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Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Jewish Side of NYCC 2010

This weekend, the New York Comic Con will take place in Manhattan. You may go to the official website using the link in the last sentence to get all the details about guests and programming.

Below, I am highlighting "Jewish" sessions and guests / attendees who are Jewish &/or who have helped create "Jewish" comics.

* Neal Adams (illustrator of "The Ventures of Zimmerman" [parody of Bob Dylan] and "Son O' God", which both appeared in the pages of National Lampoon)

* Brian Michael Bendis (author-illustrator of Fire, a comic series about a Jewish-American college student named Benjamin Furst, who is recruited into a Central Intelligent Agency operation known as Project Fire)

* Nick Bertozzi (illustrator of Houdini: The Handcuff King)

* Chris Claremont (writer who introduced the Jewish character Kitty Pryde [aka Shadowcat] and who wrote stories which implied that Magneto was Jewish, both in the pages of The Uncanny X-Men)

* Marguerite Dabaie (author-illustrator of The Hookah Girl and Other True Stories, as well as a daily webcomic strip titled "He Also Has Drills for Hands". Her August 21st strip showed a Jewish wedding which she attended.

* Peter David (who infamously used the names of seder plate items for aliens in a Star Trek novel and who wrote the stories for The Incredible Hulk #386-387 ; see and

* Colleen Doran (illustrator of a one-page illustration in The Death Gallery, in which Death is at a concentration camp)

* Garth Ennis (author of the limited series Unknown Soldier, in which the title character, in a flashback to WWII, is shown massacring Nazi guards at Dachau)

* Danny Fingeroth (author of Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero)

* Sarah Glidden (author-illustrator of the autobiographical How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less!, which will be published by Vertigo)

* Dean Haspiel (illustrator of Harvey Pekar's autobiography The Quitter)

* Al Jaffee (cartoonist best known for his work in Mad magazine, who also contributed artwork to Moshiach Times)

* Phil Jimenez (illustrator of a Heroes online comic featuring an Israeli Mossad agent named Hana Gitelman)

* Arie Kaplan (author of From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comics, as well as the story "Not a (Green, Slimy) Creature was Stirring" in The Simpsons Winter Wing Ding #3)

* Joe Kubert (author-illustrator of the graphic novels Jew Gangster and Yossel : April 19, 1943, as well as the Sgt. Rock : The Prophecy miniseries)

* Peter Kuper (author-illustrator of the short biographical story "Promised Land" in Bleeding Heart #2, as well as the book-length autobiographical Stop Forgetting to Remember : The Autobiography of Walter Kurtz)

* Paul Kupperberg (creator of the supervillain Blackstarr, a Jewish Holocaust survivor turned racist in the series Supergirl)

* Scott Kurtz (author-illustrator of PVP, the Eisner-award-winning online comic strip which in 2006 made a joke about the Superman Returns movie being "a Jewish conspiracy to convince Christians that Jesus was gay")

* Stan Lee (Jewish comics legend who co-created the Fantastic Four, which has a Jewish chartacter called The Thing and who appeared in the story "What if the Original Marvel Bullpen was the Fantastic Four?" in What If? #11)

* Paul Levitz (author of "Tradition" in DC Comics' 9-11 September 11th 2001)

* Rob Liefeld (illustrator of stories in the Youngblood series, which included the Israeli superheroine Masada)

* Todd McFarlane (co-plotter of the story "Remains" in Spawn #103)

* Jerry Ordway (illustrator of an issue of Superman in which he went to the Warsaw Ghetto, as well as an All-Star Squadron story in which Steel ended up in a Nazi death camp)

* Jimmy Palmiotti (co-creator of the short-lived golem series The Monolith from DC Comics)

* George Perez (illustrator of Wonder Woman #37 and #38 which had the character Rabbi Benjamin Hecht)

Jerry Robinson (Batman series artist who also did illustrations for Bible Tales for Young Folk)

Steven T. Seagle (author of the graphic novel "It's a Bird ..." which examines various aspects of the Superman mythos, including his creation by 2 American Jews)

Bill Sienkiewicz (illustrator of the story "Into the Abyss" in New Mutants #27, which had the Israeli mutant character Legion)

Robert Sikoryak (adapter of classic stories into comic-style retellings, including a Dagwood-style "Adam and Eve", which was reprinted in Masterpiece Comics)

* Gail Simone (who wrote the story "Li'l Krusty in Give a Hoot, Stay in School" in Simpsons #62)

* J. Michael Straczynski (author of the Spider-Man story "You Want Pants with That?" and the Rising Stars story "Selah")

