Dave Maass and Patrick Lay’s Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis is a grim, albeit comical, allegorical anti-war graphic novel adapted from a satirical opera originally created by Peter Kien and Victor Ullman while they were imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp in 1943. The book opens on the devastated landscape of wartorn Atlantis, a fantasy empire ruled by Emperor Overall, an isolated absolute dictator focused solely on profit margins and military victories. Amid the death and ruined structures of Atlantis, we encounter Pierrot, a sorrowful but whimsical mime-like clown representing Life, who banters with Death, a tall skeletal figure in military cap and greatcoat, about the dismal state of human existence. But just when life couldn’t get any worse, Emperor Overall calls Death back to active duty and announces the ultimate military campaign: “All out war. EVERYONE AGAINST EVERYONE.” In this 5-page excerpt, Death, overworked and fed up with “unfair working conditions,” announces “I’m on strike!” Death Strikes: The Emperor of Atlantis by Dave Maass and Patrick Lay will be published this month by Berger Books.