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Thursday, January 22, 2009

new title which may not have anything to do with Jews or comics or Jewish comics

Long-time readers of this blog know that one of the rules of my blog is that posts must be relevant to the subject of the blog which is basically "comic books, comic strips, and graphic novels which have at least one identifiably Jewish character in them".

It is rare that I will allow a post which is off-topic.

However, since I'm the moderator of said blog ... I can actually do whatever the heck I want with it (subject to Blogger's rules of conduct, of course).

And, hey, there's the possibility of a free book if I do this properly & quickly. And - as my friends well know - it's hard for me to pass up a free book. That's partly why I joined Bookcrossing.

For the sake of this post, I will stretch the rule a bit and include posts that manage to contain both a "Jewish" term and a comic reference. I'm excluding this introductory section you've just read (that would be too easy, wouldn't it?).


A few minutes ago, I was scanning the status area of Facebook to see what my Facebook friends are up to. Lo, and behold, I notice a cool "status" for my friend Saul Colt. For those who don't know him, Mr. Colt is a highly-connected guy (just look at all the Facebook and LinkedIn connections the guy has (500+? I don't think I even know 500 people!).

Long-time readers with good memories may remember that Saul is also the author & illustrator of an upcoming graphic novel simply titled Rope, which has the character Robin Goldman, described as "a young very pretty Jewish looking woman with thick curly hair and has her police badge clipped to her costume." I'd tell you more about the character ... or the plot ... or the themes ... or when the darned thing will be on the shelves ... but I'm limited to what Saul will actually tell me. Which is ... not very much, at the moment.

See? I've already used "Jewish" and "graphic novel" and my post isn't even done yet. But that was too easy, I'll throw in some more below.

So ... Saul's newest "status" reads "My friend and fashion mentor Andy Nulman is giving away 200 free copies of his new book. I read it and loved so jump in".

I followed his hyperlink to and, as it turns out, all one has to do is be one of the first 200 bloggers to post about the book with a hyperlink (the one I just used) and a valid mailing address.

I wonder how many other Bookcrossers will try for a copy.

So ... the main title of the book is POW! Right Between the Eyes! How refreshing it is to see a book with the well-known comic book sound effect "POW!" (and it has the stylistic comic book font to go with it) even though the book itself has nothing to do with comic books. It's a buiness book (the subtitle is Profiting from the Power of Surprise).

Hmmm ... I also see that the author's name is Andy Nulman. You know the joke about how most people whose names end with "-man" are Jewish. I don't know if that is the case with Andy or not.

Whether or not he is a member of the tribe, I'm sure that the book is worth a look and I look forward to receiving my copy at :

4600 Bathurst St., 3rd Floor
Toronto, ON
M2K 3B9

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Comics and the American Jewish Dream - YIVO series

The YIVO Institute presents one-on-one interviews with three comics titans, whose work has had seismic effects on the general culture.

Al JAFFEE, JULES FEIFFER, and HARVEY PEKAR will be interviewed by comics writer and critic DANNY FINGEROTH.

YIVO’s “Comics and the American Jewish Dream” series kicks off WEDS. JAN 21 at 7:00 pm with:

“The MAD, MAD, MAD (Jewish) World of AL JAFFEE”

A graduate of New York’s High School of Art and Design, JAFFEE worked as an editor, writer and artist for Stan Lee at Timely (later Marvel) Comics during the 1940s. In 1955, Jaffee joined “the Usual Gang of Idiots” at MAD Magazine, where he’s been a mainstay ever since, entertaining generations with his Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions and Mad Fold-Ins. Join us as JAFFEE provides snappy answers to provocative questions about his art and life, including his new book, Tall Tales (Abrams).

About Danny Fingeroth:
Series curator and moderator DANNY FINGEROTH, a longtime writer and editor at Marvel Comics, has spoken about comics at the Smithsonian Institution and The New School. He’s the author of Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero (Continuum) and The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels (Penguin).

Wednesday, January 21, 7:00
The YIVO Institute For Jewish Research

15 West 16th Street / New York, NY 10011

Series Continues With
JULES FEIFFER: Tuesday, February 3, 7:00 P.M.
HARVEY PEKAR: Tuesday, February 17, 7:00 P.M.

