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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Spend Labor Day with Freeman & Rosezweig (& other authors)

Luke Ford's blog is promoting the 4th annual Ben Yehuda Press Labor Day BBQ and Literary Hootenanny, which will be held Monday, September 1st at 1 PM - 430 Kensington Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666.

Among the authors who are scheduled to make an apperance to discuss their work are The Comic Torah's author & illustrator team Sharon Rosenzweig and Aaron Freeman.

Sharon Rosenzweig and Aaron Freeman will discuss their upcoming THE COMIC TORAH: REIMAGINING THE VERY GOOD BOOK, it’s the Torah — the take is a comic look, the format is a comic book, from the minds of Chicago artist, Sharon Rosenzweig and stand up comic, Aaron Freeman.

If you plan on attending the BBQ, please RSVP to Larry at

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Lilith magazine promotes Jewish graphic novels

The Spring 2007 issue of Lilith magazine contained a 1-page preview of Rutu Modan's Eisner-winning graphic novel Exit Wounds (page 48).

The Fall 2007 issue contained both a review of Sharon Rudahl's graphic novel A Dangerous Woman : The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman (p. 43-44) and a 1-page preview of Miriam Libicki's jobnik! series (p. 48).

Pharaoh's Daughter & Miriam Save Moses : The Value of Life

The Summer 2006 issue of Lilith magazine mentions on page 46 that Behrman House has published a manga titled Pharaoh's Daughter & Miriam Save Moses : The Value of Life, as part of its Manga Midrash series. The other 3 titles in the series are : Courage : Moses, the Israelites, and the Golden Calf, Compassion: Eliezer & Rebecca at the Well, and Leadership: Jacob and Esau.

Super Man and the Bug Out

courtesy of feygele at Jewschool :

The Super Man and the Bugout, a short story by Cory Doctorow from his collection A Place So Foreign and Eight More, is “about Superman as a Jewish boy raised in Toronto’s suburbs (Superman’s creators being, of course, nice Jewish boys from Toronto!), put out of work by the arrival of benevolent aliens who welcome Earth to the Galactic Federation.”


Roy Trumbull has done a great performance of the short story, now available on mp3. At 56 minutes long, I recommend downloading it to your favourite portable mp3 player and listening as you walk around town, take your daily commute, or go on your lunch break. Definitely worth a listen!

8th Animation Comics & Caricature Festival - Tel Aviv - Aug. 13-16

The 8th Animation Comics & Caricature Festival will be held this week - August 13-16 at the Cinematheque in Tel Aviv. Forf more info (in Hebrew), please go to the website at

Graphic Therapy - Notes from the Gap Years

Artist Emily Steinberg tells us about her life in the online autobiographical graphic memoir Graphic Therapy - Notes from the Gap Years. The memoir is divided into "sessions" and thus, far only the first 3 sessions have been uploaded.

Her mini-bio at the Smith site reads "Emily is 39, single, underemployed, and can’t decide if she’s a dilettante or a genius. We’re pretty sure it’s the latter. Her fearlessly blunt diary of her “gap years” exposes a unique worldview on art, commitment, Nazis, mice, copy-machine salesmen, Judaism, SUVs, and psychoanalysis. Plus, it has funny pictures."

The story should be read from start to finish, but for those just interested in the "Jewish" passages, I'll provide links and quotes below :

I mean, according to the normal plan, the nice Jewish girl plan, I was supposed to be married to a mensch, living in the burbs, and schlepping my children all over creation in my oversize SUV, a cumbersome but stylish vehicle which resembles a living room more than a mode of transport.

When I was a little girl in the late 60's, early 70's, I used to think to myself, I have two strikes against me : I'm female and I'm Jewish, but at least I'm not black. It seemed to me that life options for girl's were limited to wife, mother, grandma, and maybe secretary or nurse, if you were really lucky. So I figured it was bad that I was a girl.

And it was super bad that I was Jewish. At the tender age of seven or eight, they started showing us horrendous films about the Holocaust in Hebrew School.

Images of naked women and children, in grainy black and white, gunned down in a pit. Images of naked men, being forced to lie down and be whipped by fully dressed S.S. officers.

Mom and Dad told me they wanted to have a lot of children to off set the loss of the Jews in the Holocaust. That's pretty heavy information for a kid. Just a tad more intense than Fun With Dick & Jane. No wonder Jewish kids are so neurotic. So, I realized it was really bad to be Jewish.

Mom and Dad were liberal Jews, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. The shtetl relocated to Ocean Parkway.

My body has become a monlith, sort of like Stonehenge.


It's all because of my fucking DNA. These are my great, great grandparents, serious shtetl stock. Big people with big bones. In my family, if you didn't eat often and with gusto, something was wrong with you.

Over the summer, I visited Heinie at the Haupterfuehrerberger farm in Oregon. Feeling like a Hasid, in black robes and a fur-trimmed hat, my side locks swinging in the breeze, this East Coast Jew flew West to hang with a passel of ex-pat Krauts on the new Sudetenland.

I was like, huh? So, there I was, the quintessential Jew, drinking wine and eating swine at a table presided over by a diminutive, wizened former Nazi party member.

Don't Look Back

Don't Look Back is a Hebrew comix work with text by Israeli song writers, and comic illustrations by Israeli artists.

A sample page may be found online at

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The Jews Ruined My Life

The first page of the Hebrew comic story "The Jews Ruined My Life" by Daniel Goldstein, which will appear in the anthology Izrapol, may be viewed online at

Who will be the scape-goats of the coming Jewish Year?

Ariel Weissman's comic page "Who will be the scape-goats of the coming Jewish Year?" (an Udi special), appeared in Hebrew on Sep. 14, 2007. The original Hebrew version may be read online at

An English trabslation may be found at

Lucky Picture by Joanna Karpowicz

A page from the story "Lucky Picture" by Joanna Karpowicz, which will appear in the anthology Izrapol,may be viewed at

Saddleback's Illustrated Classics - Merchant of Venice

Saddleback Educational Publishing, having acquired the series of illustrated classics from Pendulum Press in 2007, has set about reprinting these classics in full color. Among these classics is an adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

Hebrew comic - Nikmat mi-Potsetsot ha-Mistik

The 5 pages of the Hebrew comic story Nikmat mi-Potsetsot ha-Mistik illustrated by Dotan Moreno and dated August 2006 may be viewed at Moreno's Flickr page.

The exact addresses are as follows :

Shuk - a Hebrew comic story

The 5 pages of the comic story "Shuk", illustrated by Dotan Monero and based upon a story by Simi Berdugo, may be viewed at his Flickr page.

The address for each of the pages follows below :

Breaking the Ice #57

John Keating is an actor, stand-up comic, and a cartoonist. Not a very common combination of talents.

In cartoon 57 of his online comic strip Breaking the Ice, John recounts a true-life experience. While auditioning for a part, he was "profiled" as a Jew. When the casting agent realized that he wasn't actually Jewish, he didn't get the part.

Super-Jew? Huh?

"Jesus of Zion" look at the Uri-On comic book and Uri Orbach, who was a roomate of Michael Netzer (the author & illustrator of the Uri On series).

The blog post may be found at

Super Jewish comic heroes

Australian Jewish News article - July 30, 2008 by Adam Kamien

You may read the full article online at

Melbourne comic book devotee and former fanzine (a DIY publication released by a fan) editor Lazarus Dobelsky says for immigrant Jews in the 1930s, “normal” jobs were hard to come by.

“When most of these people started, they struggled to get into the WASP-ish advertising agencies, but they had to earn a living somehow and working on comic books was about as good as they could get at the time,” Dobelsky said.

“It does beggar belief that in the early years, about 70 per cent of the industry was Jewish.

“Jews have a vast treasure trove of legends that are passed on to us by our parents and our culture. Also, it’s undeniable that as a Jew you like to tell stories,” Dobelsky said.

