrad
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
much smarter and more political than I expected. indicts capitalism while paying homage to classic comics.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it
It was funny and clever but golly do I dislike politics and economics. Low rating due entirely to that.
Giovanni Gelati
Nov 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I enjoy reading graphic novels for many reasons and The Adventures of Unemployed Man is a prime example. It takes the basic premise that the economy is bad right now, but incrementally worse if you are the one laid off and without a job. The graphic novel does its job through incredibly sarcastic humor and a poignant narrative that is bound to hit home with those that are struggling and those that are rich and cruising along. No one goes away unscathed from this story; it is really a great plotl ...more
Joe Collier
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Follow the amazing adventures of Unemployed Man, formerly known as The Ultimatum until good intentions and a stand against The Man got him The Boot. Shrewd, witty commentary on the state of the economy and the roots of our nation’s fiscal woes inform the action in this cleverly written, beautifully illustrated graphic novel. The parody is ripped straight from today’s headlines—supervillains like Cobra (he’ll cover your insurance after being laid off, only $200 a month!) and Kollectus (he comes a ...more
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
So many sins. I'm actually not very impressed. That said, it was a ton of fun, and I wouldn't have missed Wonder Mother, Lemur Brothers, Golden Sack, and the Outsourceror for the world.

This allegory preaches squarely at the white collar section of the liberal choir, characterizing opponents in willfully dismissive and offensive ways. It strings together select economic factoids in ways that really don't make a cogent argument or teaching about our economic woes. It leaves me not at a
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it
In this massive pastiche of comic book heroes, Erich Origen uses pop culture characters to take a closer look at the current United States recession. Opening with the multibillionaire crimefighter Ultimatum (and his Batman-like existence), our saga sees the positive-thinking hero runs into a sweatshop crew that makes all his merchandise. When he raises a stink, he gets canned by the Boot and ends up as Unemployed Man. His efforts to get back into crimefighting lead Unemployed Man to cross paths ...more
Oct 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Caveat: one of the authors is my neighbor.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel. While I usually prefer the more serious type of GN (like Persepolis), this very comic-book-style work was great. It was a visual treat to look through it and note all the tiny little details subtly embedded in the pictures. The creativity and humor were exactly what one needs when looking true evil right in its ugly mug. Best of all, for me, was that Origen and Golan have their finger right on the pulse of

Some people called this 'propaganda', and I suppose to some it might seem that way. I felt it was a fantastic way of explaining some political issues without the usual hate and venom... there is instead satire and humor, along with a BIG dose of the 'clue-by-four' of thinking- how can people not see these mistakes? Sometimes it's the background noise! We get so caught up in the whole picture and the details, we fail to see the world/country as one giant system that we ALL live in! Putting it int
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ryan Mishap
May 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was aces! Need an explanation about why all those folks are "occupying" places, here it is in a comic book.

I was in from the start as Origen takes a shot at Positive Psychology with Ultimatum Man urging people to be positive, after all, if you're poor it's your own fault for not thinking good thoughts and working hard! This dastardly super-being pushes the party-line until he's fired, suddenly becoming Unemployed Man. On a quest to find work he uncovers the reasons for economic woes, why t
Ryan Miller
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this casting of the housing crisis and our current economic system in superhero terms and with different superhero (and supervillain) characters. (See: The Liquidator, Golden Sack, Blowhard, Buzzword, Fellowman, White Rage, Master of Degrees, Wonder Mother and the evil genius over everything: The Invisible Hand.) While I'm sure some would call this a misrepresentation of reality, the authors even represent that idea with a cameo from the villain named Spin Doctor. This reframes conversat ...more
Keith Akers
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Nice comic-strip, graphic-novel treatment of the problem of inequality and debt. It doesn't really deal with peak oil, limits to growth, or resource shortages, but does deal with the huge and growing problem of inequality in a humorous comic-book satire. A take-off on "action comics," the heroes battle the toxic debt blob, the invisible hand, and other enemies in the "Just Us" League. Unemployed man finds other heroes such as Fellowman, Wonder Mother, Plan B, etc. and tries to get the Hero-in-Ch ...more
Jul 28, 2011 added it
Shelves: graphic-novels, humor
Calling this a quirky and unusual taste is a massive understatement, but I highly enjoyed this thinly veiled satire of the flaws in capitalism (namely greed without regulation) and our current economic collapse told in a humorous retro superhero story. Its peppered with facts to show how the 'american dream' is largely a crock of shit as corporate wealth runs unchecked but it is also full of good humor. My favorite is White Rage, a normal man turned into a giant hulk-esque man whenever words lik ...more
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
this book was awesome! clever, witty, good artwork, HILARIOUS! 5 stars, all across the board!

great for those of us who can't find a job or at least a REAL job and I don't just mean recent college grads! there are sections with clever passages representing working mothers, glass ceilings, humanitarian workers and immigrants. definitely a positive lift from the job-hunting blues. make sure you take a close look at everything in each panel; there are tons of little hidden punch lines! ...more
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If you have been laid off and wondering how things got this way in America, look no further than this excellent graphic novel. Can you blame anyone for being downsized other than your former employer? Turns out, yes you can. Interspersed within the fictional story of ex-superhero Ultimatum Man the author puts in fact sheets that explains the American economy. One warning if you plan on reading this: this book will enrage you. The author was able to have the good guys squeak out a win at the end, ...more
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is not a work of great literature. But it is a great book. It knows what it wants to do and does exactly that: entertain and enlighten. I know more about what went wrong in the recent financial collapse after reading this than I did after the dozens of hours I spent listening to the policy wonks on NPR try to explain it to me. Plus high-quality artwork and more cheesy '50s-comics-style puns than you can shake the Hero in Chief's Clintonite staff at! Success all 'round.
Stephanie Griffin
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
At first I was confused because Unemployed Man is called something different in the beginning of this graphic novel. Then he became Unemployed Man and it started making sense. This old-school type comic about the current economic crisis should be required reading for everyone in an Economics 101 class. Its very clever, succinct, and the plays on names are funny. I recommend this book to everyone!
Sep 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was hilarious! Sad, because it is all so true, but hilarious. This graphic novel is full of everyday heros, out of work due to the recent economic troubles. The author gives background stories for the main heros, all relevant to the lives of so many people today. The names and appearances of all the characters are brilliant.
Jodi Mae
Mar 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Honest portrayal of the causes and effects of recent economic depression; written and illustrated by a number of well known comic artists. Would be a great high school economics text book. Well researched, thorough, thought-provoking and worrisome.
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Having been laid off from two middle school librarian positions in the past few years this is a fun but difficult read for me.

I finished and really appreciated the scathing social commentary, accessible explanations of the economic crisis, and the outrageously snarky humor and art.
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Erich Origen is a New York Times bestselling author whose books are “absurdly funny and very smart” (SF Chronicle), “hilarious, clever, very relevant, and remarkably insightful and thought-provoking" (Time), “furious, fearless” (The Observer), and “uproariously witty and brilliantly successful on every level” (Library Journal).