Jewish Comics logo illustrated by Michael Netzer, copyright 2009

Jewish Comics Search Engine

Goodreads bookshelf montage

Google Search Window

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Spiralmind #1 - followup post

I was a bit hasty with my last post, in which I referred readers to Ka-Blam! While Ka-Blam! is the printer, the comics it prints are sold via IndyPlanet. The specific page for Spiralmind #1 is

Below is the issue description from that page :

On the day of his Bar Mitzvah, twelve year old Ben Landry is witness to his mother's brutal exorcism. In a bizarre and strange ritual foreign to him, young Ben watches as his only living parent struggles to survive the demons that possess her and the exorcism at the hands of Rabbi Solomon Rotblatt and Father Tom O'Brien. Ben's future is determined in this moment of horror. His youth has disappeared, and he is left under the care of his teacher, mentor, and friend Rabbi Rotblatt to guide him toward adulthood. Grown up, Ben Landry is caught between a normal life as an electrical engineer and the protector of humanity. Behind the enlightened guise of Spiralmind, Ben is able to manipulate Phi, the Golden Ratio. While Spiralmind comprehends his true purpose and power, the Occult throughout the city of Nineveh has revealed its malevolent plan for mankind.

The page also has a 6-page preview, the first of which I'm presenting below.

Rabbi Solomon Rotblatt

Spiralmind #1

Spiralmind issue #1 "Rabbi's Lament" will be out by 10 January 2009. To
purchase a copy online, visit comixpress or ka-blam. More information when it's available. Please stay tuned!

Published by Phi3 Comics.

Finally! Jewish Hero Corps #2

Just in time for Chanukah:
Issue #2 of Jewish Hero Corps has finally arrived!

"The Secret of The Solar Succah" is available now at:

A radiation-ridden asteroid heading for Earth can only be stopped by a vintage 1955 solar-powered, succah-shaped force-field, whose components were camouflaged and hidden in important Jewish historic spots across the globe decades ago.

In a race against time, The Jewish Hero Corps follows clues to track down where their predecessors hid the devices more than half a century ago.

After Chanukah, it will ALSO be available at the Jewish Hero Corps'
Web site -

The Jewish Hero Corps, the world's only Jewish superhero team, fights
for truth and justice, and against ignorance. Charter members Magen
David, Menorah Man, Dreidel Meidel, and Minyan Man, have recruited
Shabbos Queen, Matzah Woman and Kipa Kid ... and the adventures have
only begun!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!!! - recent (& not-so-recent) Chanukah comics

Tonight will be the 5th night of Chanukah, but today's only the 4th day. Therefore, I've only let half the holiday slip by before posting my annual roundup of Hanukkah comic strips and Chanukah stories in comic books.

As my Hanukkah gift to my loyal readers, I'm using up a chunk of my image file allotment to present graphics in this post. Enjoy!

First up is Hillary Price's Rhymes with Orange, which may by found online at
The Hanukkah Guest

Last year, the "erev Christmas" / Xmas Eve Off the Mark comic strip by Mark Parisi presented us with Extreme Dreidel.

Although there is no new Hanukkah strip from Mark this year, he has placed all of his Chanukah comic strips at a single online location for your convenience :

I only learned about the delightful comic strip The Pajama Diaries by Terri Libenson, which is about a Jewish family, earlier this year.

Last year, Hanukkkah came out earlier and Terry used that fact in her cartoon.
The Hanukkah Rush

Another cartoon Terry did had to do with the way that Jewish kids' lunches can seem strange to their Gentile classmates.
latkes for lunch

I love this one about explaining to Jewish children that Jews - young & old - don't believe in Santa Claus.
We don't believe in Santa?!!!

As Terry wrote in her blog "I was careful to tread lightly around the existence of certain major December holiday character".

The 2 above cartoons were from December 2006.

Last January (Jan. 5th, 2007), Level 99 by 2 guys (only known as "Race" and "Arlo") showed us how useful a Jewish shopper can become for a desperate Saint Nick.

Happy Hanukkah to me!

Back in 2002, in the webcomic White Bread and Toast, White Bread complained about not getting any Hanukkah gifts.
only Jews get Hanukkah presents?

For Xmas Eve 2003, Ryan Sohmer & Chad William Porter presented a holiday strip in which the main protagonist (Rayne) wishes the readers a Merry Xmas ... while tied to a giant cross. That doesn't seem to have Jewish content. However, after being told that he's likely offended 2/3 of their readers, Rayne (an equal opportunity offender) decides to offend the other third by holding their religious symbols in his hand (including a Star of David).
Have I offended everyone now?

In 2005, "Enigma" shared his idea for "the first truly multi-denominational holiday symbol" in his webcomic Filthy Lies!. Alas, I haven't found it in any holiday catalogs yet.
the ultimate menorah

Last December, Jewcy published a 1-page comic critical of the Maccabees and noting the reluctance of Jewish leaders to recognize the holiday. It was co-written by ever-controversial cartoonist Eli Valley & "cranky blogger" David Kelsey titled "The Festival of Lights". The comic - and comments it generated from visitors to the site - may be found at
Convert to Judaism or die!

I'd explain the following Ramp Rats comic strip by Elene Steier entitled "A Mothra Hanukkah", but it's probably best to let the reader enjoy it (or not) and interpret it as they see fit (or not).

The Hanukkah Moth - a psyshedelic fantasy?

Meanwhile, Patty & Terry Laban are running their annual 8-day Chanukah comic strip marathon. Unlike last year, there is no ongoing storyline and the special menorah introduced last year is nowhere to be found. This year's theme is "You know it's Hanukkah when ..."

if only everything lasted longer

Hanukkah can be fattening

dreidel, dreidel, dredel. I made it out of clay.

watch the money disappear

The remaining cartoons may be viewed - over the course of the next four days - by clicking on the following four links :

The comic book world has also been recognizing the Jewish festival of lights.

