Corpse Talk: Queens and Kings and Other Royal Rotters (Corpse Talk #3)

Adam Murphy and Lisa Murphy. DK, $19.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-7440-2767-9
Adam and Lisa Murphy render history accessible in this high-octane third volume, following Groundbreaking Women. Adam Murphy, an avatar for the comics creator in square glasses and a five o’clock shadow, serves as host for “Corpse Talk, the show that brings the dead famous to life!” One by one, 18 narcissistic royals—among them “Byzantine buttkicker Justinian II,” “Tudor rudeboy Henry VIII,” and “superstar sovereign of South Africa” Shaka Zulu—debate the historical record with the skeptical showrunner. Though the guests hail from varied centuries and continents, all boast about their grandiose deeds in colloquial terms. “Singing emperor” Nero argues with a surprise walk-on—his mother, Agrippina Minor, whom he ordered murdered—and denies Murphy’s accusation that he “fiddled while Rome burned”: “OK, first off, fiddles hadn’t been invented yet.” Vibrant full-color art in dense comic-style panels highlights fine-lined, expressive characters. Between interviews, contextual double spreads, including play-by-play exposition added to the Bayeux Tapestry and a factual study of the guillotine, suggest fresh ways of analyzing museum pieces. Hilarious and horrific by turns, this graphic novel magnificently resurrects outsize personalities, seamlessly interweaving factual material with plentiful laughs. Ages 8–12. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/27/2021
Release date: 07/20/2021
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-7440-2766-2
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