From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books

From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books

by Arie Kaplan
     
 

Jews created the first comic book, the first graphic novel, the first comic book convention, the first comic book specialty store, and they helped create the underground comics (or “Comix”) movement of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Many of the creators of the most famous comic books, such as Superman, Spiderman, X-Men, and See more details below

Overview

Jews created the first comic book, the first graphic novel, the first comic book convention, the first comic book specialty store, and they helped create the underground comics (or “Comix”) movement of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Many of the creators of the most famous comic books, such as Superman, Spiderman, X-Men, and Batman, as well as the founders of MAD magazine, were Jewish. From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books tells their stories and demonstrates how they brought a uniquely Jewish perspective to their work and to the comics industry as a whole. Over-sized and in full color, From Krakow to Krypton is filled with sidebars, cartoon bubbles, comic book graphics, original design sketches, and photographs. It is a visually stunning and exhilarating history.

Editorial Reviews

Danny Fingeroth

"In From Krakow to Krypton, Arie Kaplan threads together the disparate elements of comicdom--Jewish culture, geek culture, fandom, sci-fi, adolescent power fantasies, outsider art, and the New York City of reality and myth--and ties them all together. . . . A smart, fun book."—Danny Fingeroth, author of Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero
Al Jaffee

"A new and fascinating look at the history of comic books . . . you really don't have to be Jewish to thoroughly enjoy this trip down comic book memory lane.”—Al Jaffee, long-time MAD Magazine contributor and author of the forthcoming Talltales
Children's Literature - Michael Jung
Most comic book fans can name several Jewish writers and artists who created some of their favorite superheroes—from Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman, to Stanley Lieber (aka Stan Lee) co-creator of Spider-Man, the Hulk, and many others. Yet many fans may not be aware of how intertwined comic book culture is with the Jewish community—starting from the "Golden Age" of comics of the 1930s and leading into the present day. In From Krakow to Krypton, Jewish comic book writer Arie Kaplan traces this rich history, revealing how unemployed Jewish entrepreneur Max Gaines started one of the first comic book companies in 1934 by reprinting old newspaper comic strips in half tabloid size magazines. Readers will see how Gaines's need for new comic book material helped two Jewish teenagers introduce Superman to the world, even as dozens of other Jewish teens and young adults entered the comic book industry—which did not present a barrier of anti-Semitism since many comic publishers were themselves Jewish. Kaplan also examines how Jews negatively affected the comic book industry, showing how some publishers and creators prevented writers and artists from receiving credit for their contributions, while also revealing that one of the most outspoken crusaders against comic books, Dr. Frederic Wertham, was himself an atheist Jew. From superheroes to MAD Magazine to Harvey Pekar's autobiographical comic American Splendor, Kaplan's behind-the-scenes stories about the comic book industry are intriguing, while his Jewish interpretations of comic book stories will spark discussion (although admittedly most of these interpretations are a matter ofspeculation). Reviewer: Michael Jung

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780827608436
Publisher:
Jewish Publication Society
Publication date:
09/08/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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