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Friday, September 13, 2013

The Jewish Side of the 2013 Montreal Comicon

This year's Montreal Comicon will take place at the Palais des congrès de MontrĂ©al from Friday, Sept. 13 until Sunday, Sept. 15th.

Alas, there's not many Jewish guests attending the convention this year. That may have something to do with the fact that not only is part of the convention held on Friday night and Saturday during the day (i.e. during the Jewish sabbath), but this year those two days coincide with one of the most observed holy days of the Jewish calendar (Yom Kippur). Even a large portion of otherwise-non-religious Jews attend synagogue during these two days (which usually requires purchasing tickets, just like Comicon). I suppose superstitious folks will also remian indoors on Friday, as it's Friday the 13th.

Nonetheless, there will be 3 Jewish artists in attendance and 1 Gentile who has done significantally "Jewish" work.

Below are the details for those who are interested.

Neil Adams is the illustrator of the "Son O' God" stories, which appeared in the pages of National Lampoon. That sounds more like a Christian story than a Jewish one, but it's actually a bit of both. Son O' God is that unique superpowered protagonist whose "superhero self" is a Christian deity and whose civilian alter ego is a Jewish kid named Bennie David and whose 12 Jewish friends act as "the 12 apostles" when duty calls. You may read all of the Son O'God stories (as well as the story of how Adams was recruited to be the artist) at the Dial B for Blog blog. Adams also illustrated the Batman story "Night of the Reaper" in which the vengeful Grim Reaper is revealed to be a Nazi-hunting Holocaust survivor. Adams pencilled "The Last Outrage" (which was inked by Andy Kubert's father, Joe Kubert), which appeared in both The New York Times and the final issue of the miniseries X-men : Magneto : Testament and which also appeared as a stop-motion video on YouTube.

* Chris Claremont is the 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).

Andy Kubert is the cartoonist who illustrated an alternate cover for the miniseries Sgt. Rock : The Prophecy, based on the true story of the rescue of Rabbi Joseph Schneersohn, leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch chasidic movement, from Warsaw in 1940.

Shane Kirsheblatt is the illustrator who created the Dorothy Gale : Journey to Oz series and co-founded New Voyage Studios. Kirtshenblatt will be selling gorgeous Battlestar Galactica (the one in which Starbuck is a woman) limited 11 X 17 posters (only 50) for $20 with 5 of those dollars going to breast cancer research.

A version of this blog post was published at

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

using the comix format for Jewish fundraising in Toronto

Back in 1947, Hamilton-born James Winslow "Win" Mortimer illustrated a 4-page comic booklet for the United Jewish Welfare Fund in Toronto (a predecessor of the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto aka UJA), used for its Youth Division campaign. This year, the direct mail marketing for the UJA's 2014 campaign also utilized the comic format (thanks to its wonderful Creative Department staff which was responsible for all aspects of the look, from concept to layout to script to the finished artwork).

To allow you readers to compare the 2 campaigns, I am reproducing (with permission from the Ontario Jewish Archives) the comics artwork from both campaigns. Clicking on the images takes you to the full-sized versions.