The Jewish Graphic Novel: Critical Approaches

The Jewish Graphic Novel: Critical Approaches

by Samantha Baskind
     
 

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In the 1970s and 1980s Jewish cartoonists such as Will Eisner were some of the first artists to use the graphic novel as a way to explore their ethnicity. Although similar to their pop culture counterpart, the comic book, graphic novels presented weightier subject matter in more expensive packaging, which appealed to an adult audience and gained them credibility

Overview


In the 1970s and 1980s Jewish cartoonists such as Will Eisner were some of the first artists to use the graphic novel as a way to explore their ethnicity. Although similar to their pop culture counterpart, the comic book, graphic novels presented weightier subject matter in more expensive packaging, which appealed to an adult audience and gained them credibility as a genre.

The Jewish Graphic Novel is a lively, interdisciplinary collection of essays that addresses critically acclaimed works in this subgenre of Jewish literary and artistic culture. Featuring insightful discussions of notable figures in the industryùsuch as Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman, and Joann Sfarùthe essays focus on the how graphic novels are increasingly being used in Holocaust memoir and fiction, and to portray Jewish identity in America and abroad

Featuring more than 85 illustrations, this collection is a compelling representation of a major postmodern ethnic and artistic achievement.

Editorial Reviews

Choice

"A major contribution to the literature on graphic novels. Highly Recommended."
author of Mr. Spic Goes to Washington - Ilan Stavans

"The People of the Book—the epithet is no longer sufficient. More appropriate: The People of the Book and the Image. Samantha Baskind and Ranen Omer-Sherman, leading a cadre of exegetes, explain what makes the combination Jewish."
author, Multiculturalism and the Jews - Sander L. Gilman

"Will Eisner coined the term 'Graphic Novel' in 1976 for A Contract with God, his account of the Jewish Diaspora experience. It has since become the label for complex illustrated texts—some fiction, somenon-fiction; most a striking mix of both. The growth of the 'GraphicNovel' also tracks with the rise of a post-modern, global Jewish culturein the later 20th century. The Jewish Graphic Novel is thus both a history of the genre as well as a history of its particular place in the growing, self-conscious world of contemporary Jewish self-representation. A brilliant and original book!"
Jewish Ledger

"A lively, interdisciplinary collection of essays that addresses critically acclaimed works in this subgenre of Jewish literary and artistic culture. This comprehensive volume is a compelling representation of a major postmodern ethnic and artistic achievement."
The Jewish Reporter

"Those interested in current Jewish literary culture will find it absorbing, as will anyone interested in how the graphic novel contributes to our understanding of Jewish identity."
Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

"Few attempts have been made to publish an anthology of academic essays on Jewish graphic novels. The Jewish Graphic Novel is a wonderful attempt to fill this void. The collection brings together four essays on specific books, five essays comparing pairs of graphic narratives, two overviews, two cartoonist interviews, an in-depth look at a Jewish comic book character, and an illustrated essay about Jewish biographical comix. Highly recommended for public, academic, and high school libraries, particularly those that already have significant Judaica graphic novel collections."
editor of Considering MAUS: Approaches to Art Spiegelman's "Survivor's Tale" - Deborah R. Geis

"The graphic novel is a vital and emerging genre, and this is the onlybook that focuses on its relation to Jewish culture, literature, and history. A highly readable and informative collection that will be of great interest to readers across a wide range of disciplines."
Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics

"The Jewish Graphic Novel is a pivotal work of sequential art scholarship: the 16 essays in this volume provide an excellent introduction to an understanding of Jewish experience and culture through the lens of comics. Baskind and Omer-Sherman have produced an original collection of articles that provide new insights into the history and culture of the graphic novel, its writers, and artists."
Journal of American Ethnic History

"Those who find themselves involved with graphic genres will find this book a welcome resource. It is a strong collection."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813547756
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
02/15/2010
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Samantha Baskind is an associate professor of art history at Cleveland State University. She is the author of Raphael Soyer and the Search for Modern Jewish Art.

Ranen Omer-Sherman is Gabelli Senior Scholar of Arts and Sciences and an associate professor of English at the University of Miami. He is the author of Israel in Exile: Jewish Writing and the Desert.

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