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YMCA Interview with IDC Creator, Joshua H. Stulman

This past August, Dustin Hausner, the Jewish Outreach and Program Director at the Wayne YMCA sat down with Joshua H. Stulman, Creator and Artist, Israeli Defense Comics.

Hausner’s series of interviews address all areas of Jewish Culture and Religion with exciting speakers working in their respective field.

The interview covers Joshua H. Stulman’s founding of Israeli Defense Comics, as well as the creation of the superhero Magen: The Shield of Israel. Stulman also speaks about the history of Jewish Superhero in Marvel and DC Comics as well as the independently published Shaloman Comic series by Al Wiesner who helped inspire his work.

CHECK OUT THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW

 

SHALOMAN HOLOCAUST COMIC SEES LIMITED EDITION SECOND PRINTING

by Joshua H. Stulman

In 2007, Al Wiesner saw the need to preserve and present the stories of the fast dwindling Holocaust survivors for the next generation of young Jews. Wiesner had been a youth during World War II and later served in the Air Force in the early 1950’s.

“[During the 1930’s] I heard what was happening but I didn’t hit home really because my father and mother came to the United States when they were 8-10, so I had no family in Europe,” said Wiesner. He continued, “Most was kept hush hush in the United States and it didn’t come out until later when I was a young kid and heard these things.”

The Holocaust was a subject Wiesner rarely touched on in his comic book work because of its sad and mature nature. He instead focussed on creating Shaloman stories centered on Jewish History and Holidays.

But for The Saga of Shaloman # 8 (the fourth volume of Shaloman comics), Al Wiesner decided to address the very relevant occurrence of Holocaust denial. To do this, Wiesner created the character of Donald Nyer (D. Nyer). Complete with Hitler mustache, the character espouses his anti-Semitism to crowds in an attempt to confuse and create doubt about the Holocaust and to sow hatred for Jews in general. Nyer’s hatred extends far beyond the Holocaust but to the core of Jewish History.

 

“I created the story because I wanted to, at the time, to do a book about Chanukah and I got the idea that people who are deniers have to be proven that it  happened. And taking the denier and making him a believer… how can I say that the Jews won in Chanukah and suffered under the Germans? In one story the Jews are victims and the other they are victors. It gives people who have any doubts that its true and that it happened that way. In this one case, they were fortunate to win out among the people who where mercenaries and the other one, the world was more populated and more people were villains,” recounts Wiesner.

 

The story can be broken down into three acts. The first addresses the causes and roots of Holocaust denial in modern times and focusses on age old libels against the Jewish people. The second act is a trip through time to look at the roots of Anti-Semitism by the Assyrian Greeks during the Chanukah story. The third part addresses the Holocaust directly.

For the third act of his story, Al Wiesner interviewed Holocaust survivors (Daniel Goldsmith, Klara Vinokur and Itka Zal) and used their experiences as reference for the story. He also turned to historic photography as a source to accurately portray incidents in the concentration camps.

“I took three people who were victims in the Holocaust and worked their story into the book. At Temple Beth Israel in Warrington there was a lecture. One fellow, Danny Goldsmith,…told his story in the synagogue about what happened.” said Wiesner.

 

“I took the story of Klara Vinokur [Holocaust survivor] where she says ‘it happened before and now its happening again’ and used that as the opening,” Wiesner continued.

Saga of Shaloman # 8 sold out in its initial run in 2007, however the book was included in the Saga of Shaloman Graphic Novel. In 2019, Wiesner released a Limited Edition second printing of 250 copies because of the importance of the story in today’s world, a world where anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States and in Europe.

 

Saga of Shaloman # 8 is the only Shaloman comic rated PG-12. The artwork tastefully addresses the Holocaust without any graphic depictions so that the content can be accessible to younger audiences. The comic is a full 33 pages with no ads.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY!

WIZARD WORLD 2019 ISRAEL LECTURE

by Joshua H. Stulman

On Sunday, June 16th I delivered a visual comic lecture entitled “Israel Pride In American Comics” at Wizard World Philadelphia 2019. This is my third time presenting at the annual comic and pop culture convention, which took place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Major themes in the lecture focussed on Israel Pride through American comic creators and how they portrayed Israel to the general comic reading public in America. This includes discussing World War II in Comics both during the historical event as well as in the 1970’s, and how the focus shifted to include the Holocaust. The lecture also touched on American Comics portrayal of Terrorism in general and the Israel-Palestinian conflict from 1970’s to current. The third aspect included a look at Israel Super Heroes published by Marvel, DC and Independent comic book creators like Al Wiesner’s Shaloman.

