Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jews Love: Comics

While lots of Jews are funny, or at least stereotypically so, I am talking about the print/internet media in this case. Jews who inhabit the world of cartoons/comics. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, take a look at our "cartoons" section on the blogroll.

There are three that are specifically Jewish in content: 52portions, a weekly parsha comic by Aaron Freeman and his wife, Dry Bones, a political comic by Yaakov Kirschen, and Shabot, a satire of Jewish life, by Ben Baruch. L.C. Linton, the artist responsible for The Child Left Behind happens to be Jewish, and her comics reflect that sensibility, but it isn't necessarily the main point.

In the wider world the connection between Jews and comics becomes even clearer (and not just because Magneto is a survivor). The Jewish Museum has two comic-themed exhibits the run September-late January: Masters of American Comics, and Superheroes: Good and Evil in American Comics. The world of comic book (or graphic novel if you will) artists is chock full of NJBs, and some scholars far more knowledgable than I have dealt with why that may be.

There is a middle ground between these two previous groups of artists, Jewish artists who create specifically Jewish material, but that have enjoyed some pop-culture recognition. The most obvious example of this is Maus, the graphic novel portrayal of the Holocaust by Art Spiegelman. If you haven't read it, you really should. On a more uplifting note, there are a group of superheroes called The Jewish Hero Corps. I'm at a loss for how to describe them, so I'll leave that one alone too.

And last, but not least, there is THIS GUY (courtesy of Jew York City):


Smeliana said...

I thought that in the comics Magneto was a Gypsy, not a Jew.

(This is heresay from my big sister, but she is The Genius and knows everything comics-related.)

Steve Bergson said...

Well, there's a chapter in the book Unauthorized X-Men: SF and Comic Writers on Mutants, Prejudice and Adamantium titled "Magneto the Jew".

There's also a well-researched argument for why he is Jewish and NOT gypsy at the Magneto is Jewish FAQ.

To learn about more Jewish comic books and graphic novels, visit the Jewish comics blog at