June 15, 2008

The Jewish Role in Creating Comic Book Heroes

One more quick hit and run post. This story is running on Ynet:

"The exhibit ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950, at My Jewish Discovery Place Children's Museum in Plantation, Florida is bringing comic book heroes back to life for a new generation of fans, the Miami Herald reported.

The report mentioned that the first superhero - Superman - was created in 1938 by two Jewish boys, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Bob Kane and Bill Finger, also Jewish, created Batman in 1939. Then came Captain America in 1940 from Jewish artists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

Museum Director Debbie Hochman was quoted by the Miami Herald as saying that the exhibit is a chance for children to learn not only about well-known comic book heroes and how they began but also about the people who drew them.

''They are heroes in their own right,'' she said.

'Nazis were the villains of that time'

The report said the exhibit, which originated at the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, came from various private and institutional collections and is traveling throughout the United States.

'When I saw it, I fell in love with it,'' Jewish Museum Executive Director Marcia Jo Zerivitz told the Miami Herald regarding the Breman exhibit. "I didn't know these (characters) were created by Jews.''

The report said the works displayed in the exhibit are all original and explain the genesis of aforementioned cultural icons and many others, like Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman."

Past posts about comics include:

Comic Books Find Religion
The Science of Superheroes

BTW, Meryl gives the skinny on the new Hulk movie with

Hulk say Hulk movie smash!


rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Nice post. Thanks for mentioning Hulk and for the link. I was never into comic books as a kid (or later) but the one that intrigued me as a kid (and later) was the Hulk. You can find metaphors and meaning in any of the comic creations, but to me the Hulk is most riveting.

Jack said...

My pleasure. The Hulk really is an interesting character.

I suppose that I should add that I prefer the characters that have flaws. It is easier to root for the guy who is imperfect than the superhero who never does wrong.

benning said...

Having seen the commercials for the newest Hulk film I think I'll pass. It looks like nothing more than a slightly better version of the last Hulk film. And that was one of the lousiest films ever made.

Jack said...


That last Hulk film was awful.