New York, NY (October 16, 2023)
Brace yourselves! The Center for Jewish History (CJH) is thrilled to announce a series of events celebrating the rich tapestry of Jewish culture in comics. From heart-pounding musicals to mind-bending panels, this supercharged program guarantees an epic experience for every comic enthusiast and cultural afficionado.
- Meet Renowned Creators: Rub shoulders with legendary cartoonists, writers, and illustrators such as Frank Miller, Paul Levitz, Trina Robbins, Stephanie Phillips, Neil Kleid, and E. Lockhart, who have left an indelible mark on the world of comics.
- Panel Discussions and Workshops: Engage with industry-leading comics creators and scholars, as they delve into the intricacies of Jewish narratives in comics.
- Artist Alley: Meet talented artists, writers, and creators, and explore their work in an extensive Artist Alley.
- Exhibit Hall: Peruse a diverse selection of comics, graphic novels, and merchandise inspired by Jewish culture, available from various vendors.
- Family-Friendly Activities: Enjoy family-friendly activities that cater to fans of all ages.
- Multimedia Exhibits: Discover a wide range of multimedia exhibits that highlight the intersection of Jewish culture and comics.
Monday, November 6, 7:00PM – LABZIK: TALES OF A CLEVER PUP – IN-PERSON EVENT
Adapted from a book of children’s stories by Yiddish author Chaver Paver, the film follows the (mis)adventures of a clever mutt named Labzik and the working-class Jewish family that adopts him. Balancing playful humor with gritty realism, the stories find Labzik and the other residents of the Bronx up against social and political forces that are no less relevant today: unemployment, political protest, racism, police brutality, even an airborne disease. This trilingual Yiddish-English-Yinglish short film is produced in cinematic “miniature theater” style, employing lavishly illustrated paper puppets to evoke the ink illustrations of the 1935 original.
Thursday, November 9, 6:30 PM – HEREVILLE: A NEW JEWISH MUSICAL – IN-PERSON EVENT & LIVESTREAMED ON YOUTUBE
Experience Hereville, a female-driven, family-friendly musical based on Barry Deutsch’s award-winning graphic novels. The story follows Mirka, an 11-year-old girl in an Orthodox Jewish town, as she grapples with family dynamics and a looming threat. Directed by Laura Brandel, this musical promises a love story and is rated PG for its exploration of grief and loss. Attend in person or join the livestream on YouTube.
Saturday, November 11, 7:30 PM – JEWCIE AWARDS CEREMONY
Be part of history at the first-ever JewCie Awards! Join industry titans, nominees, and judges for an unforgettable evening celebrating excellence in Jewish comics. Limited tickets are available for this exclusive event.
Sunday, November 12, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM – PANELS AT THE JEWISH COMICS EXPERIENCE
A series of dynamic panels and workshops will delve into various aspects of Jewish culture in comics:
- Jewish Roots of the Comic Industry 10:00 AM (Auditorium): Explore the influence of Jewish creators on iconic characters like Superman and Batman. Moderator: Danny Fingeroth; Roy Schwartz; Simcha Weinstein, and Arie Kaplan
- Jewish Folklore in Comics, 10:00AM (Kovno Room): Examine how graphic novels use folklore to enrich Jewish storytelling. Moderator: Eddy Portnoy; Dani Colman; Trina Robbins; Chanan Beizer, and Yehudi Mercado.
- From Strength to Strength: Jewish Superheroes Through the Ages, 11:30AM (Auditorium): Discover the Jewish context, themes, and identity in the world of superheroes. Moderator: Roy Schwartz; Brian Michael Bendis (Zoom); E. Lockhart; Dean Haspiel, and Frank Miller.
- Queering Jewish Comics, 11:30AM (Kovno Room): Delve into comics that challenge normative notions of Jewish identity and explore themes of gender and sexuality. Moderator: Tahneer Oksman; Ben Kahn, Shira Spector, Barry Deutsch, and Miriam Libicki.
- Breaking the Mainstream: Getting Past Ashkenormativity and Secularism in Comics, 1:00PM (Auditorium): Discuss the representation of diverse Jewish experiences in comics. Moderator: Arnon Shorr; Daniel Lobell; Emily Bowen Cohen; Dan Goldman, and Carol Isaacs.
