THE PEOPLE'S HARE
The People's Hare is the story of a brilliant Nazi cartoonist, Albert Behrens. In the tradition of Slaughterhouse Five and A Clockwork Orange, this tale is filled with slashing humor and chilling realism by turns. No one who has met Albert will ever forget him. As a young man, Albert seeks the adulation of World War II Berlin’s public. He chances upon an article in the SS magazine Das Schwarze Korps in which Superman is scrutinized by the Nazis. Albert decides to provide the Third Reich with its own cartoon hero. His idea unexpectedly reaches the desk of Heinrich Himmler, whose spies have noted the recent appearance of a popular animated rabbit in America. Intrigued, Himmler enlists Albert in Nazi Germany’s propaganda war. Between them “The People’s Hare” is born.
The Hare brings fame to Albert – new ‘friends’, a tawdry affair, and a 1945 visit to the crumbling Fuhrerbunker to showcase his animated epic Comrades and Foes - but it all comes with a terrible cost, exacted in the cells of the Gestapo, the mud of the Russian Front, Stalin’s gulags and, ultimately, by the bitter wedge driven between Albert and his lover, fellow artist Renata Sanger. During the 1960s Albert escapes to Chile only to become embroiled in that country’s Marxist revolution. Determined never to live under Communism again, Albert joins forces with a neo-fascist terrorist group headed by Annmarie Kolb, an eccentric occultist. Of particular interest to them both is Chile’s little-known, embryonic Cybersyn project, a forerunner to today’s Internet. In Cybersyn Albert sees the ultimate fusion of mass communication, fascism, and his animated creation – it is the weapon of the future.
As an artist, former newspaper cartoonist and amateur historian who has studied WWII extensively, Mike brings an unique angle to a much-studied and described period. His gothic fiction has appeared in the anthologies Dead but Dreaming, Reves d’Ulthar, Horrors Beyond, Eldritch Blue, and Lost Worlds of Space and Time. A collection of his work, Anencephalous und andere vergiftete Traume, was recently printed in Germany.