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Tuesday, June 21, 2011


The current decade is only 2 years old, but there have already been 10  noteworthy graphic books published and 2 webcomics which had Jewish women characters. Deja to Do is the first trade paperback collection of Pajama Diaries comic strips by Terri Libenson.

The Comic Torah is unique among Biblical comics in that HaShem is depicted as a green woman with more than a passing resemblance to its artist Sharon Rosenzweig

Comic Book Torah (2010). Adaptation by Aaron Freeman. Story by Sharon Rosenzweig. © Ben Yehuda Press

Two Cents Plain is a family memoir which continues the story of Gusta Lemelman (Mendel’s Daughter). Gusta plays an important role in the narrative – insisting on moving to a Jewish neighborhood for the sake of the children, helping to run the store, and trying to keep the children out of trouble. 

Two Cents Plain (2010), p. 58-59. Story & art by Martin Lemelman. © Bloomsbury

Graphic Therapy is an autobiography of an artist who struggled to find & keep a fulfilling job and a good husband, while also coping with depression. 

Graphic Therapy (2010). Art & story by Emily Steinberg. © Emily Steinberg

Good Eggs is an autobiography of an artist who married a Gentile, considered becoming a rabbi, & tried to get pregnant with the help of fertility clinics. 

Good Eggs (2010), p. 180-181.  Story & art by Phoebe Potts. © Harper

Make Me a Woman is a collection of Vanessa Davis’s published & unpublished cartoons . Though she doesn’t always show her Jewishness, among the topics in her cartoons are Hebrew school, her bat mitzvah, Hanukkah, Purim, Yom Kippur, Jewish neuroses, and the difference between New York Jews & Florida Jews. 

Make Me a Woman (2010), p. 73. Story & art by Vanessa Davis. © Drawn & Quarterly

Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colon collaborated on the authorized graphic biography of Anne Frank, which is one of this year’s Sydney Taylor Notable Books for Teen Readers. 

Anne Frank : The Anne Frank Authorized Graphic Biography (2010), p. 81. Adaptation by Sid Jacobson. Art by Ernie Colon. © Farrar, Strauss & Giroux

Throne of Secrets is another graphic novel adaptation of the story of Queen Esther.

Throne of Secrets (2011), p. 1?  Story & Art by Yehudi Mercadr. ©  Book of Esther LLC

In City of Spies, a Jewish-American girl tried to help stop a group of people she suspected were Nazi spies.

City of Spies (2010), p. 120-121. Story by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan. Art by Pascal Dizin. © First Second

In the webcomic Night Shift Comics, Martha Pugachevsky tells of how her hopes for landing a "dream job" led to her being taken advantage of.

Night Shift Comics (May 2011). Story & art by Marsha Pugachevsky. © Marsha Pugachevsky.
Part 2 may be found at

In the anti-Semitic-looking 2nd issue of Foreskin Man (which may be read in its entirety online), a Jewish boy is saved from the rite of brit milah (which would have been performed against his mother's wishes by a villain known only as "Monster Mohel") thanks to both the intervention of the superhero Foreskin Man and a group of intactivists who take it upon themselves to raise the child away from his parents. It's unclear in the story whether the mother gave her son away to them or if he had been simply abducted. In any case, it is strange that the Jewish mother is seen as powerless to save her son from a procedure she doesn't want, unable to change her husband's mind, and unfit to raise him on her own.

"Monster Mohel" Foreskin Man #2 (2010), p. 8. Story & art by Matthew Hess. © MGMbill Comics
The entire comic may be viewed  at

Hereville  - the story of an 11-year old Orthodox girl who wants to slay dragons – has the distinction of being the first graphic novel to win the gold medal in the Sydney Taylor Book Awards’ Older Readers category. It has one of the nicest Shabbos sequences I’ve ever read and that the unusual layout of the knitting contest scene is quite remarkable.

Hereville (2010), p. 124-125. Story & art by Barry Deutsch. © Abrams

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