BOOM! Studios recently announced a new full-color edition of Pizzeria Kamikaze, a haunting, sometimes surreal graphic novel by award-winning writer Etgar Keret (The Seven Good Years) and Eisner Award-winning cartoonist Asaf Hanuka (The Realist), to its Archaia imprint.
This unexpectedly powerful story of love, loss, and escape was first published in black and white by Alternative Comics in 2006 and is based on Keret’s own short story, Kneller’s Happy Campers, which also served as the basis for the independent film, Goran Dukić’s Wristcutters: A Love Story. Its new edition will debut in February 2018, full color and in hardcover for the first time.
In Pizzeria Kamikaze, after committing suicide, narrator Mordy is condemned to an afterlife where he still has to attend a crappy job in a place no less crappy than the place he came from. When he discovers that his beloved ex-girlfriend is there, too, he embarks on a much-needed road trip through an absurdist and fantastical landscape to find her.
“What was both surprising and beautiful, from my perspective, was that the original black-and-white Pizzeria Kamikaze and the film were both amazing adaptations and each had a completely different tone and sensibility but, at the same time, both of them were incredibly moving and loyal to the text,” says Keret, who wrote Kneller’s Happy Campers after an ex-girlfriend tragically passed away. “As a writer, you can meet your reader but will never really know what they’ve experienced when they’ve read your text. These two adaptations were a rare chance for me to take a peek into the mind of two brilliant and talented artists and I feel very lucky and very grateful for that.”
Pizzeria Kamikaze will also feature a new cover by Hanuka, who also has had two volumes of The Realist—curated collections of his semi-autobiographical comic strips—published by BOOM! Studios. The first volume won an Eisner Award in 2016.
“When I first worked on Pizzeria Kamikaze, I was 25 and felt the good times were over and now I’m just going to become old and lonely,” says Hanuka. “The story starts at this point but then goes somewhere magical and full of hope. Working on the book literally made me better. I consider myself lucky to get a second chance to do this book a bit differently. The colors came out beyond anything I could imagine, and with a new cover I feel like this story is finally getting a chance to reach new readers.”
Pizzeria Kamikaze will arrive in print at better comic stores, retail booksellers, and in digital format through direct comic-reader apps in February 2018.