This year's issue of The Simpsons Winter Wing Ding (issue #3, to be exact) includes a story by Arie Kaplan (erroneously credited as "Ari Kaplan") entitled "Not a (Green, Slimy) Creature was Stirring". In this story, Jewish show biz celebrity Krusty the Clown tries to create a Hanukkah mascot.

This isn't the first time a Simpsons anthology has contained a Chanukah story.
In 2006, The Simpsons Winter Wing Ding #1 included the story "The Gift of the Maccabees" written by Evan Dorkin & Sarah Dyer. That story had a Krusty flashback to Las Vegas in 1963.

The Simpsons Holiday Humdinger published in 2004 included the story "Con-Nukah!", in which Bart Simpson made the (temporary) decision to become Jewish - for the eight days of presents that he'd be entitled to during Hanukkah, of course.

Bart Simpson wearinga yarmulke and holding a dreidel and a menorah

The story is summarized well by Mark I. Pinsky in an online excerpt from the book The Gospel According to the Simpsons :

At Hanukkah, he [Bart] learns from a Jewish friend about the eight nights and eight gifts, and naturally Bart decides to convert, noting the additional benefit of holidays off school. Homer asks if his son is certain he wants to “abandon the faith you happened to be born into,” the reason most people worship where they do. Bart, now wearing a skullcap all the time, replies that he’d rather be on Krusty’s team than the Flanderses’. Following the sometimes traditional practice for those who want to convert to Judaism, Rabbi Krustofski turns Bart down several times — to be certain he is serious — before agreeing to take him on for classes. Bart argues that if he became Jewish, he’d be a “trash-talkin’ Spiky-haired Seinfeld with a Fox attitude.” Even so, the rabbi is unconvinced, predicting the boy would not like the religion because “so much Judaism is like opera, the Lincoln Douglas debates, and the Atkins Diet, all rolled into one.” Bart is plainly in it for the toys, which his parents supply each night of the holiday (along with gingerbread rabbis), but sister Lisa is optimistic that her brother may be undergoing a spiritual awakening. Her gift, after lighting the menorah, is a book about Jewish history, humor, and “food-oriented Yiddish phrases” that Bart uses as a TV tray, holding Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda and lowcarb hamentaschen. The boy also announces he can’t do chores around the house on Saturdays because he has become a strict Sabbath observer. As a convert to Buddhism, Lisa despairs at her brother’s antics. “I thought we finally had something in common,” she says. “That we followed our hearts because of what we believe in. But as usual, the only thing you believe in is self-gratification.” In the end, Bart spends enough time with the rabbi to make the right decision and not convert. “Love the religion,” he confesses to Lisa, “but, oy . . . I can’t handle the guilt.”

In the latest issue of Super Friends (#10), in the story "Season of Light" written by Sholly Fisch, the superheroes visit the Wayne Foundation Community Center, where the children are celebrating all of the Winter holidays together. In one panel, Batman helps Moshe to put the candles in the Hanukkah menorah.
Batman lights the Hanukkah menorah with Moshe

However , Dr. Light tries to steal the celebration lights.

According to Shirala's website, her Hanukkah CD comes with a comic.
Check it out for yourself by going to

I have 2 "leads" for comics which may exist &/or may have Hanukkah content in them.

The first comes from Mike Lynch, who wrote at
"I learned about Jewish people via Dennis. In one Christmas Special there was a substitute milkman during the holidays and Dennis rode on the milk truck with him and his son. They explained that they were Jews and the regular milkman wanted Christmas off and they, you see, celebrated Hanukkah instead of Christmas, etc. They told Dennis about their religion. It was news to me. What can I say? We lived in a small town!"
It's a bit unclear to me if Lynch is referring to a Dennis the Menace TV special or a comic book special. If he is referring to a comic book, I don't know which one and would welcome input from anyone who knows about such a comic.

The latest issue of DCU Holiday Special (2008) has a story in which Dr. Light aids with the Festival of Lights. However, I'm not 100% certain the "Festival of Lights" being referred to is Hanukkah.

I'll conclude this long Hanukkah post by referring readers to the blog post / Hanukkah sermon of Rabbi Simcha Weinstein (aka the Comic Book Rabbi). In his post Chanukah: A Time For Superheroes, the rabbi makes reference to the 1993 Marvel Comics Holiday story (by Peter David) in which Doc Samson spices up the Hanukkah story by inserting Marvel superhero and supervillain characters. Weinstein concludes that "being a teacher isn’t easy. And teachers are today’s real heroes. They remind us that the great people of our past, like the Maccabees, did remarkable things and won amazing victories while armed with little more than their faith. If they could do it, imagine what we can accomplish. Even without long green hair and red spandex tights."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Comic Book Rabbi Comes to Toronto - Tues., Dec. 14, 8:00 PM

Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, author of Up Up & Oy Vey : How Jewish History Culture & Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero will be appearing at Chabad @ Flamingo for a public lecture, followed by a Q & A with the author, who will be on hand to meet greet, and sign copies of his book.

Some of Simcha Weinstein's earliest memories involve comic books, superheroes and (the now valuable) vintage Batman and Superman toys. His hobby inspired him to study film and eventually pursue a career in film production.

Following a life-altering paradigm shift, Simcha became a Torah observant Jew and was eventually ordained as a Rabbi. He is the founder of the downtown Brooklyn Jewish Student Foundation, and he serves as the Rabbi of the Pratt Institute and the Long Island College Hospital.

Rabbi Weinstein is a witty, entertaining and sought-after public speaker who has lectured across North America and has appeared on CNN, NPR and WNBC. Vist his website to learn more about him.

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)