The video includes some highlights of the 40 minute lecture.

TO WATCH THE VIDEO: CLICK HERE

 

Israel Pride in American Comics Lecture at Wizard World Philadelphia

Israel Pride in American Comics

Sunday, Jun. 16, 2019 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM

Location: (Room 122B)

The comic book industry owes a great deal to both Jewish artists / writers as well as publishers since its inception in the 1930’s. Surprisingly, Jewish themes in comics barely were touched until the 1970’s and 1980’s. Join Joshua H. Stulman (Israeli Defense Comics) and SDCC Ink Pot award winner, Al Wiesner (Shaloman), as they discuss positive depictions of Israel in modern American Super-Hero comics.

 

Event: Wizard World Philadelphia

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

Tickets: https://www.tixr.com/groups/wizardworld/events/wizard-world-philadelphia-2019-10320

DISCOUNT CODE: Use code JOSHAL20 at checkout for 20% off your tickets!

 

Jewish Comic Creator Bios:

Joshua H. Stulman is the creator and artist for Israeli Defense Comics, a Pro Israel comic book featuring the Jewish Superhero, Magen: The Shield of Israel. Magen, which in Hebrew means “shield”, refers to a long line of patriotic superheroes created by Jewish artists like Jack Kirby/Joe Simon (Captain America). These stories fuse action and adventure with references to news stories straight from the headlines.

 

Al Wiesner, is the creator of Shaloman, the first independently published Jewish Superhero in America since 1983. The 34 year veteran comic book artist’s work fuses action, Yiddish humor, and Jewish education to create a unique hero. Shaloman’s popularity has carried through in nearly 40 issues and five volumes. In 2010, Al Wiesner was honored with the Inkpot Award at the San Diego Comic Con for his achievements in the graphic arts.

 

IDC @ Wizard World Philadelphia June 13-16

Event: Wizard World Philadelphia

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

Date / Time: Thursday, June 13 (4:00 PM to 9:00 PM), Friday June 14 (12:00 PM to 7:00 PM), Saturday June 15 (10:00 AM to 7:00 PM), Sunday June 16 (10:00 AM to 4:00 PM)

*Joshua H. Stulman and Israeli Defense Comics will only be appearing on Thurs, Fri and Sun.

Tickets: https://www.tixr.com/groups/wizardworld/events/wizard-world-philadelphia-2019-10320

DISCOUNT CODE: Use code JOSHAL20 at checkout for 20% off your tickets!

 

Al Wiesner (Shaloman) and Joshua Stulman (Israeli Defense Comics) will be appearing at Wizard World Philadelphia, the largest comic book convention in Pennsylvania. They will be signing comic books for fans, and accepting artwork commissions.

If you would like to pre-order an illustration or sketch to be picked up at the convention: CLICK HERE

or email us at info@israelidefensecomics.com

 

Jewish Comic Creator Bios:

Joshua H. Stulman is the creator and artist for Israeli Defense Comics, a Pro Israel comic book featuring the Jewish Superhero, Magen: The Shield of Israel. Magen, which in Hebrew means “shield”, refers to a long line of patriotic superheroes created by Jewish artists like Jack Kirby/Joe Simon (Captain America). These stories fuse action and adventure with references to news stories straight from the headlines.

 

Al Wiesner, is the creator of Shaloman, the first independently published Jewish Superhero in America since 1983. The 34 year veteran comic book artist’s work fuses action, Yiddish humor, and Jewish education to create a unique hero. Shaloman’s popularity has carried through in nearly 40 issues and five volumes. In 2010, Al Wiesner was honored with the Inkpot Award at the San Diego Comic Con for his achievements in the graphic arts.

 

 

  • Sunday, Jun. 16, 201912:30 PM – 1:15 PM location: (Room 122B)

    Israel Pride in American Comics

    The comic book industry owes a great deal to both Jewish artists / writers as well as publishers since its inception in the 1930’s. Surprisingly, Jewish themes in comics barely were touched until the 1970’s and 1980’s. Join Joshua H. Stulman (Israeli Defense Comics) and SDCC Ink Pot award winner, Al Wiesner (Shaloman), as they discuss positive depictions of Israel in modern American Super-Hero comics.

