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Thursday, May 08, 2014

The Jewish Side of TCAF 2014 - this weekend

This weekend, readers, writers, artists, publishers and fans of comix will converge at the Toronto Reference Library to take part in the the FREE Toronto Comic Arts Festival (aka TCAF).This year marks the 11th anniversary since the first TCAF was held (at a much smaller venue) in 2003.

Among the talented people who will be at TCAF this year are a small number of comix professionals who have done comic art using Jewish characters or themes.

Nick Bertozzi is the co-illustrator of Houdini : The Handcuff King and illustrator of Jerusalem : A Family Portrait.

* Christophe Blain is the aurthor-illustrator of the Isaac the Pirate books. 

Willow Dawson is the illustrator of the anthology No Girls Allowed : Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom and Adventurewritten by Susan Hughes and published by Kids Can Press. The anthology includes the story of Esther Brandeau, the first Jewish person to immigrate to Canada.

Drawn and Quarterly has published Exit WoundsJamilti and Other StoriesThe Golem's Mighty Swing, and Jerusalem : Chronicles from the Holy City.

* Fantagraphics is the publisher of Jewish Images in the Comics, Palestine, and Barracuda in the Attic.

First Second Books is the publisher of Klezmer : Tales of the Wild East, the Rabbi's Cat books, and the Resistance series.

Dan Goldman is the author-illustrator of a short piece titled "Schmear", which he describes as "Jewish porn", since it takes place in the backroom of a Brooklyn bagel shop. The story appeared in Smut Peddler #2. In all fairness, Dan's done other - & better-known - stories (e.g. Shooting War) but "Schmear" is the only "Jewish" comics work of his that I've seen. He also did a full-page color cartoonish montage to celebrate Israel's birthday.

Lynn Johnston is the author-illustrator of the syndicated comic strip For Better or For Worse, whose characters included the Jewish landlady Olivia “Lovie” Saltzman. “Lynn Johnston and Kate Beaton, In Conversation” will take place Friday, May 9th, 2014, at Toronto Reference Library in The Bram and Bluma Appel Salon, 789 Yonge Street, 2nd floor. 

* Keren Katz is the illustrator who has adapted a story about Solomon Ibn Gabriol for the forthcoming The Jewish Comics Anthology.

David Malki! is the author-illustrator of the Wondermark webcomic, which has been collected in trade paperback. Among the comics that have appeared on the site is one with the punch line "Hannukah bush"one about the Jewish New Yearone that uses the juice/Jews homonym joke and one about Hebephiles.

* NBM Publishing is the publisher of the Jew in Communist Prague books, BrownsvilleThe Big Khan, and the Isaac the Pirate books.

Trina Robbins is the author-illustrator of the story "The Triangle Fire" which was the cover story of the 2nd issue of Lilith Magazine, the author of the graphic biography  Lily Renee, Escape Artist: From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer, and the co-author of an adaptation of "Zog Nit Keyn Mol" which is being reprinted in the forthcoming The Jewish Comics Anthology. Yesterday, Trina discussed "The Brinkley Girls, World War I, and American Patriotism in Comics". Tonight, she will deliver the keynote address "Here Are the Great Women Cartoonists".

Leslie Stein is the author-illustrator of "Someone is Yelling at Me Over the Phone" [Comics Festival, 2005] and Eye of the Majestic Creature.

Seth Tobocman is the author-illustrator of Portraits of Israelis and Palestinians : For My Parents and "The Serpent of State".

Lior Zaltzman is a cartoonist currently working on a 100+ page coming of age story that takes place in Tel Aviv .


On Sunday, May 11th, TCAF, the Goethe-Institut, and the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre are co-presenting a free event to promote the forthcoming English edition of the graphic Holocaust-era memoir The Boxer, which is being published by Abrams ComicArts.

The true story of Holocaust survivor Hertzko Haft

May 11, 2014, 3 pm
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, 750 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON
Free admission
Please register by email
Reinhard Kleist is the award-winning graphic artist and author of "Cash" and "Castro", biographies of Jonny Cash and Fidel Castro. Kleist will be in attendance at this year's Toronto Comic Arts Festival to promote the English translation of "The Boxer," winner of the Youth Literature Award, “Best German Book” at the Munich Comic Con and the Grand Prix de Lyon.
"The Boxer" tells the story of Polish boxer Hertzko Haft, who at 16 was imprisoned in concentration camps and forced to box fellow inmates in life-or-death matches for the entertainment of his SS captors.
Because of his stature and wins, his reputation among the guards spread. He eventually escaped and after the end of World War II, he immigrated to the U.S. where he fought and lost to prized boxer Rocky Marciano in 1949.
Reinhard Kleist will be in conversation with Alan Scott Haft, Herztko's son. In 2006, Alan Haft wrote his father's biography, which Kleist used as the basis for his novel. The two guests will discuss Hertzko's life and Kleist's process for telling a biography in graphic novel form. 

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