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Friday, July 22, 2011

Jewish Side of SDCCI 2011

Today (Saturday) is day 3 of the annual San Diego Comic Convention International.

As usual, there are plenty of Jewish cartoonists and creators of Jewish-content stories in attendance.

There are also panels which might be of interest to those interested in Jewish cartoonists &/or Jewish comic stories.

The most relevant panel at this year's convention is obviously the following Sunday noon-time session :

12:00-1:00 Jews 'n' Comics: A Past and Present History
From Ben Grimm to The Golem and more, comic book historian and illustrator Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) surveys the specifically Jewish creation of the American superhero and its antecedents in older, ancient myths, as well as the significant contributions Jews have made to the evolution of comic book art in the 20th and 21st centuries -- including his own superhero creation, Captain Israel!
Room 24ABC

Other panles at the convention included / will include :


10:30-11:30 Spotlight on Joyce Brabner
Is she the glacial, humorless activist as portrayed in the film American Splendor or just the person who published the first comic on the Internet? Come hear Comic-Con special guest Joyce Brabner talk about her latest projects, including finishing the work of her late husband Harvey Pekar and dealing with his legacy.

1:00-2:00 Abrams ComicArts
For over 60 years Abrams has been the premiere art book publisher. With the launch of Abrams ComicArts in 2009, the tradition of excellence continues with award-winning original graphic novels by Brian Fies,
Jason Shiga, and Barry Deutsch, as well as monographs on such seminal creators as Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman, and Jaime Hernandez. Charles Kochman (editorial director), Sheila Keenan (senior editor), and Neil Egan (designer) talk with celebrated graphic designer Chip Kidd (Shazam! The Golden Age of the
World's Mightiest Mortal) about their current titles and reveal details and images from their upcoming collaborations with Dan Clowes, Derf Backderf, Kazu Kibuishi, and Dave McKean, as well as other projects and surprises.


3:30-4:30 Spotlight on Eric Drooker
Visual artist and Comic-Con special guest Eric Drooker will project hundreds of his magical images and explore how his early years as a street artist in New York City inspired his award-winning graphic novels Flood! and Blood Song. He'll discuss the process of designing the animation for the recent hit film Howl, starring James Franco, and how he adapted it for the new book, Howl: A Graphic Novel. Best known for his numerous cover paintings for The New Yorker, Drooker will tell hilarious-but-true stories of how he wound up getting published.


11:00-12:00 Will Eisner: Visionary
Will Eisner -- artist, storyteller, entrepreneur -- played a central role in comics from the Golden Age to the Computer Age. During his career, Eisner reinvented sequential art and himself to overcome obstacles and create new media. A combination of idealist and realist, he led the way and helped create the comics and graphic novels that we know today. Learn about Will Eisner from those who personally knew and worked with him. Join moderator Charles Brownstein (executive director of the CBLDF, author of Eisner/Miller), Denis Kitchen (artist, author, publisher, Eisner's agent and longtime friend), Paul Levitz (writer, former president/publisher of DC Comics), Scott McCloud (artist, author, theoretician about comics and sequential art), Diana Schutz (executive editor, Dark Horse Comics), and Jeff Smith (writer/cartoonist, Bone, Rasl) to learn more about the "Father of the Graphic Novel." Room 9

12:00-1:00 Comics Arts Conference Session #10: The Wit, Whimsy, and Wisdom of Weisinger
Comic book historian and illustrator Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) presents the work of Mort Weisinger, editor of the Superman line for 30 years (1940-1970), told in Weisinger's own words and artist Curt Swan's images. Room 26AB

1:00-2:00 Remembering Harvey Pekar
The legendary Harvey Pekar died in July 2010, leaving behind a huge legacy of work with a veritable who's who list of comics collaborators on his American Splendor and graphic novels. Joyce Brabner and Danielle Batone join editor Charles Kochman, artist Joseph Remnant (Harvey Pekar's Cleveland), and moderator Jeff Newelt to talk about Harvey's life and comics career. This is an open invitation to anyone whoever worked with Harvey or cared about him to come and share their memories.

1:30-2:30 Spotlight on Peter Kuper
From MAD to World War 3 Illustrated, Comic-Con special guest Peter Kuper (Spy vs. Spy) has for three decades been blowing up spies and politicians and creating graphic novels ranging from Franz Kafka adaptations to autobiographies that would scare Kafka. Get an inside look at how he comes up with Spy vs. Spy ideas and his other idiotic projects! Room 8

2:00-3:00 Spotlight on J. Michael Straczynski
Comic-Con special guest J. Michael Straczynski (Thor movie and comic, Superman Earth One, World War Z movie, Babylon 5) talks about...well, we're never quite sure. He's fairly incomprehensible. Have you heard him? Stunning, really. Can't make out a word. We imagine he'll be talking about writing for movies, TV, comics and so on, but honestly, he could be talking about hydroponics for all we can tell. Translators may be provided if we can ever figure out what language he's speaking. Room 7AB

6:00-7:00 Spirituality in Comics: Is Mass Media Our New Church?
In comics, movies, and even Broadway musicals like The Book of Mormon, spiritual themed work seems to be unexpectedly coming from the least religious of sources. Panelists Sergio Cariello (The Action Bible), Buzz Dixon (Hits and Misses), Mike Shields (Blue Blazes), and Russell Dalton (Marvelous Myths: Marvel Superheroes and Everyday Faith) discuss how a new media world of comics and pop culture is exploring timeless truths. Special giveaways for those in attendance. Brought to you by the Christian Comic Arts Society. Room 4


