A Bird, A Plane – A Jew

Comic books get more Jewish with age.

10/12/2015 - 20:00
Associate Editor

The “secret identity” may be both the oldest and greatest Jewish contribution to literature, from Moses and Esther to the 19th-century poet Judah Leib Gordon’s painful maxim, “Be a Jew in the home, a man in the street.” Even God finds it useful to have a secret self, “hester panim,” said the Jewish mystics, God’s “hiding his face.” But nowhere was the concept more fantastically developed than by the Jewish writers of comic books, where just about every superhero was endowed with a “secret identity,” with Superman — famously created by two Jewish writers,  Joel Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1933, the year of Hitler’s seizure of power — as the template for all superheroes that followed.

In “Fantastic Four,” the Thing and his friend discuss forgiveness and Yom Kippur. Marvel Comics

A Bird, A Plane — A Jew

Comic books get more Jewish with age.

10/08/2015 - 20:00
Associate Editor

In these panels from Marvel Comics’ iconic “Fantastic Four,” the Thing is revealed to be Jewish. Marvel Comics

Heckled By An Old Jewish Lady

09/30/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I was 20 minutes into my set. The audience? Rolling — I had them in the palm of my hand. It was a shul fundraiser in Jacksonville, Fla., 300-plus people in the room, and I was, as they say in comedy, “killing.” In a matter of seconds I would launch into my favorite string of jokes, the ones about how, as a kid, I sold Barton’s Candy door-to-door to gentiles to raise money for my Jewish day school …

Joel Chasnoff

Judaism and Comic-Con: Reality, or Sci-Fi Fantasy?

For those of you who are not fortunate enough to have a geek/nerd/fanperson in your life, New York Comic-Con was in town the weekend of October 11th to 14th. Stepping into the Javits Center is like magic, as you are suddenly surrounded by not only other people who have an over appreciation for comic books, but crowds so thick with people dressed as Princess Leia or Inuyasha that it’s hard to move.

New York Comic-Con, back in 2007 when it was way quieter.

An X-Man Takes Aim at Nazi War Criminals

07/23/2012 - 20:00

From the demented geneticist known as Mr. Sinister to the evil giant Juggernaut, the X-Men have battled some pretty wild foes over the years. But in an upcoming five-issue mini-series called “The First X-Men,” one member of the Marvel superhero team will take on some villains seen more in the real world than in the world of comic books: Nazi war criminals.

“The First X-Men,” which will debut in August, marks the return of one of the most famous and beloved artists in the heroes’ 60-year history, Neal Adams.

Strip Tease

YU Museum’s ‘Graphic Details’ exhibit spotlights feminist and edgy Jewish comics.
10/03/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Yeshiva University Museum has upped its cool — and its feminist — factor with a new exhibition showcasing comic art by Jewish women artists.

“Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women,” which opened last week, presents work by 18 artists from the U.S., Canada, England and Israel from the 1970s to the present.

Miriam Katin’s “Eucalyptus Nights” and Diane Noomin’s “Baby Talk” are included in the “Graphic Details” show.
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