The Uncanny and the Cyclical: Reading Mark Beyer’s “Agony” In 2016

In his introduction to a new edition of Mark Beyer’s 1987 graphic novel Agony, Colson Whitehead invokes one of the bleakest of Saturday Night Live recurring characters: Mr. Bill. For those unfamiliar, Mr. Bill was a man made of clay whose adventures would largely involve him being mutilated in assorted ways by an assortment of adversaries, including the seemingly kindly and softspoken Mr. Hands. A similar blend of eager optimism and soul- and body-crushing misadventures can be found in Beyer’s […]

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