As a Dutch Jewish couple hiding separately from the Nazis, Emmanuel Joels and Hetty van Son were literally drawn together by a comic book of Emmanuel’s romantic invention.
Superman, Captain America and The Green Lama are all comic book heroes. Drew Friedman’s new book is all about the ink-fingered nebbishes that created the characters.
Marvel comics has a long history of Jewish artists and creators. Does the new Ms. Marvel — a Pakistani American named Kamala Khan — represent a turning point for the medium?
Art Spiegelman just wants to be left alone. Or, rather, he would really like it if parts of his career and biography were minimized, and others celebrated more. The central tension, both in the long conversations he had with University of Chicago professor Hillary Chute, the germ and base level of “MetaMaus” (2011), and now in Clara Kuperberg and Joelle Oosterlinck’s new documentary, “The Art of Spiegleman,” is the anxiety of success. Spiegelman is painfully self-aware that he will be forever known (and, often, only known) for the path breaking Maus (1980-1991); fearful that he will become the “Elie Wiesel of comics”; and worries that he cannot seem to escape the autobiographical voice. Somehow, some way, his career turned from the one he imagined and he’s never been able to get the old one back.
Iconic comic book artist and writer Joe Kubert spent most of his life drawing brawny super heroes, lionhearted jungle men and rampaging dinosaurs. But at age 75, Kubert began a journey back to his roots that led him to illustrate Warsaw Ghetto fighters, Holocaust survivors, and ethical mini-lessons for the Chabad-Lubavitch hasidic movement. Kubert, who passed away August 12 in New Jersey at age 85, left behind an enormous fan base in the comic book world as well as a growing audience of admirers in the Jewish community.
“Jews and comic books” is a topic that has received extensive treatment in the last 15 years. But what of the Jewish visual artists whose paintings are inspired by comic books? What of Roy Lichtenstein? Jewish studies scholars can look forward to the day when a dissertation is written about Lichtenstein as a Jewish artist, or an exhibition is curated on the same theme.
Josh Frankel is an unlikely publisher and an even more unlikely entrepreneur. Yet he’s the founder of Zip Comix, the publisher of “Cleveland” — the critically acclaimed posthumous work by underground comics legend Harvey Pekar, author of the long-running autobiographical series American Splendor.
Lost and Found: Comics 1969-2003
By Bill Griffith
Fantagraphics Books, 364 pages $35