cover image Unamerica


Cody Goodfellow. King Shot, $14.99 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-1-73212-405-9

Goodfellow (Sleazeland) satirizes the excesses of capitalism, religion, and drug culture in this macabre dystopian fantasy. While attempting to bicycle across the U.S.-Mexico border with a cache of psychedelic mushrooms, a man calling himself Nolan Hatch is arrested and transported to a strange, lawless city deep underground where he narrowly escapes summary execution. In this nightmarish dystopia, known as Unamerica, ruthless mobs jockey for control and everything is free, but government and corporations use the trapped inhabitants drawn from society’s margins as test subjects for new weapons, drugs, diseases, and commercial products. Hatch soon realizes his smuggled mushrooms, which literally reveal God, hold promise for easing the settlement’s perpetual suffering. He uses his powerful persuasion skills to convince drug kingpins to begin fabrication and distribution of the hallucinogen. Meanwhile, Orrin Litchfield, a fanatical Christian and former abortionist, miraculously heals the leader of the Aryan Nation Brotherhood with the help of angels. Surprised by his new power, Litchfield becomes increasingly violent in his call for repentance as he gathers an army to launch a revolution and cleanse Unamerica. The clash between drugs and religion, both promising Unamerica’s salvation, builds toward a messy, shocking conclusion. Ham-fisted allegories and clunky elements sit uneasily alongside incisive observations and brutal violence. This is a wild, trippy journey through a horrifying nightmare version of America. (June)