Brother's KeeperReflections on JewCE: The Jewish Comics Experience!

Reflections on JewCE: The Jewish Comics Experience!

I’m exhausted and full of joy after an incredible weekend in NYC at JewCE: The Jewish Comics Experience!

It felt very special to be among this group of talented Jewish storytellers and creatives… and also so many wonderful comic book fans!  There was so much joy everywhere I looked.  During these tough times for Jews worldwide, particularly all our family and friends in Israel, this felt particularly precious to me.

I’m so impressed at the program that Dr. Miriam Mora and Fabrice Sapolsky put together at JewCE.  They’ve been prepping for this weekend for a year, and it showed!

First off, the exhibition is extraordinary.  “The Museum and Laboratory of the Jewish Comics Experience” is a gorgeous exhibition that explores the rich history of Jewish comics.  I never in my life thought I’d get to see with my own eyes (through glass, of course), one of the original “Reign of the Superman” story by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, which was a forerunner in their creation of the iconic character of Superman!  That’s just one gem among this very cool collection.  This exhibition will be up at least through the end of the year at the Center for Jewish History.  This is a must-see for all Jewish comic book fans!!  (Click here for more info.)

Saturday night, motzei Shabbat, was the “preview night” for the convention, and the JewCie awards.  Arnon Shorr and I were beyond honored that our graphic novel, José and the Pirate Captain Toledano, was nominated for an award in the category of best historical narratives.  These JewCie awards celebrated the best Jewish comic book stirytelling of all time — Maus was up for an award!!! — so when I say that it was an honor just to be nominated, I really mean it!!  We didn’t win (we did not expect to!!) but I must say that it was very cool to see José and the Pirate Captain Toledano up there on the big screen at the awards presentations, along with so many other incredible Jewish comic books and graphic novels (many/most of which I own and are on my bookshelves)!!  Take a look at this incredible list of JewCie nominees.  These books are all worth reading, so if you see things you’re not familiar with, I encourage you to give some of these wonderful stories a try.

Then Sunday was the con itself.  The con was packed with incredible guests (Frank Miller was there!  As was Brian Azzarello, Brian Michael Bendis (on Zoom), Trina Robbins, Dean Haspiel, and so many more big names!)  There were cool panels and workshops.  (I ran a comics and cartooning workshop for kids, and Arnon moderated a panel called “Breaking the Mainstream: Ashkenormativity and Secularism in comics”.  Arnon and I had a blast meeting so many great Jewish comic book fans!!  It made us so happy to see so many people walk by and point to José and the Pirate Captain Toledano, on display at our table in artists’ alley, and tell us they loved the book!!  That’s such a special feeling.  We sold lots of copies to new readers as well, so the family of José and the Pirate Captain Toledanoo continues to grow!!

Sunday was also the official launch day for Arnon’s and my new comic book series, Brother’s Keeper.  This one-shot comic book tells the true story of Arnon’s grandfather’s experiences in Israel’s 1948 War for Independence, at the battle for kibbutz Ramat Rachel.  It’s been a labor of love bringing this story to life, and it was a thrill to finally launch this book into the world!  Arnon and I were both so gratified to see how many people seemed excited to but and read this new book.

Click here to order a print copy of Brother’s Keeper, or click here to read the e-book on Amazon Prime.  The e-book is FREE to all Kindle Unlimited readers!!!

And of course, click here to order a copy of José and the Pirate Captain Toledano.

Thank you to all our readers, and a huge thank you again to Dr. Miriam Mora, Fabrice Sapolsky, JewCie Awards moderator Danny Fingeroth, and the entire JewCE team.  It was a wonderful experience.  Let’s do it again soon!!

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