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Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis
Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis

Sun, Feb 04


Holocaust Museum LA

Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis

What if Death went on strike to protest endless war? Join us for the book launch for the graphic novel adaptation of Der Kaiser von Atlantis, the satirical sci-fi/fantasy opera written by two prisoners in the Terezín concentration camp in 1943.

Time & Location

Feb 04, 2024, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Holocaust Museum LA, 100 The Grove Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA


Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis imagines that the mythological nation never sank and instead grew into a superpower ruled by a tech-obsessed dictator hellbent on world-domination. After the emperor runs out of countries to conquer, he declares all-out war, everyone against everyone. Hearing this, Death himself goes on strike, leaving his counterpart–the Spirit of Life–to try to fix a world where everyone fights, but no one dies.

Writer Dave Maass and illustrator Patrick Lay’s new graphic novel from Berger Books/Dark Horse is a brand new interpretation of a defiantly satirical opera that was written in the Nazis’ Terezín concentration camp 30-miles outside of Prague. The authors–poet Peter Kien and composer Viktor Ullmann–died in Auschwitz before they could see their masterpiece performed.

Maass and Lay will take readers through a guided tour of the artwork of the graphic novel, revealing the secret references and allusions that are packed into every panel. The event will also include a signing.

Dave Maass is an award-winning journalist and director of investigations at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where he researches the abuse of technology by governments.

Patrick Lay is a cartoonist and educator at Columbus College of Art and Design in their nationally-recognized Comics department.

“As a story it's fascinating and excellently told, as an artifact it's heartbreaking and affecting … it's a reminder of what art is for, and how it saves and shapes us when everything else is gone.”— Neil Gaiman

“Beautiful and bizarre… Vivid [and] moving.”—SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE

“Given the source material, it might have been questioned how this story would translate without music, but… [it] has its own visual musicality, masterfully harkening to its origins.” — SCREENRANT

“A fascinating project from Dave Maass and Patrick Lay with an incredible history to it. … This story…feels as relevant in our current dystopian reality as it was when it was originally created.”—BROKEN FRONTIER


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