 

Happy Passover 5779!

by Joshua H. Stulman

Passover is upon us and I thought I would take a look at some of the great Passover themed Shaloman comics produced by Al Wiesner over the years.

Watch my Passover/Easter Comic Book video for our sister website,  www.Brooklyn Comic Shop.com

Al Wiesner created many Shaloman comics to teach about Jewish holidays. Passover was a major feature of the holiday themed comics. There are some really fun Shaloman covers including Legend of Shaloman # 9, which pays homage to Superman # 1 from 1939.

 

There are over 45 issues of Shaloman adventures. Many are action and adventure stories done in a retro-Golden Age style. Some focus on different Jewish Holidays including Chanukah, Passover and Purim.

CHECK OUT Our Passover selection:  http://www.israelidefensecomics.com/product-category/jewish-holidays/passover/

Chanukah 2018 Original Comic Artwork!

Chanukah is always such a fun time of the year. It’s a time when we gather together as a family, eat latkes, spin dreidels, and light the Chanukiah. For Chanukah 2018, I decided to do a Chanukah dreidel theme. Since the one of the traditional Chanukah songs goes, “Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel, I made it out of clay”, I thought what better opponent for Magen than the mystical clay monster- The Golem! Now I’ve never seen, or at least spun, a clay-made dreidel but I imagine The Golem would have no problem creating one for himself. Since my version of the Golem has an evil streak- I figured he’d naturally cheat. Eagle eyes will notice the dreidels used are the Israeli version: Nes-Gadol-Haya-Poh (A Great Miracle Happened Here)!

Here are some of the Work In Progress pics to see how the original artwork came together:

The Original Artwork for our Chanukah 2018 piece is now available to order!

This One-Of-A-Kind artwork is india ink on professional 11″x17″ comic board. The artwork comes with a Certificate Of Authenticity COA.

To Order CLICK HERE

 

Chanukah In Comics!

By Joshua H. Stulman

This week Jews around the world celebrate Chanukah (sometimes spelled Hanukkah). The holiday is known as the “Festival of Lights” and honors the re-dedication of the Jerusalem Temple after the Jews defeated the Greek Army in 165 BC. 

In the 20th century, Chanukah reached a greater importance in America because it usually fell in December during the Christmas season. With Christmas being such a huge part of American culture, Jewish comic book creators featured Christmas early on in the history of comics. It is very common to find great covers of Superman or Batman helping Santa Claus as early as the 1940’s. However the advent of Jewish Comic Book characters come much later in Comic history dating to the mid-1970s and so too does the inclusion of Chanukah in comics. 

In truth it is still rare to find Jewish comic characters in comics and even harder to find mainstream comic stories about Chanukah. Although I must say that both Marvel and D.C. have been pretty good about including a one page Chanukah pin up in their holiday annuals since the 1990’s.

Below are the few examples of Chanukah featured in comics:

5)  Justice League Of America #188 (March 1981)

Written by Gerry Conway, the story entitled “Miracle at 22,300 Miles” centers on a  “Chanukah” miracle. 

 The Justice League of America’s satellite headquarters comes under attack from a rogue satellite. Meanwhile in Ivy Town, physicist, Ray Palmer, and his wife, attorney Jean Loring, attend a Hannukkah party. Hawkgirl barely has time to send out a distress signal, before the transmitter is destroyed.

The Atom, the Batman, and the Black Canary respond to Hawkgirl’s distress signal. The life support systems have been hopelessly compromised.  The Atom, and the Batman, attempt to repair the satellite’s damaged systems.

Hawkgirl flies out to her spaceship, to garner replacement parts for the satellite’s life support systems. The Atom succumbs to the cold of space. Before collapsing, it seems the Atom did repair the satellite’s systems. The Atom returns to consciousness, revealing that he was unable to repair the satellite’s life support systems. Impossibly, the life support system remained active until Hawkgirl’s return. The Atom calls it a miracle, then shares the Chanukah story with his teammates.

 

4) Uncanny X-Men #143 (March, 1981)

Written by Jewish X-Men scribe, Chris Claremont, the story is entitled “Demon.”

Well not exactly a Chanukah story, Kitty Pryde is left alone in the X-Mansion on the first night of Chanukah while everyone else goes Christmas Tree shopping. Why is she left alone? Well she’s Jewish, so naturally she is left out of the festivities. Meanwhile a very close Alien Xenomorph looking creature arrives to hunt her down. She ends up defeating the Alien before X-Men return home with her parents and they share the evening together.

