"ARE COMICS A JEWISH ART FORM?" Fascinating artile from the Jewish Week

A historical look, from Samuel Zagat to Art Spiegelman, to the new breed of pointed pens

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 by Paul Buhle, Special To The Jewish Week

This month, a special 25th anniversary edition of Art Spiegelman’s “MAUS,” the first comic book ever to win a Pulitzer Prize, is being published to much fanfare. The award and the provocative nature of the book — a story of the Holocaust told in comics — had many critics arguing then about whether the medium suited the gravity of the subject. But all the attention that debate received eclipsed another: the extent to which comics themselves are an essentially “Jewish” art form.

Like so much else Jewish, scholars and writers have since discovered the fertile soil upon which comic art grew: the culture of the immigrant experience, Yiddishkeit (or “Yiddishness”).  Comic art, described by some critics as the most original contribution of Americans — along with jazz — to global popular culture, is also part Jewish, like nearly every other nook and cranny of popular culture.

Read on: http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/are_comics_jewish_art_form
Image: A Joel Schechter strip from “Yiddishkeit: Jewish Vernacular and the New Land.”

"ARE COMICS A JEWISH ART FORM?" Fascinating artile from the Jewish Week

A historical look, from Samuel Zagat to Art Spiegelman, to the new breed of pointed pens

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 by Paul Buhle, Special To The Jewish Week

This month, a special 25th anniversary edition of Art Spiegelman’s “MAUS,” the first comic book ever to win a Pulitzer Prize, is being published to much fanfare. The award and the provocative nature of the book — a story of the Holocaust told in comics — had many critics arguing then about whether the medium suited the gravity of the subject. But all the attention that debate received eclipsed another: the extent to which comics themselves are an essentially “Jewish” art form.

Like so much else Jewish, scholars and writers have since discovered the fertile soil upon which comic art grew: the culture of the immigrant experience, Yiddishkeit (or “Yiddishness”).  Comic art, described by some critics as the most original contribution of Americans — along with jazz — to global popular culture, is also part Jewish, like nearly every other nook and cranny of popular culture.

Read on: http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/new_york/are_comics_jewish_art_form
Image: A Joel Schechter strip from “Yiddishkeit: Jewish Vernacular and the New Land.”

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