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Overview

Mixing dystopian sci-fi, mythic fantasy, and zombie horror, Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis, is a graphic novel based on a suppressed opera written in 1943 by Peter Kien and Viktor Ullmann, two prisoners at the Terezín concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. The authors did not live to see their masterpiece performed.

Set in an alternative universe where Atlantis never sank but instead became a technologically advanced tyranny, the power-mad buffoonish Emperor declares all-out war—everyone against everyone. Death goes on a labor strike, creating a hellscape where everyone fights, but no one dies. Can the spirit of Life stop this terror with the power of love?

Includes designs from the original opera, historical essays, photographs, and more.


"This is beautiful and strange, both for what it is and what it isn't. As a story it's fascinating and excellently told, as an artifact it's heartbreaking and affecting. More than a footnote in Holocaust literature or a lost libretto given visual shape, it's a reminder of what art is for, and how it saves and shapes us when everything else is gone.”—Neil Gaiman

“Maass’s playful script, with its pitch-black humor and fiendish turns of phrase, honors the original opera... This parable captures the defiant spirit of artists.”—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506737300
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication date: 01/23/2024
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 210,655
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Dave Maass is a writer and journalist whose work has been featured in New York Times Magazine, Wired, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Slate, the LA Times, The Atlantic, Vice, and On the Media. He leads the award-winning Atlas of Surveillance project at the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is a Reynolds Scholar in Residence.

Patrick Lay is a cartoonist, illustrator, educator, and podcaster from Northwest Ohio. He has been self-publishing since 2014.
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