10:00-11:15 The Annual Jack Kirby Tribute Panel
As always, we gather to remember the man some still hail as The King of the Comics, Jack Kirby. If you don't know who that is, you have no business being at this convention. Moderator Mark Evanier discusses the life and times of Kirby with Walt Simonson (Thor), Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon), Richard Kyle (Graphic Story World), and Mike Royer (inker of lots of Kirby comics). Room 5AB

10:00-11:00 Diversity and Fandom 102: How You Can Make a Difference
In the wake of campaigns like's protests and the rise of safe spaces like, fans, consumers and creators from underrepresented groups have more outlets for speaking up. This panel explores how those voices can be added to conversations with geeky business interests and fan communities. Actor Dante Basco (Avatar: The Last Airbender, Hook), showrunner/writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Middleman), author Malinda Lo (Huntress), Arturo Garcia (, Phil Yu ( and USC Professor Henry Jenkins (CivicPaths Project) promise a lively discussion, moderated by Room 24ABC

3:45-4:45 The Holocaust Through the Eyes of a Child, Animated by a Child
Bill Plympton (two-time Oscar-nominated animator, Idiots and Angels), 11-year-old prodigy animator and child film critic Perry Chen, his mother Dr. Zhu Shen (producer), Karina Bessoudo (Toon Boom Animation, vice president of marketing and communications), and Kevin Sean Michaels (director) share insight and a sneak preview of the film Ingrid Pitt: Beyond The Forest and the cross-generational collaboration that was formed to create it. The short animated film illustrates the miraculous true story of the late actress Ingrid Pitt (Where Eagles Dare) who, in 1945, escaped at age 8 from a Nazi concentration camp in Poland to later become one of the UK's biggest movie stars. Also screening will be a trailer for the new documentary on animator Bill Plympton, Adventures in Plymptoons! Moderated by Pat Swinney Kaufman (executive director for the New York State Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development) and Lloyd Kaufman (president/co-founder of Troma Entertainment, author of Sell Your Own Damn Movie). Room 5AB


Creators who will be present at the convention (most of them exhibiting &/or on panels) include :

Sergio Aragones (who illustrated the "Fanny Hillman : Jewish Madam" books and adapted the Jonah story for Testament)

Ernie Chan (illustrator of the 1-page "Lilith The First Vampire"story in Vampire Tales #4)

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

Alan Davis (author of the "Nazi Excalibur"storyline in Excalibur #9-11)

Barry Deutsch (author of the Eisner-nominated Hereville which won the 2011 Sydney Taylor Award {Older Readers category})

Tony Dezuniga (illustrator of the stories "Black Crossing" and "There Comes Now Raging Fire" in Strange Tales #176 & #177)

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

Eric Drooker (author-illustrator of the comic story "Casting Stones" in World War 3 Illustrated, reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Best War Comics, Carroll & Graf, 2007, p. 511-512)

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)

Mark Evanier (author of a Crossfire story for a Free Comic Book Day comic involving a Holocaust survivor who tries to kill a suspected Nazi war criminal)

Jordan B. Gorfinkel (author-illustrator of Everything's Relative) ; Mr. Gorfinkel is probably not an exhibitor this year, but you might spot him walking by.

Phil Jimenez (illustrator of Wonder Woman: Donna Troy #1 and the Heroes online comic " Wireless Part One)

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

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)

Miriam Libicki (author of the jobnik! series, the first volume of which has been collected in trade paperback)

Scott Lobdell (author of stories which appeared in X-Men #-1  and Uncanny X-Men #319, both of which dealt with Magneto's past)

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

Ron Marz (author of the story "Crown Heights"in Witchblade #121, in which Sara and Patrick investigate the brutal murder of a rabbi in Crown Heights but find the strict Jewish community secretive and uncooperative)

Steve Niles (author of the golem story Criminal Macabre: Feat of Clay)

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

Chari Pere (author-illustrator of the webcomic Of Biblical Proportions) ; Chari was at booth #1930 on Friday, but I don't know where she'll be for the rest of the con.

Ben Raab (The Lost Tribe graphic novel, which debuted at the 2006 Comicon ; info with art at

Trina Robbins (author/illustrator of "The Triangle Fire" which was the cover story for the 2nd issue of Lilith Magazine)

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

Jon Rosenberg (author-illustrator of the webcomic Goats), which includes the Jewish character "Jon", as seen in the strip from Nov. 24, 2005)

Bill Sienkiewicz (illustrator of the story "Night Screams"in X-Men #159, in which Kitty is saved from Dracula by her Star of David necklace)

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

Louise Simonson (co-author of issues of a Superman storyline {Superman : Man of Steel # 80-82}, in which Superman went to the Warsaw Ghetto)

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

Roy Thomas (who had the Thing battle the Golem in Marvel Two-in-One #11 and introduced Jewish superheroes Nuklon {Infinity Inc. / JLA} and Golem {The Invaders})

Judd Winick (author-illustrator of Pedro and Me and Caper #1-4)

 Marv Wolfman (author of The Tomb of Dracula #27, The New Teen Titans #24 and Homeland : The Illustrated History of the State of Israel)

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