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COMBUSTOICA: A prose project of About Comics

For immediate release:

Robert Mayer's final tale: The Assassin


Robert Mayer, the acclaimed author of everything from the dark superhero comedy of Superfolks to the rich historical fiction of The Origin of Sorrow to the influential true crime work The Dreams of Ada passed away in July... but he left behind one last work, a novel called The Assassin: An American Life that cuts across over eight decades of American history.
The Assassin is the tale of Exit Maisel (thank Ellis Island for the name), a Jewish immigrant who finds himself embraced by those in power, doing a broad range of tasks for presidents from FDR to Obama and beyond. It is a story not just of history - the horrors of Nazi Germany, the founding of Israel - and not just of the present moment (although that is very much in evidence), but of memory, its joys and imperfections, and of Parkinson's Disease and its ravages.
Mayer turned in the final pages of this novel exactly one month before the effects of Parkinson's took his own life away. Over his 80 years he had been a journalist, a columnist, an editor, as well the author of 17 books, both fiction and non-fiction (and that's not counting his being one of the many anonymous co-authors of the notorious best-selling sex-laden literary hoax Naked Came the Stranger.) His most recent prior book, the memoir Monkey Brain: A Writing Life, was released in 2017.

The Assassin: An American Life (ISBN-13: 978-1-949996-11-1) is available as a 240 page trade paperback with a cover price of $14.99 US and as a Kindle e-book priced at $4.99.

Combustoica is a prose project of About Comics, a publisher since 1998. Work done under the Combustoica banner includes original novels, reprints of classic work, and audiobooks. More information is available at

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