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A Comic Novel
Ray Sirico used to have it all. Once, he was the brilliant and outrageous Clown Prince of Comics, who reinvented the venerable superhero Skylord, and ranted and rollicked everywhere from TV talk shows to Hollywood premieres. But that was in the '70s and '80s. Now it's 1993, and Sirico is a drunken has-been. His wife has left him, his movie flopped, and his comics' publisher is doing so poorly that its new corporate parent has come up with a radical marketing stunt: the Death of Skylord. Together, antihero Sirico and his superhero Skylord stand at the crossroads of comics and commerce, where quirky creators, fervent fans, conniving businessmen and preening celebrities converge. Deal-making, drug-dealing, love-making and truth-telling all collide at the riotous climax of a fateful weekend that leaves no one unchanged. Fandemonium uses the colourful world of comics and fantasy as a microcosm and metaphor for media consolidation and the excesses of global mass culture. It is at once a hilarious satire of business and society, a portrait of an artist no longer young, and a sometimes poignant look at a universal challenge: to grow up, face the world, and put away childish things.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Review: "Fandemonium made me angry. This is because it came as a surprise. I don't like surprises. The surprise was that a book about comic geeks and comics culture could be so well-written, so engaging, and so much damn fun. Stop this man before he writes again. I hate surprises!" Ted Rall, award-winning editorial cartoonist and graphic novelist. Review: In a single bound, Rick Schindler has created a fizzing comic romp, a satire on the cynical commercial imperatives of big business and a love letter to comic books. Fandemonium is so vivid in recreating the world of comic publishing, and its endless cycles of stagnation and reinvention, that you half expect to come away from it with garish ink stains on your fingers. As you might expect from a veteran journalist, Schindler has an assured grasp of an array of metafictional techniques - news stories, screenplays, emails and so on - and marshals them cleverly to tell the story of faded former wunderkind Ray Sirico and his superannuated superhero Skylord. As the narrative heads towards the nerd circus of the comic convention circuit, it becomes as farcically convoluted as some of the fantasy sagas it pastiches. Graphic novel nuts, fantasy freaks and cosplay connoisseurs will love it. Jon Gower, Movie Reviewer at Total TV Guide. Review: "If there were a medal for best book about the comics industry, FANDEMONIUM would be the hands-down winner. This book captures that world with a wry humor and brings out the wackiness of its characters on both sides of the page." Jim Barnes, Editor and Awards Director, IndependentPublisher.com