Jews and American Comic Books
Paul Buhle, Senior Lecturer, History and American Civilization (emeritus), Brown University, will be speaking on "Jews and Comic Books." Comic masters such as Will Eisner, a pioneering graphic novelist; Art Spiegleman, author of the award-winning Maus, which depicts his parents’ experiences during the Holocaust; and underground comix artists Harvey Pekar and Aline Kominsky-Crumb all happen to be Jewish. Yet these individuals are among the many Jewish Americans who played a significant role in creating the American comic art form. From Yiddish-language newspaper comic strips of the early 20th century that commented on immigrant life, through the mid-century creation of comic book heroes like Superman, to the underground comics of the 1960s, and the graphic novelists of the 21st century, Jewish Americans have created comics enjoyed by wide and diverse American audiences for over a century. Paul Buhle is the author of over thirty books on American history, popular culture, and Jewish American studies.