3) DC Holidays  ’09 # 1 (February, 2010)

This predominantly Christmas Special has a lone Chanukah story entitled “Seeing The Light” written by Rob Levin. The story features Ragman (Rory Regan) a vigilante in Gotham City that is also Jewish. The story is buried at the back of the 64 page special.

The story basically retells the Chanukah story, including Judah and the Maccabees’ struggle. This is recounted by Ragman as he fights a Neo-Nazi terrorizing Jews. The story features a  twist…namely that there was a Ragman to help defend the Jews during biblical times as well as current.

2) 52#33 (December, 2006)

Yet another Christmas story, entitled “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” by Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns. “Day 5” features a Batwoman story in which Alfred Pennyworth is in Gotham singing Christmas Carols with children. Nightwing gives Batwoman a gift from Batman. An actual Batarang, officially welcoming her into the “family”.

Later that night, Batwoman returns to share Chanukah with her girlfriend, Renée Montoya (The Question). They spend Chanukah/Christmas eve together.

 

1) Shaloman

Finally, a Jewish Super-Hero! Shaloman has been featured in over 45 comics beginning in 1988. There are several Chanukah themed comics. Our favorite is the “Chanukah Thief”, in which the nefarious Dr. Traif devises a scheme to travel back in time and ruin the final ounce of oil meant for the Temple Menorah.

You can find a complete listing of Shaloman comics on our sister site, www.IsraeliDefenseComics.com or CLICK HERE

HAPPY CHANUKAH!!!

Joshua H. Stulman

Owner, BrooklynComicShop.com

IDC Digital Comics Now On Comixology!

We are very proud to announce that Israeli Defense Comics is now available as a Digital Comic on Comixology!

 

Now international fans in Europe and Israel can enjoy Israeli Defense Comics right on their computer or smart phone! That means no matter where you are in the world, you can always read Israeli Defense Comics.

 

Our first book available on Comixology will be Israeli Defense Comics #2.

Israeli Defense Comics # 02 features the Golem-myth reimagined in modern day Israel. The story begins with a mortar attack on the Israeli town of Tsderot. Our hero, Magen, arrives to help, and rescues a Rabbi from a collapsing Yeshiva. While recovering in the hospital, the Rabbi instructs his student to create the Golem to protect the city and Israel. But something is wrong and the Golem cannot be contained. Magen must find a way to defeat the Golem before the mystical clay monster does more harm than good.

 

To Order your copy on Comixology: CLICK HERE

 

 

Original Art: Behind The Scenes Pics

Creating artwork is a process like any that includes concept, editing and revision. I thought it would be fun to give an inside look at my process for creating the recent Shanah Tovah holiday greeting illustration.

 

I knew in the concept that I wanted Magen blowing the Shofar. The shofar is a universal symbol in Judaism for the New Year. It also refers to the longevity of our ancient religion and beliefs. The shofar is a simple rams horn, a light weight devise used by common person thousands of years ago. Despite its humble size, the shofar has been featured in some of the most profound events from our history including the revelation at Mount Sinai and the Battle of Jericho. It is one of the longest surviving customs of Judaism that has remained unchanged throughout the millennia.

 

The Western Wall in Jerusalem was also chosen for both its connection as the holiest place in Judaism, but also for its political context. This past year the United States finally recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel and the Jewish people. Jerusalem has always been considered the capital by Israel. It is where the Knesset Assembly takes place as well as the Supreme Court. Many previous US administrations had always promised to move the US embassy to the capital, and finally this promise was realized. Many countries have followed suite since the US’s declaration, which has helped to bolster the legitimacy and image of Israel in the face of increasing Anti-Zionism in Europe.

 

I had originally planned to incorporate the image of the Western Wall within the bubble lettering of “Shanah Tovah” similar to travel postcards of the 1940’s. Instead, I realized I could incorporate more detail if I used the Western Wall as the backdrop setting. In the final illustration, “Shanah Tovah” is simply outlined to juxtapose the detail of the Jerusalem scene below.

 

In the final illustration, the scene of Magen blowing the Shofar is shown in full detail, even obscuring the holiday greeting. This was done to emphasize the act of blowing the Shofar, as the ultimate expression of our history and faith.

 

The Original Artwork is one-of-a-kind piece of comic artwork is available now for purchase. The piece measures 11″x17″ on Comic Art Board. Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity COA. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS