Gagman is a touching and unique tale of survival through unimaginable horror.
A prisoner in a WWII concentration camp discovers a superpower that could keep him alive – he can make the commandant laugh by telling jokes. He must stay funny – or die. Pushed to the ends of his wit and humanity, Gagman is propelled into a spiralling madness in which he would sell his soul for a gag, simply to live another day.
Evoking themes from The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Fedler weaves the story of a Faustian bargain brokered in hell, where redemption comes in the form of a punchline.
Swapping his yellow star for a tattered comic book, Gagman roams the new world and zeitgeist determined to find answers to the deepest questions about loss, hope and belonging.
Illuminated by Fedler’s haunting cartoons, Gagman juxtaposes humour and pathos and explores survivor guilt, desperation and the search for meaning in the wake of the Holocaust.
Dov Fedler, a legendary political cartoonist, has been working on this story for 35 years. His earliest dream was to work for Walt Disney, but he ended up working as a cartoonist at The Star newspaper for half a century.
Gagman is his fourth book. His previous titles include If You Can Write You Can Draw, Starlite Memories and his memoir, Out of Line.
Joanne Fedler is a speaker, publisher and the bestselling author of 14 books, including Secret Mothers’ Business, Things Without a Name and Unbecoming. She is Dov’s writing mentor, editor and middle daughter.
Brio Books 2022, paperback.