Comics industry veteran to present “Jews and Superheroes” virtual event Dec. 6

Posted on November 19, 2020

 

Did you know that superheroes were created by Jews? The creators of the most well-known superheroes were largely young American Jewish men from Eastern European backgrounds. Is that significant or a complete coincidence and no big deal?

 

 

Author, historian and comics industry veteran Danny Fingeroth will delve into this topic during a live virtual presentation and Q&A, titled Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics and the Creation of the Superhero, on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 for one virtual ticket or $35 for one virtual ticket plus one revised edition paperback copy of Fingeroth’s latest book A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee. Purchase tickets online at www.bit.ly/js2020jccsyr. All books include shipping to the U.S. and Canada only. Books will be shipped after the event.

 

 

The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse is pleased to be offering this event thanks to a Philip L. Holstein Community Program Fund grant from the Jewish Federation of Central New York.

 

 

The Dec. 6 “Jews and Superheroes” webinar will introduce the innovative creators of some of the most well-known superheroes who are so prominent in current popular culture, notably in movies such as Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Accompanied by an entertaining and informative slide show, Fingeroth will discuss how the creators’ Jewish origins may have helped make superheroes the most familiar popular culture icons of all—on TV, in movies and electronic media, as well as in comics.

 

 

The innovators to be covered in the webinar include:

 

·         Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Cleveland high school pals who created Superman—and his nebbishy alter ego, Clark Kent—thereby changing the face of popular culture forever.

 

·         Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, who invented most of the major Marvel superheroes including the Avengers, the Hulk and the X-Men.

 

·         Bob Kane and Bill Finger, who created Batman in a Bronx apartment.

 

·         Will Eisner, who gave the world the landmark superhero, The Spirit, and decades later pioneered the modern graphic novel, becoming the “Philip Roth of the Graphic Novel.”

 

 

Fingeroth’s most recent book is A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee (2019 St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan), the definitive biography of Lee, co-creator of Marvel Comics and its most famous characters, including Spider-Man, the Avengers and the X-Men. Like many of the most significant comics and graphic novel creators, Lee was from an Eastern European Jewish immigrant background. Fingeroth’s presentation places Lee’s life and career—including his famous Marvel movie cameos—in the context of Jewish life in America.

 

 

Fingeroth is a popular-culture critic and historian, with a focus on comics and graphic novels, especially from a Jewish perspective. A longtime executive editor and writer at Marvel Comics, where he ran the company's Spider-Man line, Fingeroth (the son of a cantor) was one of the founders of Brooklyn's Jewish Comic Con. He will draw heavily from his 2008 book Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews Comics and the Creation of the Superhero as the basis for the Dec. 6 webinar with the same title. Fingeroth was the curator and moderator of the YIVO Institute’s “Comics and the Jewish-American Dream” interview series. He has spoken on comics-related topics at Columbia University, the Smithsonian Institution, The American Jewish Historical Society, the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art, the Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, the Society of Illustrators and many other venues.

 

 

For more information about the JCC’s Dec. 6 “Jews and Superheroes” webinar, visit www.jccsyr.org or contact Will Wallak at 315-445-2040, ext. 108, or wwallak@jccsyr.org.

 

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