* Marv Wolfman (author of the story "Return from the Grave!" in Tomb of Dracula #27, "Introducing the Hybrid" in The New Teen Titans #24 and Homeland : The Illustrated History of the State of Israel)

Friday, October 8

Will Eisner's New York
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Room 1A14

Will Eisner is acknowledged as one of the greats of the Comics World. Join the renowned award-winning author and cartoonist, Jules Feiffer, best selling author and columnist, David Hajdu, writer and former President & Publisher, DC Comics, Paul Levitz, artist, author, publisher, and cartoonist, Denis Kitchen, author and biographer, Michael Schumacher, and moderator, author, comic book editor, & historian, Danny Fingeroth to learn about Will Eisner from those who knew and worked with him. From the Golden Age of Comics, through the use of Sequential Art for education and training, through the creation of the modern graphic novel, to the beginning of the digital age, you will find Will Eisner and his artwork. Will Eisner was shaped by New York City - he loved it, drew it, and wrote about it. He was born in New York, schooled in New York, worked in New York, and taught his craft in New York so that New York was in his blood and on the panels of his comics, the pages of his graphic novels, and the canvas of his artwork. A multi-talented panel of comics professionals and writers has come together to describe their personal and professional relationships with Will Eisner and his relationship with New York.

CSC: Psychiatry and the Superhero
Time : 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Room 1A17

Sharon Packer (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) explores how Spider-Man’s black costume symbiote is emblematic of concepts from psychiatry, neurology, and even the all-but-abandoned field of “folk psychiatry” in the way it is reminiscent of prion disease, dissociative identity disorder, and even the dybbuk tale of Jewish mystical lore and Jungian concepts of the “shadow self.”

Remembering Harvey Pekar
Time: 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Room 1A22

After 35 years of innovating in — having virtually invented — the personal comics genre with his American Splendor series, Cleveland’s Harvey Pekar died this past July, in the middle of several projects finished and unfinished. This panel celebrates Pekar’s life and work. It includes Harvey’s editor on The Pekar Project, Jeff Newelt ; artist on Harvey’s The Quitter and other works, Dean Haspiel ; Peter Kuper, who not only has drawn for Harvey, but as a comics-loving kid in Cleveland, spent much time hanging out and learning from him ; Rick Parker and Joseph Remnant, who both worked on The Pekar Project. The panel is moderated by Danny Fingeroth, who memorably interviewed Harvey at The YIVO Institute in 2009, and wrote of Harvey’s importance in The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels. Some surprise last minute guests may appear on the panel, as well.

Saturday, October 9

Spotlight on Dean Haspiel
Time: 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm
Location: Room 1A23

With the release of Graphic NYC Presents: Dean Haspiel, The Early Years, a hybrid of journalism and comics reprint book from IDW/Desperado, writer/editor Christopher Irving ( moderates a panel on Dean’s career ; past and present. Panelists include Dean Haspiel (Cuba: My Revolution, American Splendor, Billy Dogma), Walter Simonson (Thor, The Judas Coin), Nick Bertozzi (The Salon, Stuffed!), Joan Hilty (DC/Vertigo editor, tentative), and Jonathan Ames (The Alcoholic, HBO’s Bored to Death). Get the dirt on comics’ own shirtless wonder, as his collaborators, mentors, and friends dish it out.

Vertigo: On the Edge
Time : 3:45 pm - 4:45 pm
Location: Room 1A06

Find out what compelling tales comics’ edgiest imprint has in store for you in the months to come! Led by Senior VP—Executive Editor Karen Berger, with an all-star lineup of talent that includes Jason Aaron (Scalped), Sarah Glidden (How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less), Dean Haspiel (Cuba: My Revolution), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Inverna Lockpez (Cuba: My Revolution), Sean Murphy (Hellblazer), Scott Snyder (American Vampire), Peter Straub (Green Woman), Brian Wood (DMZ, Northlanders), Mike Carey (The Unwritten) and RM Guera (Scalped).

Sunday, October 10

Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist
Time: 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Location: Room 1E02

Get a look behind the mask of "The Spirit" creator in this feature-length documentary movie. With a triumphant world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, the award-winning film features the legendary graphic novelist Will Eisner with Frank Miller, Stan Lee, Jules Feiffer, Jack Kirby, Kurt Vonnegut, Art Spiegelman and many others. Join director/producer Andrew D. Cooke and writer/producer Jon B. Cooke for this unique free screening.

To watch a trailer of the film, go to (MPG format) or (MOV format).

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