So the cat’s out of the bag. I’ve partnered with the fine folks at Congregation Kol Israel to bring the first ever Jewish Comic Con to life. Why did I do that and why it’s important? Let’s answer!
In 1934, two jewish kids from Cleveland created the first superhero of the current era, Superman, and, as they say, the rest is history. Except history can be forgotten. Ask kids at conventions these days… Do they know that most of the original wave of comic book creators were immigrant jews or sons of immigrants? Very few.
Memory is important in History. And keeping the memories of those founders, when most of them have passed away, is important. Without them, we wouldn’t read any comics. We wouldn’t have Batman, the Fantastic Four or Spider-Man.
One could argue: “but, shouldn’t all those 200+ conventions across the US do that?”. They should. Sometimes they do. Most of times they don’t. And very rarely they stress out the fact that these kids were jewish. That they started this industry because they didn’t have the money to become doctors or attorneys. That some jobs were even simply impossible for them to get. They could only dream. They dreamt big. And we can dream too thanks to them.
18 years ago, I created a magazine about comics, Comic Box, because I wanted to pay respect to those guys. The Simons, Kirbys, Lees, Kanes, Eisners, Kuberts, etc. Nothing would’ve been the same without them. They changed my life.
Now it’s time to give back some love.
And that Jewish Comic Con seemed like the perfect vehicle for me.
That con will be different from other cons. It’ll be small. Dedicated. With only 11 selected artists in the main hall. And a set of panels and conferences all day long (the con only lasts one day). There’ll be tons to learn. Tons to enjoy. No velvet rope between the creators and the public.
And the best? It’ll be very diverse.
That was my first concern. A convention by and for jews didn’t interest me. The tag line says: “it’s not just for the members of the tribe, it’s for everyone”.
Every creator. Every fan. All are welcome as long as they have a connection to something jewish in their body of work. It could be a storyline. A character. A concept.
We’ll have creators from all horizons. You can bet on that!
I think a project like this is also a great occasion to tear down some walls. To break barriers between people of different cultures and origin. It’s an invitation to discover something, some people you don’t really know about. For many, Jews are mysterious. Let’s demystify that. Let’s open doors for everyone to talk comics with everyone.
For more info, go to the official website: www.jewishcomiccon.org
And join me there on November 13th!
To be continued…