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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Miriam Libicki in Seattle tonight - comic book reading and discussion

Today, Miriam Libicki (author-illustrator of the jobnik! series, the first volume of which has been collected in trade paperback, the illustrated essays "Towards a Hot Jew: The Israeli Soldier as Fetish Object" and "Jewish Memoir Goes Pow! Zap! Oy!" & the illustrated mini-journals Ceasefire and Fierce Ease) brings her innovative comics reading/slideshow to UW Hillel!

4745 17th Ave NE Seattle, WA 98105
7:00-8:00 PM

Q&A and book signing to follow. Miriam will be bringing the brand-new collection of her army comics, "Jobnik!: An American Girl's Adventures in the Israeli Army," (in stores December 3rd) as well as various mini-comics and essays.

If you'd like to electronically RSVP, please go to×tamp=1228377600

At least a dozen websites have discussed Miriam &/or her website, including the ones I am quoting from below.

The IDF, Graphically Speaking

“Jobnik!”, the autobiographical graphic novel penned by Miriam Libicki, is an unromantic journey through a dreary, mundane, male-dominated military that will make readers wince. It’s an outsiders’ take on the drudgery of army life, its sexual tensions and massive bureaucracy set against the backdrop of the outbreak of the recent Palestinian intifada.

jobnik! and more
as befits the material, the book is sometimes ambiguous and versatile; parts of it are funny, parts of it are about conflicting feelings of acceptance (stranger in a strange land, getting in touch with her roots?), parts of it are about being afraid... there are some slippery relationships and a subtext of self-doubt and unease.

Jobnik!: A Good Jewish Girl Gone Better

What is precisely so appealing about Jobnik! and Libicki’s work as a whole is that she is not scared to portray her contradictions and divided loyalties. She suggests no political posturing or wanting to please one polarized political group over another – though certain sections could certainly be isolated and misquoted to seem that way. As her comic progresses, Libicki's art reveals additional layers of texture and depth. And as Miriam’s story continues to unfold, Libicki, her creator/human counterpart, is definitely one graphic artist to watch.

In the army, as in life
For me, though, the most touching and interesting of the Jobnik series is on the pages where Miriam uses intimate experiences to engage in painful self examination and apply them to the complexities of Israeli society and politics.

Jewish storytelling in pictures
Her self-produced comic, Jobnik!, chronicles her day-to-day life in the Israeli army in frank, often blunt terms. Jobnik is Israeli slang for someone in the army with a desk job. More of a graphic diary than a comic, Jobnik! imparts a rarely seen perspective of an army generally viewed as vigilant and relentless. Jobnik! takes us behind the scenes, where soldiers wash dishes, file reports and fool around.

Soldier GirI

“Jobnik!” grounds the reader in moral questions of war and Libicki’s excruciating loneliness.


Miriam Libicki has a pitch that many would want to read about — she’s an American Jew who enlisted in the Israeli Army — but her art is painfully unready for professional publication, and she’s not able to structure various incidents in a way that adds up to anything more than “and then this happened”.


it’s always amusing to see the play of emotions across people’s faces as they carefully examine this “Israeli” comic. Is it pro-Palestinian? Pro-Israel? Self-hating? Apolitical? It’s always fun to watch their skeptical faces searching for the pro/anti agenda.


Her tales retell Miriam’s unique experience as an American Jewish girl that joins the Israeli Army and lively hood that it entails. Miriam’s work is a gorgeous heartful style that is reminiscent of Phoebe Glockner with Miriam’s own unique talent.

To listen to the podcast interview, please click on the inline player or go to

interview with Jennifer M. Contino (of The Pulse)

Bawdy Barracks (excerpt of an article from issue 16, November 24, 2008 of The Jerusalem Report)

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