cover image Pizzeria Kamikaze

Pizzeria Kamikaze

Etgar Keret, Asaf Hanuka, . . Alternative Comics, $14.95 (100pp) ISBN 978-1-891867-90-3

Adapted by Israeli writer Keret from his own short story, and drawn by Hanuka, this rather slight graphic novel was originally serialized in the comic Bipolar . Narrator Mordy is a 20-something slacker who's killed himself, only to discover that the afterlife for suicides is rather like his previous existence, except with everyone's mortal injuries visible. (The dead can also perform miracles, but only if they're nothing particularly special.) He's got a job in a pizzeria, and a bunch of go-nowhere friends—but then his old roommate, who's thrown himself out a window, turns up and tells Mordy that the girl he killed himself over has also done herself in. Mordy and his pal Uzi head off on a not-particularly-vigorous search for her and find that she's fallen in with someone who calls himself the Messiah King, who has plans of his own for the intentionally dead. As a satire of the culture of blankness, it's somewhat feeble—Keret spends so much time setting up the ground rules for his limbo that the plot barely has a chance to develop, and it's hard to work up much sympathy for any of his affectless suicides. Hanuka's duotone artwork improves as the story goes along, building to some eerie images of heavenly tedium. (Nov.)