Is the world ready for a monthly magazine of Jewish comics?
That’s the question being asked by the new Kickstarter campaign from Maggid Comics.
Maggid launched earlier this year, with titles such as “Partisan 42,” “Adventures of Levi Marcus: Wyatt Earp’s Gunslinging Nephew,” “Ben Mortara and the Thieves of The Golden Table,” and “Reb Meilech Tales: Subway Danger.”
Now, they’re hoping Maggid Magazine will get their stories into the hands of people who don’t frequent their friendly neighborhood comic book store.
The people behind Maggid Comics — media professionals with careers in film, music, and comics — acknowledge the crucial role Jewish creators such as Jack Kirby and Stan Lee played in forming the comics industry.
“But like their co-religionists in Hollywood, these luminaries felt compelled to hold back their Jewish heritage from the pages of their wildly successful works,” says Arnon Z. Shorr, the company’s editor in chief. “As a result, Jewish comics fans like us would flip through the latest Marvel or DC adventure … and we wouldn’t see ourselves represented in those pages.”
The two exceptions that come to mind — Bernie Dillon, a character in Marv Wolfman’s 1977 comic series “Nova” who sprinkled Yiddish and Hebrew words into his conversations with his friend-the-secret-superhero Rich Rider, and Naftali, who debuted in a 2017 issue of “Ms. Marvel” as the yeshiva-attending, yarmulke-wearing , OU-pastrami-sandwich-carrying friend of Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel — sort of proves the point.
The flip side of not seeing ourselves in comics, Shorr says, is that “if we don’t see ourselves, the rest of the world doesn’t see us, either. We need to change that. Our stories — authentic Jewish stories — have so much to offer the world! They can be gripping, exciting, euphoric, tragic, adventurous, enlightening…. They can be great entertainment.
“Through Maggid Magazine, we aim to bridge the gap between Jewish heritage and the wider comic book community.”