A Bloody Comic About Battle, Time Travel, and Joy Division

Reading between the lines.
Sept. 6 2013 9:20 AM

Ceremony

Can one Joy Division fan change the bloody ways of the Aztec empire?

A panel from Sacrifice.
A panel from Sacrifice.

Courtesy of Dark Horse.

A young man named Hector who suffers from seizures finds himself transported, inexplicably, back in time to the height of the Aztecs’ rule. A bloody, complex, sensitive story of feeling out of place and trying to change history (your own, and the world’s), the new graphic novel Sacrifice is written by Sam Humphries and illustrated by Dalton Rose. Can Hector change the fate of the Aztec empire? Can he return to his family in the 21st century? Can he ever explain to the Aztecs what his Joy Division tattoo means?

Deeply researched and yet vividly imaginative, Rose’s artwork brings a lost era to life while evoking the inner turmoil of his hero, who can never be sure if he can believe what he sees or whether he’s trapped inside his own head. Sacrifice is both a thoughtful coming-of-age story and a blood-drenched counterhistorical epic, and Rose’s sharp lines bring the tale to life, just as his astonishing illustrations complement the pieces in this month's issue of the Slate Book Review. We're very pleased to feature his work and this exceptional book.

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Sacrifice by Sam Humphries and Dalton Rose. Dark Horse.

Dan Kois is a senior editor at Slate and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.