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Jews and Comic Books Redux - Mo's Journal — LiveJournal
April 20th, 2010
11:41 am


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Jews and Comic Books Redux
Thanks to all who responded to this post with resources on Jews and Comic Books. My talk is taking shape. Here's what the flier that will be distributed at my shul says:

PSJC Synaplex Presents…

Jews and Comic Books
Friday, May 14, 2010

Bring a parve or dairy dish and join us for Kabbalat Shabbat Services with Cantor Judy Ribnick, followed by a Pot Luck Dinner and Program on Jewish contribution to and content in American comic books.

• In the 1930s, did Goebbels denounce Superman as a Crypto-Jew?
• What comic book supervillain is not only a Jew but a Holocaust survivor?
• Was the crackdown on comic books in the 1950s an anti-Semitic movement, or was it started by Jews, or both?
• With so many Jews involved in comic book writing and publication since the 1930s, why were there no Jewish characters in mainstream comic books until the 1970s and why did it take a guy named Chris to create some?
• Which of the X-Men are Jews? Which of the Fantastic Four?
• What Jewish-themed comic book won a Pulitzer Prize?

For answers to these and other burning questions join us for a Synaplex Friday night program on Jews and Comic Books. Dale Rosenberg, PSJC Member and sometime comic book fan, will share what she has learned about the Jewish influence on American comics. Whether you think comics foster truth, justice and the American way or believe that comics cause seduction of the innocent, you’ll learn something about the influence American Jews have had and continue to have on this quintessentially American art form.

No reservations required.

Anyone in the NYC area should feel free to attend. And you don't need to bring a pot luck contribution - there's always too much food at pot lucks, anyway, and I plan to bring a lot. It's at the Park Slope Jewish Center, at 8th Avenue and 14th Street, in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:April 20th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Whose the chick in black and white with long hair to the left of Kitty's boot? It looks, more than anyone, like Jean-Paul's sister, Aurora. But she's all pur laine, I'm sure.

This sounds terrific! Wish I could be there.

They're doing something about Jews and comic books at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival which is on now. The catalogue makes a typical over-arching statement about how Jews invented comic books. My mom got all excited, but I said it was the same as saying, "Jews invented Jazz." We certainly made our contributions, but it was a multi-cultural effort.
[User Picture]
Date:April 20th, 2010 05:06 pm (UTC)
The character you're asking about is Songbird, real name either Melissa Gold or Mimi Schwartz. I don't really know anything about her except that she's one of the Thunderbirds.

I think it's fair to say Jews invented comic books, albeit not jazz. The first comic book was published in 1934, and two Jews collaborated on its publication. In the time since, we've been a major part of comic book production, but you're quite right that it's a multicultural effort.
[User Picture]
Date:April 20th, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
I see; yeah, the actual pamphlet book. I was thinking more about the history of cartooning. The comic book follows the creation of the big colour comics pages in newspapers.
Date:April 21st, 2010 04:19 am (UTC)


Race and relation are always a slippery slope to walk. Here's a mini-documentary I did for my master's thesis on comics and race relations: http://www.vimeo.com/10562156

All feedback is welcome.

Date:May 13th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)

Jewish comics blog

I only came across the reference to Friday's talk yesterday. Better late than never, eh?

If I were anywhere near the Brooklyn area on Friday night, I would certainly have made plans to attend this kaballat shabbat. I probably even would have brought blueberry buns (something found only in Toronto).

Looking over the comments to both of your posts, I see that no one has mentioned the Jewish comics blog. Someone did make reference to the Adherents website (plus someone swiped their collage of Jewish comix heroes for the PSJC poster). If you look closely at the references part of the Jewish entries, you'll notice that 2 defunct Geocities sites keep showing up - the Jewish Comics Exhibit Notes page and the Jews in Comics Bibliography page. Those were both mine. Still are, but they're staying on my hard drive until I can find time to upload them somewhere reliable (and cheap).

I have managed to keep the Yahoo forum and blog alive, since Yahoo hasn't shut down the forum (yet) and Google doesn't seem intent on shutting down the Blogger blogs.

I don't know if you'll find much on my blog / forum (they mostly mirror each other) to add to your talk, but I've been told it's a valuable source for cool info. I even have 11 "followers" (per Blogger) and according to Google I had 25 visits on May 11th. I also have 145 subscribers to the forum (but I can't tell if any of them actually bother reading any of the posts).

One of the books not mentioned in your list was Danny Fingeroth's Disguised as Clark Kent : Jews, Comics, And the Creation of the Superhero. Not much time to read it cover-to-cover, but maybe you can skim some of the chapters today.

So, what's the latest at my blog? Well, I posted about a certain program happening Friday night in Brooklyn. You should check it out. The details are at http://jewishcomics.blogspot.com/2010/05/jews-comic-books-lecture-discussion.html

I also tweeted it (and it ended up re-tweeted at http://twitter.com/jewishbloggers) and posted about it on Facebook.

I hope you have a nice crowd and that it goes well.

Yasher koach!


Steven M. Bergson
aka jewishlibrarian
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