Jews and the Graphic Novel
By DAVID GANTZ
Read the entire illustrated essay:
An Introduction to “Jews and the Graphic
Jewish books, you may have noticed, are getting more and more graphic. And no,
gratuitous sex and violence haven't swarmed into our literature, the way
they've occupied every other sphere of American culture: I mean “graphic” in
the visual-arts sense. Since I took over as JBooks editor in March 2004, I’ve
noticed a swarm of non-verbal images slipping in between the covers of our
books. (Sometimes, graphic novels snuck onto the book covers themselves.)
Historians of the graphic novel will rightly suggest that Will Eisner and Art Spiegleman
kicked off this trend years ago, but it’s clear that talented pishers like J. T. Waldman
and Joann Sfar have
truly made the Jewish graphic novel a mainstream event.
I thought it would be interesting to have a veteran of the field look at the history
of the Jewish graphic novel, and I asked David Gantz, author of Jews in America: A Cartoon
History, to write an illustrated essay on the
His “Jews and the Graphic Novel” knocked me for a loop. For six or seven loops.
His work is a superb combination of visual narrative, cultural history, and
autobiography (there are some great memories here, for instance, about DC
Comics’ Stan Lee and Mad Magazine’s Al Jaffe). Gantz’s work response to
the assignment was an unusual and valuable new thing. I hope you enjoy it as
much we do.
—Ken Gordon, Editor, JBooks.com