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Monday, March 01, 2010

lecture on Wed. Mar 3rd - It's Not Just Kid Stuff : Jews & the Graphic Novel

Temple Emanu-El
1 East 65th Street
New York, NY
6:30 PM
Call (212)744-1400 ext. 362 for information

No admission charge!

This program is part of the Library-Museum Lecture Series.

Mark Siegel, the brilliant author, editor and illustrator, will discuss the influence of Jews in the development of this important and developing literary genre.

Mark Siegel was born in Ann Arbor, Mich., and grew up in France. He is known both as a book illustrator and as the editorial director of First Second Books, which publishes graphic novels for all ages. He has illustrated Seadogs : An Epic Ocean Operetta by Lisa Wheeler, Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant and To Dance, A Ballerina's Graphic Novel by his wife, Siena Cherson Siegel. Upcoming books include more children's stories as well as a graphic novel for adults. Under the banner of First Second Books, located in the Flatiron Building in New York City, Siegel is the editor of many world acclaimed comics authors and artists from around the world, such as Joann Sfar, Eddie Campbell, Paul Pope, Jessica Abel and Lewis Trondheim. He also has tapped notable talents for graphic-novel scripts from among leading playwrights and novelists, such as Jane Yolen and Adam Rapp.

Max Rosenkrantz: De laatste rit van Gerrit

Here's a guest post (mostly written by Theodor Westerhof, adapted from his post at the jewishcomics forum on Yahoo).

In Eppo 23 a/23k/the Eppo special for the thing with the trees and the red guy [Theodor's long-winded reference to Xmas], a story was published with a rather strongly Jewish (influenced) atmosphere in the frame story.

Plot summary :
Max Rosenkrantz, a blackhaired pub owner serving perfect pils(ener), observing the world with a sharp eye, has for five years been running Cafe Du Conmmerce - which has been in his family for generations in the centre of the Jordaan (let it suffice to say that that district of Amsterdam shares its name with Israel's border river, that during WW II the February Strike protesting the deportation of the Jews started there, that the Anne Frank House is situated there at the border of the district, that the "original immigrants" in the 17th century included quite a few Sephardim and that the Ashkenazim came about 20 years later ; it was a rather poor neighbourhood, of the common people, if not the commoner people, and certainly in fiction it's where the commonest people live).

He used to write songs, so called "smartlappen" (songs of life, tear jerkers, what they call in Belgium and Germany "Schlager", originally a denigrating name for the genre) and performed them in Du Commerce, with the timbre of the neighbourhood, until he died too young in a traffic accident (Turkish riding school involved). Childless and with no Rosenkrantz left, his death meant the end of Du Commerce. The comic maker claims that he is making comics based on Max Rosenkrantz's songs as a tribute to the Max Rosenkrantz anthology.

Nothing X-massy so far, the main story - about the death of a taxi driver - has nothing X-massy either, except for the statement that it happens in Amsterdam, on Christmas eve. Not even an inch of a tree is shown in the story, though the passenger looks rather angelic. Christmas eve is of course a great time to stress loneliness in a tearjerker song, but aside from the time of the tragedy nothing connects it with Xmas at all. No candles, trees, santas - just a tear jerking tragedy.

The writer, artist and colorist is Ben Westervoorde.

It is his first Eppo story, but the story strongly suggests that this story is the first in a series.

The story seems to have first appeared in Myx 3-2, pages 71-77.