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Saturday, August 09, 2008

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.

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