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NYC, Ep. 41

March 6, 2012 — On a historic night in which Literary Death Match returned to its velvet-walled birthplace at The Back Room, endlessly fantastic text warbled through the dim-lit confines until Dean Haspiel (creator of the Eisner Award-winning Billy Dogma) screamed back from a 2-1 deficit to topple Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize-winner Kim Dana Kupperman by a 3-2 score at Literary Pictionary to win the LDM's 6-year anniversary crown. 

But well before the finale was even a thought before the jam-packed crowd, the night kicked off with multi-award-winning author Aryn Kyle (author of Boys and Girls Like You and Me) charming everyone to the edge of their seats and beyond with her story “Carpenter’s Wife,” that featured PE teachers, archery, and a-hole boys who threatened rape (it also featured the judge-loved line “Anne of Green Gables was a cunt"). Then came Emmy Award-winning artist Haspiel took to the stage, with an audio/visual/iPad production of the comic "Billy Dogma: The Last Romantic Antihero" projected on a sheet held by two audience members. A story of sex and the apocalypse. 

The mic was then turned over to the trio of all-star judges: multi-award-winning children's book author Jon Scieszka (author of the Spaceheadz series), actor/comedian/playwright Taylor Negron and award-winning comedian/writer Sara Benincasa (author of Agorafabulous). Of Kyle Scieszka said, "It was Judy Blume with a team of Russian Gymnasts, but not in a creepy way,” and Benincasa suggested her performance included a bit of turmeric. On Haspiel, Scieszka thought his story was “Harold and the Purple Crayon re-imagined by Beckett." Negron: “You’re like Ricky Gervais without the middle class rage. Fuck England.” And Benincasa likened the story to a mix of  ground-up cinnamon, cloves, and oregano shoved up one's butthole then lovingly pooped out. After a long deliberation, the judges made the impossible decision of sending Haspiel on as the night's first finalist. 

After a booze-fueled intermission, Round 2 commenced, with National Book Critics Circle Award winner Darin Strauss (author of Half a Life) going up against Kupperman (author of I Just Lately Started Buying Wings). 

 Strauss read fantastically from his iPhone, a "rough draft" that was a treasure of a story called "Puberty" that rocked the crowd — in part because the protagonist had a “gay vibe” and “elfin hands.” But Kupperman was undaunted. She read a series of political pieces called “Recipes for Disaster" about the Dubya years, and featured dishes like Economic Crisis Tort(e) and Baked Alaska. The mic, again, was handed to the judges, with Scieszka deciding Straus was “too knowledgeable about Star Trek,” and Negron saying he appeared as a boy who keeps angel food cake in his car and had the warmth of yesterday's carrot juice," while Benincasa admitted she found him sexually attractive. About Kupperman, Scieszka noted how literary her name was, because she had three names, and Benincasa admitted she found her sexually attractive, too. Another painful deliberation ensued, and after much consideration, it was Kupperman who was advanced to the finals. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Todd Zuniga, who invited producer Erin Valerio to sit on a stool and hold wide swaths of posterboard, while audience members drew pictures of randomly selected choices from the 100 Greatest Novels of All-Time. Haspiel was up quick, 1-0 after a torturous Naked Lunch drawing, but after Kupperman stormed back to take a huge 2-1 advantage, Team Haspiel refused to lose, and countered with two straight answers, winning Haspiel the Literary Death Match NYC, Ep. 41 crown, and literary immortality to go with it. 

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Reader Comments (1)

There's no question about Dino's Immortality. That's for sure.

March 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBradyDale

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