Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis (Hardcover)

Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis By Dave Maass, Patrick Lay (Illustrator), Ezra Rose (Illustrator), Richard Bruning (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Dave Maass, Patrick Lay (Illustrator), Ezra Rose (Illustrator), Richard Bruning (Illustrator)
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Description


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

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.

Praise For…


"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

“Death Strikes is biting gallows humor, audacity, rage and clarity. I had to stop and stare into space for a while after I read this book. It leaves you vibrating. And the story behind it all calls back one of humanity’s ugliest parts of history from an angle that few know about. An amazing work.”—Nnedi Okorafor, The Binti Trilogy, LaGuardia 

“Snatched from the very jaws of death comes a wry, surreal and moving tale of death itself, written in a Nazi concentration camp and revived here for a moment it is utterly (if regrettably) relevant to.”—Cory Doctorow, author of Red Team Blues and The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation

“A rare and fascinating glimpse at a nearly-lost work of art - remarkable.”—Ryan North,  author of the graphic novel adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five

“A scathing, grand-guignol epic written in the midst of hell, brought back from oblivion in an act of art and love.”—Molly Crabapple, Author DRAWING BLOOD and BROTHERS OF THE GUN (with Marwan Hisham)

"A beautiful story of defiance that resurrects and honors literature composed under the most horrific of circumstances. To stage an opera from the Terezin Ghetto within the pages of a graphic novel, where it can live forever upon bookshelves, is more than an artistic achievement, it's a mitzvah."—Spencer Ackerman, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of Reign of Terror: How The 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump

“This book based opera is a testament to how art becomes a poem and the only way to communicate the emotional state of living through history. Beautiful, sad, relevant and vital, Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis demonstrates why stories are vital to share and how forgotten pieces of art are essential to understanding the truth of a moment.”—Cecil Castellucci, author of Shifting Earth

“Strange, fascinating and haunting. Beautifully done and depressingly relevant. ‘Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis’ is a small masterpiece.”—Derf Backderf, author of Kent State and My Friend Dahmer

“Karen Berger's eye for talent shines with this presentation. Maass and Lay's 'Death Strikes' is a beautiful fable, with a lot of charm, humor and passion. Art and writing are harmonious and the story is grimly intriguing. Don't sleep on this.”—Darick Robertson, Artist and co-creator of The BOYS and Transmetropolitan.

“From the minds of artistic geniuses Peter Kien and Victor Ullmann came a searing tale born in the anguish of the Terezín concentration camp, where both men were imprisoned before perishing at Auschwitz. I cannot imagine a more powerful retelling of the opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis than this extraordinary graphic novel by Dave Maass and Patrick Lay.  Set in a world that is both ancient and futuristic, this dystopian nightmare presents humanity at its very worst, yet in the end offers the hope of the invincibility of the human heart. The book succeeds in adapting the operatic stage to the illustrated page and will encourage classical fans to emotionally connect to the music in a thrilling new way.”—JoAnn Falletta, Multiple Grammy-winning Conductor and Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra 

“This new telling of The Emperor of Atlantis is astonishing and compelling both for its lucid, powerful prose and dynamic, dystopian art. Maass and Lay present a creative reimagining of the original operatic narrative where the metaphors and warnings resonate within its historical context while also feeling frighteningly prescient and meaningful today."—Teddy Abrams, Music Director, Louisville Orchestra

“Exquisitely drawn, beautifully written, and meticulously researched-this graphic novel respectfully references the compelling original opera source material while at the same time boldly modernizes the work to allow for an accessible and thought provoking piece of art for a new generation of audience.”—Adam Millstein, Violinist and Program Manager for the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School

“In the tradition of Maus, a brilliant, edgy and ultimately deeply moving addition to Holocaust-related literature.  Death Strikes is a powerful reminder that the fusion of text and drawing creates profound effects that can be achieved in no other medium.”—Michael Beckerman, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music, New York University

“Death Strikes is every bit as gripping as it is important reading — a thrilling, sensitive, and devastating realization of Kien and Ullmann's vision, which speaks as much to both urgent issues of the present moment and timeless concerns of humanity as it does the unimaginable circumstances of its origins in Terezín.”—Michael Schacter, composer, pianist, and writer


Product Details
ISBN: 9781506737300
ISBN-10: 1506737307
Publisher: Berger Books
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2024
Pages: 128
Language: English