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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hereville : How Mirka Got Her Sword - available May 2008

I have to admit that I haven't had the time yet to sit and read through the first Hereville story, "How Mirka Got Her Sword". However, I have looked at several pages and have been impressed with what I've seen : a strong-willed Orthodox Jewish girl as the main character, a Sabbath evening scene, a Havdallah scene (Havdallah is the ritual done at the end of the Jewish Sabbath), the intricate knitting scenes using double-page spreads. If nothing else, there is a sense of originality in its concept - when's the last time anyone's seen a comic story involving a troll-hunting Jewish girl? I think Hereville has the first.

When I posted to my Jewish comics forum (at Yahoo) about the webcomic (message #698), it was hosted at Girlamatic. Now, cartoonist Barry Deutch has gotten Hereville its own domain name to display his sample pages at :

For those who prefer reading their comics on dead trees, there's great news. Hereveille : How Mirka Got Her Sword will be published as a trade paperback next month!

Although I haven't read much of the story, at least 6 others have --- and those 6 have written reviews or made comments.

Below are excerpts from those readers :

Mary Ellen Slayter - "A Shrinking Drawing Board for Cartoonists" The Washington Post, Dec. 12,2004

What do you get when you cross "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and Isaac Bashevis Singer?

You get cartoonist Barry Deutsch's latest project, an online comic book called Hereville, about "the magical adventures of a 12-year-old Hasidic girl fighting monsters."


Deutsch has taken numerous college-level art classes, including a few at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he studied with Will Eisner, "one of the greatest cartoonists of all time."

The Webcomics Examiner Advisory Board (upon Hereville being chosen as one of the Best Webcomics of 2004)

The story is leisurely and steeped in cultural tradition; even troll killing must wait until after Shabbot rituals. Smart, yet heartwarming, quiet, yet with a genuine sense of adventure.

Deniselle at A Blog About Comics :

exceptionally beautiful visuals. The drawings are detailed and seem like a lot of work has gone into getting things right. It's the confident work of a professional artist. The division of panels is deliciously non-traditional.


The dialogue caught my interest right away. We're thrown right in the middle of a philosophical debate in the first few panels. Do we have free will or does God just make our lives difficult? In another early strip, we're invited to ponder on the ethics of eating animals vs. slaying dragons.

Eric Lindberg of Broken Frontier

a fascinating and, at turns, educational read.


an interesting comic with a unique cultural identity. It’s worth a look for fans of fantasy or for anyone who feels there is no new territory to explore in the genre.

Ragtime at Comic Book Thoughts

Here, Here for Hereville


I will definitely be buying a copy of Barry Deutsch's Hereville.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis of The ZehnKatzen Times

It's glorious, deep, clever, and intelligent; finally, a take on the hero's tale which doesn't look like it was cribbed straight outta G.I. Joseph Campbell. Mirka won me over from the start.

If you'll be in the Portland area on April 26th or 27th, you can drop by the Stumptown Comics Fest, where Barry Deutsch himself will be on hand at an exhibitor booth to talk to you and sign your copies of Hereville. Don't have a copy? No problem! You can buy them at his booth.

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