The two Jews responsible for the birth of the comic book were a couple of New York gangsters. Harry Donnenfeld and Jack Liebowitz bought a company that produced pulp magazines, which ran trashy stories about detectives and crime fighters with sensational cover art and comic strips taken from the daily papers.

Drawing together - the first Israeli-Polish comic book

Jerusalem Post article (Jul. 31, 2008) by Asi Gal

The full article is online at

If you didn't know, 2008-2009 is Israel-Poland year. One of the many events taking place in this framework is the launching of Polisra, the first Israeli-Polish comic book - to be featured at an exhibition at Holon's Israeli Cartoon Museum and at the Tel Aviv comic books festival. The Polish Mickiewicz Institute, which initiated the book, hopes it will be a channel in creating dialogue on topics considered taboo in the two nations' histories.

On the Polish end of things, the obvious taboo is that period that began in the late 30s - and the never fully resolved questions of complicity with the Nazis.

"Polish people feel a lot of hatred from Israelis visiting Poland," says Amitai Sandy, publisher, art director and editor of the comic book. Sandy, along with four other Israeli comics writers, including Ze'ev Engelmayer and Noa Abarbanel, worked with five Polish comics writers on this joint project.

"When Israelis come to visit the camps, they always have security around them and are not allowed to talk with the Poles." The Poles, he says, "feel that all Israelis view them as anti-Semites."

For their part, he asserts, many Poles "view Israelis as militant extremists who have brought Russians to Israel to use as war machines against Arabs."

Sandy views Polisra as an opportunity to deal with history and the stereotypes connected to it. One story in the book, for instance, portrays a Polish woman who buys a picture of a Jew counting money for her new house. According to Polish tradition, such a picture brings prosperity to a new home. When no such prosperity arrives, the woman complains of the picture's failure to the salesman. The next frame depicts the salesman in his villa, surrounded by such pictures, exclaiming that, "It works for me!"

sketch of One-Punch Goldberg by Evan Dorkin

One Punch Goldberg

Here's a sketch of One-Punch Goldberg drawn by Evan Dorkin for "lantern75", which was found on his Flickr page. Of course, the note below the sketch, saying that it well probably never come out, ended up being wrong. The One-Punch Goldberg story appeared in Biff Bam Pow! #1, which has been reviewed at Kids' Comics, Richard Burton's Fictions, Read About Comics, Playback:STL and Line of Fire.

Comic-Book Idols Rally to Aid a Holocaust Artist

New York Times - Aug. 8, 2008

As all-star comic-book team-ups go, this one beats the first meeting of Superman and Spider-Man. Three of the elder statesmen of comic books — Neal Adams, Joe Kubert and Stan Lee — have joined forces to combat what they see as a real-world injustice.

The men are lending their talents to tell the tale of Dina Gottliebova Babbitt, who survived two years at the Auschwitz concentration camp by painting watercolor portraits for the infamous Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele. Some of the artwork also survived, but it is in the possession of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland. Now 85 and living in California, Mrs. Babbitt wants the artwork back, but the museum has steadfastly refused to return it.

“I’m at a total loss,” Mrs. Babbitt wrote in an e-mail message. “I feel just as helpless as I did when I was at camp. Totally disempowered.”

Now Mrs. Babbitt’s story has been captured in a six-page comic-book story illustrated by Mr. Adams, who helped take Batman back to his dark roots after the ’60s television show made him seem campy; inked partly by Mr. Kubert, whose comics career stretches back to the 1940s and who has drawn everyone from Hawkman to Sergeant Rock; and featuring an introduction by Mr. Lee, a co-creator of the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and many other Marvel heroes.

The text was written by Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which has championed Mrs. Babbitt’s cause. Mr. Medoff and Mr. Adams have offered the story to DC Comics and Marvel Entertainment in the hopes of getting it published, but no deal is yet in place.

You may read the whole story online at

The 6-page comic may be read online at (Acrobat format)