- Kids Comics for Mini Mensches, 1:00PM (Kovno Room): Explore the creation of Jewish comics for young readers. Moderator: Jeremy Dauber; Yehudi Mercado; Terri Libenson; Chari Pere, and Barry Deutsch.
- Canons Are Made to Blow Up! Retconning, Rebooting, Jossing, and Other Paradigm Shifts, 2:30PM (Auditorium): Explore the dynamic nature of continuity changes in long-running comics. Moderator: Jenny Caplan; Brian Michael Bendis (Zoom); Brian Azzarello; Joshua Sky, and Barbara Slate.
- Jewish Comics and Remembrance Culture, 2:30PM (Kovno Room): Discuss the role of comics in engaging with Jewish history, Holocaust narratives, and memory. Moderator: Samantha Baskind; Rafael Medoff; Ken Krimstein; Stan Mack, and Trina Robbins.
- Will Eisner: The First Poet Laureate of the Jewish Graphic Novel, 4:00PM (Auditorium): Join a discussion on the groundbreaking work of Will Eisner and his enduring impact on the graphic novel genre. Paul Levitz & Jules Feiffer (Zoom).
- Telling Other People’s Stories, 4:00PM (Kovno Room):: Hear from creators who approach the craft of storytelling from different perspectives. Moderator: Julian Voloj; Tracy White; Stephanie Phillips; Koren Shadmi, and Neil Kleid.
- Jewish Female Narratives in the Graphic Arts, 5:30PM (Auditorium): Engage with female creators discussing gender and Jewish identity in personal narratives. Moderator: Karen Green; Leela Corman; Amy Kurzweil; Alisa Kwitney, and Miriam Libicki.
- Holy Graphic Novels!, 5:30PM (Kovno Room): Learn how comics bring new life to traditional Jewish texts. Moderator: Jordan B. Gorfinkel; JT Waldman; Jessica Tamar Deutsch; Matt Tonti, and Willy Mendes.
- Jump into Drawing Comics, 10:00AM (Discovery Room): We’ll investigate how comics work and uncover the special language of comics through a series of fun cartooning exercises. Then, every participant will get to draw a short one-page comic of their own! This workshop is designed for kids ages 8-12 and all skill levels. Josh Edelglass.
- Torah Comic Workshop, 1:00PM (Discovery Room): Kids learn how to make comics! Andrew Galitzer.
- From Perek to Panel: Using Pictures to Explore Interpretation 2:30PM (Discovery Room): We will explore how pictures can elaborate on Jewish texts. Just as the interpreters added, explained, and enriched stories, we will use their ideas – and some of our own – and learn together. When pictures are placed next to words, they can illustrate what is happening, but they can also provide more. That is what we will explore. Ages: teens to adulthood. Ben Schacter.
- Jewish Comics Trivia Game: JewCE Edition 11:30AM & 4:00PM (Discovery Room): Are you a Jewish comics maven? From Superman to Maus to (yes) Daffy Duck, test your knowledge of Jewish comics in this challenging trivia game for fans of all ages, hosted by comics writer Sholly Fisch (Action Comics, The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries). Win prizes for the top scorers, kvell over your hits, and plotz over your misses, with brain-tickling fun for one and all! Sholly Fisch & Jeremy Arcus-Goldberg.
- Israeli Defense Comics Table: FREE Original Art Sketch! Joshua H. Stulman, creator of Israeli Defense Comics will be offering FREE head sketches of your favorite comic characters to all JEWCE attendees at his booth. Artwork is drawn on the spot and available all day while supplies last.
- Display of Vayikra Mural: Q&A, signing, and guide from artist Barbara “Willy” Mendes.
Join the conversation on social media using #JewCE2023
About the Center for Jewish History
The Center is the collaborative home of five in-house Partner organizations (American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research) whose collections comprise over five miles of archival documents in dozens of languages and alphabet systems, over 500,000 volumes of books, 9.1 million digital items, and thousands of artworks, objects, textiles, and recordings. Significant scholarship is regularly published using these materials, including award-winning studies that would have been impossible to write without access to them. The Center opens the collections to the public and democratizes access to them through exhibits, events, fellowships, and a host of free public archive and library services—including the archival preservation efforts of its laboratories.