Monday, September 10, 2007

Up, up and Oy vey!

The Amazon blurb reads, in part:

From the birth of Krypton in Cleveland to the Caped Crusader, Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and more, Up, Up, and Oy Vey chronicles the uncanny story behind the story about the origins of the planet's most famous superheroes. While the Jewish contribution to film, theater, music, and comedy has been well-documented, the Jewish role in the creation of the All-American superhero has not been--until now!

Indeed! There were a lot of Jewish writers and artists involved in early superhero comics, some in pivotal roles: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Joe Shuster, Jerry Spiegel,* Joe Kubert, and Will Eisner, to name just a few. These creators weren't necessarily devout Jews, but their background and values were still reflected in the stories they told. More recently we find people like Elliot S! Maggin, Rabbi Cary Friedman, Art Spiegelman, and Douglas Rushkoff reimagining Jewish history, culture and religion through comics. Rabbi Weinstein's book looks very interesting.

While you're waiting to get your copy, you might want to check out Paul's post on the Jewish roots of Superman.

*Just the other day someone explained the possible Hebrew roots of the name "Kal El" to me.

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