"The machine had been invented a few years ago: a machine that could tell, from just a sample of your blood, how you were going to die. It didn't give you the date and it didn't give you specifics. It just spat out a sliver of paper upon which were printed, in careful block letters, the words DROWNED or CANCER or OLD AGE or CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN. It let people know how they were going to die."
MACHINE OF DEATH tells thirty-four different stories about people who know how they will die. Prepare to have your tears jerked, your spine tingled, your funny bone tickled, your mind blown, your pulse quickened, or your heart warmed. Or better yet, simply prepare to be surprised. Because even when people do have perfect knowledge of the future, there's no telling exactly how things will turn out.
Featuring stories by:
Randall Munroe * Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw * Tom Francis * Camille Alexa * Erin McKean * Jeff Stautz * and many others.
Featuring illustrations by:
Kate Beaton * Kazu Kibuishi * Aaron Diaz * Jeffrey Brown * Scott C. * Roger Langridge * Karl Kerschl * Cameron Stewart * and many others.
Malki's nationally syndicated Wondermark comic strips are a form of resuscitated art in which 19th-century woodcuts and engravings get repurposed into 21st-century humor with snarky dialogue. Popularized most by their appearances in the Onion, whose high- and lowbrow satirical mixture is a perfect fit for Malki's sensibility, this is the second mordant but must-have Wondermark collection from Dark Horse. A typical Malki gag rises out of the World of Tomorrow esque frisson of his staid premodern images of stiff men (frequently mustached and wearing waistcoats while lounging in drawing rooms) or women (parasols and cherubic expressions being their norm) exchanging dialogue more appropriate for a MySpace chatroom than Dickensian fiction. Malki's humor often has a surrealistic bent reminiscent of Terry Gilliam, given some extra steel by a near-constant obsession with death and disease, with particular attention in a hilarious end-of-book "Malady Matrix." A little of Malki goes a long way, but it's a rare page that doesn't merit at least a chuckle.
This was such an interesting concept. A collection of stories about people who know how they will die. I found that it was less about ironic deaths ( though there are some) and more about the societal implications of such knowledge. "Almond" was my favorite.
Each story takes a unique spin on an already unique premise. I love this book!