Graphic Details

Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews


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About the Book

The comics within capture in intimate, often awkward, but always relatable detail the tribulations and triumphs of life. In particular, the lives of 18 Jewish women artists who bare all in their work, which appeared in the internationally acclaimed exhibition “Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women.” The comics are enhanced by original essays and interviews with the artists that provide further insight into the creation of autobiographical comics that resonate beyond self, beyond gender, and beyond ethnicity.

About the Author(s)

Sarah Lightman is a co-founder and co-director of Laydeez do Comics, a UK-based comics forum with branches around the world, and co-curator of and exhibiting artist in the internationally touring “Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women.” She lives in London.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Sarah Lightman

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 316
Bibliographic Info: 108 illustrations (59 in color), notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6553-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1590-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments: Imagetextlines—Confessions of a
Co-Curator, Editor and Artist (Sarah Lightman) 1

Part I: Introductions
Graphic Confessions of Jewish Women: Exposing Themselves Through Pictures and Raw Personal Stories (Michael Kaminer) 18
Sticking Their Tongues Out at the World (Dan Friedman) 21
The Latest Revolutionary Chapter? (Zachary Paul Levine) 25
Telling Their Own Stories (Sarah Jaffe) 29

Part II: Essays
Herstory of Jewish Comic Art
Charlotte Salomon, Graphic Artist (Ariela Freedman) 38
The Book of Sarah—Life or ­Reconstruction? Situating Sarah Lightman’s Illustrated Diary (Pnina Rosenberg) 51
Mi Yimtza? Finding Jewish Identity Through Women’s Autobiographical Art (Evelyn Tauben) 61
Our Drawn Bodies, Our Drawn Selves
Fetal Attractions: Diane Noomin’s “Baby Talk: A Tale of 3 4 Miscarriages” (1995) and My Journal of a Miscarriage, 1973 (Joanne Leonard) 79
Graphic Lesbian Continuum: Ilana Zeffren (Heike Bauer) 98
Traces of Subjectivity: The Embodied Author in the Work of Ariel Schrag (Natalie Pendergast) 110
Comic Comedy
The Turd That Won’t Flush: The Comedy of Jewish ­Self-Hatred in the Work of Corinne Pearlman, Aline ­Kominsky-Crumb, Miss ­Lasko-Gross and Ariel Schrag (David Brauner) 131
The Comedy of Confession (Judy Batalion) 149

Part III: Interviews
Bernice Eisenstein and the Persistence of Memory (Michael Kaminer) 162
How to Understand Sarah Glidden in 2,000 Words or Less (Michael Kaminer) 167
Sarah Lazarovic: On Politics, Big Glasses and Not Shopping (Michael Kaminer) 173
“A portrait of the world through my eyes”: An Interview with Miss ­Lasko-Gross (Tahneer Oksman) 176
Thinking Panoramically: An Interview with Lauren Weinstein (Tahneer Oksman) 185
“I thought hand wringing about my peculiar form of ­British-Jewish assimilation was a little niche I had”: Corinne Pearlman Lays Down Her Jewish Cards (Paul Gravett and Sarah Lightman) 195
From the Other Side of the World to North America: An Interview with Racheli Rottner (Noa Lea Cohn) 205

Part IV: “Graphic Details”: Artists, Artworks and Confessions
Vanessa Davis (Tahneer Oksman) 214
Bernice Eisenstein (Malcolm Lester) 219
Sarah Glidden (Julia Wertz) 222
Miriam Katin (Ranen ­Omer-Sherman) 228
Aline ­Kominsky-Crumb (F. K. Clementi) 234
Miss ­Lasko-Gross (Rob Clough) 240
Sarah Lazarovic (Alison Broverman) 245
Miriam Libicki (Ranen ­Omer-Sherman) 249
Sarah Lightman (Roger Sabin) 253
Diane Noomin (Sarah Lightman) 256
Corinne Pearlman (Arthur Oppenheimer) 262
Trina Robbins (Rachel Pollack) 266
Racheli Rottner (Ariel Kahn) 269
Sharon Rudahl (Paul Buhle) 271
Laurie Sandell (Michael Kaminer) 277
Ariel Schrag (Noah Berlatsky) 283
Lauren Weinstein (Nicole Rudick) 288
Ilana Zeffren (Gil Hovav) 292

About the Contributors 297
Index 301

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Winner, Susan Koppelman Best Anthology Award—Popular Culture Association
  • Winner, Best Scholarly/Academic Work—Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards
  • Honorable Mention, Jews and the Arts—Association for Jewish Studies
  • “an engaging book…recommended”—Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews
  • Graphic Details succeeds as a stand-alone guidebook to some of the best Jewish women comics artists working today”—Jewish Book Council
  • “Sarah Lightman is like the poster-child for a new kind of feminism activist—scholar, artist, curator, and cheerleader for comics that reveal and shape new forms of Jewish consciousness… Graphic Details is much more than a book. It is an exhibition about women who make an exhibition of themselves; a re-envisioning of the comics canon that has too often been seen as exclusively male; a celebration of difference; and a deeply immersive response to what it might mean to be a Jewish woman artist in the 21st century. …the range and depth of experience the book covers is both engaging and moving”—Jewish Quarterly
  • “a much-needed book both because of its specific information and for the fact it touches on subjects long ignored”—Lilith Magazine
  • “important and exciting…offers new perspectives on extremely talented and well-known comics creators…truly a collection for everyone and for all times and seasons”—ImageTexT
  • “valuable”—European Comic Art
  • “exciting…delivers an important insight into a still-undervalued field of study”— TORCH The Oxford Research Center in the Humanities
  • “a wonderful resource…Lightman is clearly a tour de force, and the energy and care required to assemble [this book] produced a vital, hybrid, indubitably important volume from which people can discover and appreciate new idioms”—Hillary Chute, Images
  • Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews is an overdue, indispensable, and enthralling look at some of the best cartoonists working today.”—Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and Are You My Mother?
  • “This fascinating book opens the door to a world most of us did not know existed: the graphic universe created by Jewish women comics artists. Through interviews, biographies, personal reflections, and critical essays, Graphic Details provides an astonishing guided tour of contemporary sequential art at the forefront of visual culture. If the combination of Jewish, women, funny, comics, and art seems perplexing at first glance, the pages of Sarah Lightman’s beautifully curated collection will change your mind. A must-read.”—Nancy K. Miller, author of What They Saved: Pieces of a Jewish Past