The Adventures of Unemployed Man

by

Author: Erich Origen and Gan Golan

Title: The Adventures of Unemployed Man

Genre: Science Fiction/Graphic Novels

Publication Date: 2010

Number of Pages: unpaged

Geographical Setting:

Time Period: Present day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: Follow the amazing adventures of Unemployed Man, formerly known as The Ultimatum until good intentions and a stand against The Man got him The Boot. Shrewd, witty commentary on the state of the economy and the roots of our nation’s fiscal woes inform the action in this cleverly written, beautifully illustrated graphic novel. The parody is ripped straight from today’s headlines—supervillains like Cobra (he’ll cover your insurance after being laid off, only $200 a month!) and Kollectus (he comes after outstanding debts and takes everything) show up alongside heroes such as perpetual grad student Master of Degrees, fix-it-with-tape Ducto, pain-shrinking therapist Good Grief, and Wonder Mother (she built her invisible jet from pieces of the glass ceiling), all presented in a dead-on tribute to many classic comic book styles. Nods to noted comics illustrators such as Jack Kirby and others are just some of the sharp, wonderful little details crammed into every page. The parody is not limited to the characters, however; the book itself is organized as a parody of a comic book, right down to the inclusion of phony ads for products and a wickedly funny section titled Fantastic Facts. Origen and Golan back up their stylistic accomplishments with an insightful, provocative story, made all the more effect for its presentation in such a fun, familiar and nostalgic format. This would be a good book for fans of graphic novels or superheroes with a twist, or patrons looking for an interesting presentation of basic socioeconomics in an easy to follow format.

Subject Headings: Unemployed; Graphic novels; Humorous stories; U.S. economic conditions; 21st century; Superheroes

Appeal: Witty, satirical, humorous, smart, shrewd, Swiftian, clever, sophisticated, retro, hopeful, classic, illustrated, insightful, provocative, social commentary, parody

3 terms that best describe this book: Shrewd, provocative, witty

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Expanded edition of the fascinating, humorous and poignant look at modern economics; new graphs, photos and drawings further add to the impact of these astonishing discussions)

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, by Michael Lewis (An inside look at the build-up of the housing and credit bubble during the 2000s and the resulting economic downturn)

The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker, by Steven Greenhouse (Bleak picture of the current environment for the American worker, emphasis on the role corporations play)

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Inside Straight, edited by George R.R. Martin (From the classic Wild Cards series, this mosaic novel sometimes humorously, sometimes matter-of-factly presents a universe where extranormal abilities are an accepted fact, with characters competing to win a new reality show, American Hero)

Superheroes, edited by John Varley (Collection of superhero-themed stories with an ironic, antihero twist)

The Pursuit of Other Interests: A Novel, by Jim Kokoris (Chicago ad exec suddenly loses his job, and with the help of assorted colorful new friends gains a new perspective on his life through a series of unfamiliar challenges)

-Joe

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