Damnation Diaries

$24.95
SKU:
gn9781941250549
Weight:
22.00 Ounces
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Winner: MoCCA Award of Excellence

New York Public Libraries Best Comics of 2023 List

Preordes Ship with exclusive limited edition print. Pictured above.

In hell everyone can hear you scream, but only one person listens.

"[…] Damnation Diaries pulls off a complicated feat of tone. It is both a muscular, thoroughgoing satire, in its verbal jokes and its drawn grotesquerie, and it also manages moments of sincere connection and soul-searching gravity, holding this duality in tension." — Hilary Chute, Art Forum

"In fine-arts painter Rostovsky’s scabrously funny debut, an ordinary guy visits an ordinary therapist in an extraordinary place: Hell. […] This is the rare high-concept satire that lives up to its premise."
Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"Damnation Diaries is what happens after Michelangelo paints Dante's Inferno on the ceiling of your parents' bedroom the night you were conceived. Peter Rostovsky's semi-autobiographical masterpiece is a laugh-out-loud crisis carnival riddled with artistic guilt and slathered with existential viscera. A lost literary relic resurrected from an underground comix Grand Guignol where R. Crumb meets Bernie Wrightson by way of Harvey Pekar in Purgatory. By facing his emotional inferno and embracing the horrors of inhumanity, Rostovsky shows us a painful pathway to personal paradise."
Dean Haspiel, creator of Billy Dogma and The Red Hook

"Peter Rostovsky reimagines his own life in an infinity mirror from hell, creating a doppelganger sibling that is half Dante half Dostoevsky, as if by etching out the hellish map of his fate he may avoid having to actually live it... It's a good trick, but will it work? Rostovsky gives us the gift of his inner thoughts and fears in a horror book fit for the modern age."
Annie Nocenti, author of
Ruby Falls, The Seeds
writer on Daredevil, Catwoman, and Spider-Man
creator of Marvel characters Longshot, Typhoid, Spiral, and Blackheart

"Most of the time when you tell someone to go to hell, it's not meant as a pleasant directive, but the exception to this would be to enthusiastically advocate — as I am doing right now — that people should read Damnation Diaries by Peter Rostovsky and, essentially, go to hell. Except this trip to hell is full of wit and satire and absolutely gorgeous and disturbing art. Rostovsky, our 21st century Dante, holds up a fun-house mirror to our world that will delight and trouble the reader in the most heavenly (and hellish) ways."
Jonathan Ames, author of 
THE WHEEL OF DOLL

"Damnation Diaries seamlessly slips between scenes of satiric dark humor and moments of exquisite pathos, equal parts George Orwell and Gustave Doré, bound together and gorgeously rendered through Rostovsky's inimitable literary and artistic sensibility."
Bishakh Som, author of Apsara Engine and Spellbound

Hell can get you down.

It’s big, hot, often painful, and a hard place to get creative projects done. But something else is bothering inmate PKRx354—something beyond the unrelenting and often absurd torture routines, the demons, or the tormenting trio of his mother, father, and girlfriend also consigned to the Underworld. Luckily there’s help: Fred Greenberg—Hell’s only psychotherapist. With Fred’s stoic and perceptive guidance, the “talking cure” proves productive. That is until a dastardly terrorist act by a mysterious faction threatens the very nature of the Underworld. Will our self-deprecating hero get to the cause of his nagging "ennui?" Will Fred find his own redemption? And will our hero ever find peace, or at least a vacation?

Combining Dante, Douglas Adams, and Freud, Damnation Diaries is equal parts horror comedy and character-driven drama, uniquely converging the look of bronze-age comics with sharp literary satire. The book’s imaginative and surreal landscape serves as a perfect backdrop for caustic social commentary fit for our equally surreal times. The setting may be imaginary, but the urgent issues addressed are not: growing economic inequality, student debt, political crisis, terrorism, and the attempt to find peace under the most hostile of circumstances.

Peter Rostovsky is a Russian-born artist and writer who emigrated from the former Soviet Union as a political refugee in 1980. His paintings and fine art have been shown widely in the US and abroad and exhibited at museum venues such as PS1/MoMA, The Walker Art Center, MCA Santa Barbara, Artpace, The Blanton Museum of Art, S.M.A.K., as well as a host of private galleries. His writing—often under the pen name David Geers—has appeared in the magazines October, Fillip, BOMB, The Third Rail Quarterly, The Brooklyn Rail, Unbag, and Frieze, and spans cultural criticism, art writing, and fiction. Meanwhile, his illustrated fiction and comics-based work has appeared in the Third Rail Quarterly, Unbag, Topic, and in Devil’s Due’s much-publicized “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force” where his contribution was highlighted by the New York Times, Vice, and other media outlets. Rostovsky teaches at NYU, Parsons New School, and Lesley Art + Design.