Imagine that the numbers on your watch have been replaced by a daunting list of words, including “obsess,” “worry,” “repress” and “panic.” Would you ever check the time again? I wouldn’t either, but cartoonist Ken Krimstein strikes at the heart of Jewish identity with this cartoon, which appears in his upcoming book, Kvetch as Kvetch Can (Clarkson Potter), due out October 5.
Krimstein, whose cartoons have been published in the New Yorker, Punch and the Wall Street Journal, brings a lighthearted, tender touch to Jewish culture. His mostly funny collection tackles food, identity, family, holidays, education and, of course, “the silent sledgehammer, the neutron bomb of child-rearing, GUILT,” as he writes in a short introduction. Bringing together traditional lore with modern preoccupations like JDate and Jewish geography, “Kvetch” is delightfully amusing when it’s not playing on overplayed puns.