01 March 2012

American Comic History X

In the first chapter of Up, Up and Oy Vey: How Jewish History, Culture and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero, Rabbi Simcha Weinstein elaborates on the deep rooted connections between Judaic beliefs and the most prominent superhero in comic history, Superman. From the very beginning Superman’s spaceship journey from Krypton to Earth was based on the Semitic legend of Moses’ basket ride down river to Egypt. When they arrive in the arms of their new families they are both revered as outstanding young men with a gift to help people but are both burdened with the inability to speak clearly to their peers. Though, this shyness could also be linked to the personal trials of the two shy, Jewish nerds that created Superman. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster from Ohio drew up Superman in ’34, almost 10 years before the United States would enter WWII, but just because the US would be fighting Nazism in Germany didn’t mean that our home front was free of anti-Semitism. With the combination of the oppressed past of their culture and the prejudice of their fellow American citizens, Siegel and Shuster come up with a character that embodies their beliefs and spirituality then shows the Jew-hating world what’s up. Throughout Superman’s career he’s battled with antagonist tributes to Adolf Hitler and freed Jews from the ghettos. Considering that Moses is the most important prophet in Judaism it’s only fitting that Superman be the most known prophet of comic books.
 Scott McCloud writes about the exclusion of minorities in the production of comics in the second chapter of Reinventing Comics. Yet, maybe it’s because the comic industry seems to be controlled by the most notoriously controlling minority in history, the Jews. Always excluded, looked down on and blamed for history’s faults, oh, and their control of most of the banks in the world. Would it be too far-fetched to think that they hold control of the comic world too, and aside from writing characters based on their religious doctrine they choose to omit characters of artists from other minorities.



Sometimes the most sincere of followers find their faith in their times of extreme distress. Near-death experiences leave people reaching out to gods and deities. With that in mind, it’s only fitting for the superheroes that are rescuing us from great peril and tyranny have strong similarities to our spiritual saviors.


2 comments:

  1. Righteous post, you tied in Scott McCloud's issue of cultural exclusion into a new idea of the possibility of Jews having a strong hold on the comics industry.

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  2. Very interesting, Doug. And while the idea of the exclusion of minorities by one minority is certainly interesting, Weinstein does little to suggest that comics publishers are "controlled" by Jews. Even your video doesn't prove support, since the "priest" (that bit's a little unclear) is only stating that these media companies are run by Jewish CEOs and not proving anything regarding their programming choices.

    Still, I admit, it makes for an interesting research project--trying to see if the lack of diversity in comics stems from the control of a specific group. Curiously enough, DC is owned by Time Warner, who's CEO is not Jewish ;-)

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