ADMISSION TO PROGRAMS: $25 / YIVO members: $18 / students: $12
FOR TICKETS: Call 212-868-4444 or visit WWW.SMARTTIX.COM

Friday, January 09, 2009

Boys of Steel: The Jewish Origins of Superman - Tue., Jan. 13th @ 8:15 PM

Superman thundered into existence in 1934, the product of two Jewish teens (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) creating a character who was everything they were not. Marc Tyler Nobleman - author of Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman, the first-ever illustrated biography on the superhero genre and the rise of comic books - shares secrets and rare, unpublished photos about the creation of the world’s first comic book superhero.

Location: 92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY

Price: $27.00

There's a Comicology.TV interview with Nobleman on YouTube at

Spiralmind series launch - Saturday, 12-4 PM

Tomorrow, Saturday Jan. 10th, from noon until 4 PM, Ben Perez and Matt Rothblatt will be at All Star Comics (4406 Dyer St., El Paso, TX) for the long-awaited official launch of their comic book series Spirlamind.

As you may recall from previous posts, one of the important characters in the series is Rabbi Rotblatt. As one can tell from the preview pages, Rabbi Rotblatt is an Orthodox rabbi, the type of Jew who tries to observe all of the Jewish commandments to the best of his ability. He's the type of rabbi who would never think twice about violating the holy Sabbath unless doing so would help save a life. The type of rabbi who wouldn't, e.g. drive to a comic shop on a Saturday afternoon &/or purchase comics on a Saturday afternoon. But I digress.

Last month, El Paso Magazine published an article about the creation of the comic book series and its creators. The article may also be found online at

Here's an excerpt :

The idea came to me when I was at UTEP studying for my engineering degree,” says Perez. He tells of a fateful day four years ago, when he took a break during finals and went into a comic store for diversion. “I watched as a little kid asked the owner what it took to make a comic of his own and it sparked something in me that made me want to do it myself,” he recalls. Rattling off a very early version of the Spiralmind concept to Rothblatt, the partnership was sealed.

Rothblatt in turn called on Joaquin Silva, a co-worker at White Sands whom he knew had artistic experience. Turns out that experience was more valuable than was realized: Silva had formerly worked on animation for The Tick and lent that expertise to the nascent Spiralmind on everything from sequential art to character motion. The trio fleshed out every detail they could think of for their main character in great depth, covering who he was, who he was fighting, why he was fighting, what his background was, the weaponry he’d have at his disposal, and much more. Inspiration was taken from Batman, Spawn, and Daredevil combined with the styles of Frank Miller and H.P. Lovecraft to give Spiralmind a dark and mystical feel.

Both test engineers at White Sands, Perez and Rothblatt aren’t stereotypical comic book geeks. They represent the much broader audience for comics that exists and has been consistently (and successfully) tapped into via the adaptation of comic books into films. Spiralmind itself has the flare of more wide-ranging entertainment with appeal to anybody and everybody, both casual readers and big enthusiasts, with its combination of visual and verbal storytelling. As proven by Perez and Rothblatt’s gumption, the inspiration that birthed the character as well as the methods undertaken to produce a full-fledged comic are accessible to all.

The article also has 6 preview pages from the first issue as well as a color reproduction of its cover.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Stan Goldberg at MOCCA tonight - 8 PM

Archie Comics legend, Stan Goldberg, will be speaking at MoCCA, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, tonight, January 8th!

Stan is also known as the artist of the revamped Mendy and the Golem series.

Stan will be at MoCCA starting at 8:00 PM to talk about Archie Comics. Stan will share samples of his work and speak about his 50+ years in the industry, which includes a longstanding freelance career with Archie Comics, working with Stan Lee at Marvel, and freelancing for such companies/publications as DC Comics, National Lampoon, Child, Redbook, Seventeen, Working Woman, and many others. Bring questions to ask and snacks to share for this casual evening with a wonderful cartoonist and delightful individual.

Stan’s appearance is in conjunction with the exhibit “From Richie Rich to Wendy the Witch: The Art of Harvey Comic” that began December 18, 2008 and runs through March 15, 2009. Anyone interested in attending can contact MoCCA at

594 Broadway, Suite 401
New York, NY 10012
Tel. 212-254-3511
Fax 212-254-3590

Also in attendance will be Chari Pere, best known for her calendar - A Yearly Shpritz of Jewish Bits.

The Cartoonist Roundtable meetings are held at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. They feature guest speakers that address the crowd over snacks and drinks. The meetings are FREE for MoCCA members and a $5 donation for non-MoCCA members. All proceeds will go to the MoCCA operations and programming. To join the Cartoonist Roundtable's bi-monthly newsletter, "THE SQUIB!"? Please send an e-mail to Margo & Chari at: