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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Up Up and Oy Vey

You can now pre-order copies of the book Up, Up, and Oy Vey : How
Jewish History, Culture and Values Shaped the Comic Book
by Rabbi Simcha Weinstein by going to,-42&Product_ID=18

Up, Up, and Oy Vey chronicles how Jewish history, culture, & values helped shape the early years of the comic book industry.

The early comic book creators were almost all Jewish, and as children of immigrants, they spent their lives trying to escape the second-class mentality which was forced on them by the outside world. Their fight for truth, justice, and the American Way is portrayed by the superheroes they created. The dual identity given to their creations mirrors their own desire to live two lives—privately as a Jew, and publicly as an American.

Their creations are the descendants of a Jewish tradition littered with stories of super strength from Samson to the Golem of Prague. An increasing number of fans and amateur historians, obsessed with back-story "mythology," claim they've uncovered the secret "Jewish-ness" of the comic book characters. Superheroes, they claim, are usually outsiders; gifted yet misunderstood, and strangers in a strange land.

This book observes comic book superheroes through three different lenses—historical, cultural, and biblical/spiritual. Utilizing a bibliographic and subjective methodology, the author (an ordained rabbi) charts how the superhero model has unconsciously tapped into the deepest core of Jewish spiritual understanding.

Both teenagers and adults, especially those that are history enthusiasts, pop culture fans, seekers of Jewish spirituality, new-age mysticism cohorts, and of course, comic book readers, will enjoy reading this exciting and inspiring account of the birth and mythical origins of the comic book.

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