graphic novels with a Jewish theme?

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graphic novels with a Jewish theme?

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Aug 17, 2007, 10:17 am

I just finished reading Joann Sfar's The Rabbi's Cat. I loved the illustrations and the story- not for children! Does anyone have any suggestions for other titles and authors? I have the Maus series by Art Spiegeman

Aug 17, 2007, 10:42 pm

Joe Kubert's "The Adventures of Yaakov and Yosef"- a re-telling of the Lubavitch rabbi's history.

Aug 18, 2007, 10:23 am

Thank you for the suggestions! I 'm going to look for them.

Edited: Aug 19, 2007, 11:45 am

Two I liked are a little off beat for someone specifically looking for Jewish-themed graphic novels but both are well worth reading.

The first is Palestine by Joe Sacco ... but be prepared to read something which is neither flattering to Jews or to Israel. It is basically photojournalism of Palestinians in which the author inserts himself in the book and travels among the Palestinians allowing them to tell about their lives. It's a painful but amazing read.

The second is Quitter by Harvey Pekar which is the author's story of the author - the nebbish son of Jewish Polish immigrants to the U.S. He ultimately achieves success in the comic book industry. Please *don't miss* the movie that was made about this book. It is called "American Splendor". Paul Giamatti does a fabulous job in the role of Harvey Pekar.

And, BTW, The Rabbi's Cat is my favorite graphic novel! ^_^

Aug 19, 2007, 3:16 pm

Fans of The Rabbi's Cat (and, really, who wouldn't be?) should also check out Sfar's Klezmer.

Aug 20, 2007, 5:23 pm

American Splendor was a wonderful movie.

Aug 20, 2007, 5:29 pm

Hey, I don't have any personal suggestions but I thought I might mention the tagmash option, because I've found it extremely helpful for finding books about specific things. To test, I just made a tagmash of comics, jewish (,jewish) and it seems to include much of what has been mentioned, as well as a few other things that could interest you.

Aug 20, 2007, 11:15 pm

Thank you again- all good suggestions that I will follow up- and I did see the movie American Splendor and it was really good.

Aug 21, 2007, 11:05 am

> 3

I think my mind just exploded. I can't believe I've never seen those. Especially considering some of them are available on

Hungary is currently undergoing a minor comics boom, if Chabad were to publish some of this stuff... *plans* They've just started a children's book series anyway, it'd make a great fit.

I guess I'm going to point them toward this. Thanks a bunch!

Edited: Dec 23, 2007, 1:07 pm

I just finished reading Miriam Katin's graphic novel We Are On Our Own and found it extremely powerful. I would highly recommend it. We Are On Our Own is the story of a Hungarian mother and child and how they hid in small villages during the Holocaust. I believe that it is the author's own story.

Dec 23, 2007, 9:57 am

As I just posted in another thread, a great source for finding good Jewish graphic novels (or any Jewish books) is the Association of Jewish Libraries ( which collects extensive lists of recommendations, including a list of recommended graphic novels. Check it out!

Jan 10, 2008, 10:07 pm

today i bought The adventures of Rabbi Harvey by Steve Sheinkin- I've already read it and it's terrific! it's about a fictional rabbi giving out advice and wisdom in the wild west. Fun and very kid-friendly.

Jan 11, 2008, 1:01 am

What about Adolf The Half-Aryan? I'm usually anti-manga, but I was very impressed with the quality of the story; I've only read one book in the series, but would check out the others...

Jan 11, 2008, 11:13 am

I had completely forgot about the Adolf series by Osamu Tezuka. I thought they were quite good--here's the series in order for reference:

Adolf: A Tale of the Twentieth Century
Adolf: An Exile in Japan
Adolf: The HalfAryan
Adolf: Days of Infamy
Adolf: 1945 and All That Remains

Jan 11, 2008, 12:06 pm

#15, or anyone else: do you know of any other Jewish manga? that's one area I'd like to bring into the library where I work & there doesn't seem to be a lot out there. or I'm missing it! thanks!

Mar 12, 2008, 9:56 am

It's a traditional text, but the graphic novel version of Megillat Esther by J. T. Waldman (JPS) is pretty amazing.

Mar 12, 2008, 5:28 pm

The sequel to The Rabbi's Cat coming out next month- the aptly named The Rabbi's Cat 2.

Mar 13, 2008, 9:06 am

You could look for Jew of New York, by Ben Katchor, or his previous work, Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer.

Mar 13, 2008, 9:26 am

The Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is having an exhibition called "Superheroes and Schlemiels" ( ):

Superman, Maus, The Rabbi’s Cat and many other heroes and anti-heroes from the art of comics feature in this exhibition of comics and graphic novels by Jewish artists. Leading comic artists present their vision of a Jewish past in original drawings, printed matter and film material. The artists include Will Eisner, Joe Kubert, Ben Katchor and Rutu Modan. The exhibition, with comics from 1910 to the present day, is a co-production by the JHM and the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme in Paris.

Edited: Mar 13, 2008, 9:54 am

As for more Jewish themed graphic novels:
Joan Sfar: Klezmer: Tales of the Wild East.
Most of Will Eisner's work has a Jewish theme, most notable A Contract with God, but also Fagin The Jew, Dropsie Avenue, Minor Miracles and The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
From Israel comes the Actus Tragicus group with members like Rutu Modan and Itzik Rennert
From Germany we have Anke Feuchtenberger, although her comics have little with a Jewish theme, afaik she is jewish.
David Chauvel described the influence of Jewish gangsters in the origins of US mobsters in his series Cosa Nostra.
Dave Sim has just started a new comics series called Judenhass.
James Sturm's The Golem's Mighty Swing
Vittorio Giardino's A Jew in Communist Prague

Michael Chabon wrote a masterpiece about the origins of Superman.

Apr 24, 2008, 8:16 pm

Another sequel, Rabbi Harvey Rides Again, came out recently as well. I haven't picked it up yet but plan to soon.

May 18, 2008, 12:56 pm

The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar has just been released in Canada.

May 26, 2008, 3:30 am

I found the art work of Auschwitz by Pascal Croci absolutely stunning and the plot is as gripping.

Nov 5, 2009, 5:25 pm

Etgar Keret & the Actus group's Jetlag.

Nov 10, 2009, 1:43 pm

Be on the lookout for R Crumb's Genesis!

Jul 13, 2010, 12:43 pm

Harvey Pekar's passing should be duly noted.

Jul 13, 2010, 1:04 pm

->27 berthirsch:

That's so sad. He was truly an original.

Jul 13, 2010, 7:27 pm

> 27

Thanks for the notice about Harvey Pekar, Bert.

Jul 16, 2010, 5:49 pm

Barry Deutsch's new book HEREVILLE about an Orthodox girl who wants to be a superhero, comes out in November. Should be awesome.

Jan 16, 2014, 10:25 pm

In February, the Kickstarter campaign for The Jewish Comix Anthology will be launched. The book will contain reprints and new adaptations of Jewish folklore, songs, and Talmud stories.

Jan 17, 2014, 7:09 pm

let us know when it goes live!