A darkly humorous look at fame, sex, drugs, music and gender identity in the 90’s, Who Killed Luke Mandrake? is the supernatural opening act of my epic series, The Goddammerung.
Punk icon Luke Mandrake understood the deal he was making when he set out on his drug-fueled sprint to stardom, but he never imagined that when he died, he’d become a zombie. Now, trapped in a limbo for celebrities, Luke must learn to manage his image among the living so he can regain his true form. While those he left behind search for answers, Luke agonizes over how to protect his widow and children from hidden dangers, and longs to win the love of the goddess of the dead.
Lincoln in the Bardo and American Gods meet Please Kill Me in Who Killed Luke Mandrake?, a bawdy literary urban fantasy set in the underground culture of Portland, OR and Brooklyn, NY the 90’s. It’s a moment in history when gender is becoming fluid, when scrappy rock-and-roll moms, tired of endless, lame excuses from their drama-queen husbands, begin to step up and take the reins. The collective unconscious bleeds into waking life, and prophetic dreams reveal a realm where the dead feed upon the adulation of the living.
Reinventing traditional deities like Hades, Persephone and Hermes through the lens of contemporary pop culture, the novel explores how the dynamics between art and the realm of the subconscious reflect the evolution of sexual identities and social realities, expanding the potential of the human spirit.
Where to read Who Killed Luke Mandrake?:
I’m currently looking for a publisher for Who Killed Luke Mandrake?
Zombie Punk, the comic book it’s based upon is currently available for purchase on Indiebound.
You can subscribe to my Patreon feed to read both the comic and the novel in weekly installments.
Zombie Punk began life as an illustration for my editorial portfolio in 1996. I decided I wanted to create a portrait of Kurt Cobain using a gritty style that combines graphic white-on-black painting with wax resist.
Before long I found myself writing an entire comic book series based on Cobain’s life and work. I finished the first issue, but the intensive work I put into the comic, and the irrepressible sexual awakening that accompanied my obsession with the dead rock icon, put a serious strain on my relationship with my musician husband.
I found myself in a power struggle with my spouse and collaborator. In the midst of my efforts to assert my artistic autonomy, I discovered a dream that I’d written in my journal nearly a year before. This dream revealed that the obsession with Cobain had sprung from an otherworldly meeting, where he appeared to me, all unrecognized, as a mythic figure.
Years later, the story I began in 1996 is now a novel in two volumes, and the first book in The Goddammerung Series.