One of the important changes is adding a new form of literature — comic books. They should not, however, be confused with picture books for children or teenagers. Many of the volume we present are not really comic books but rather examples of a new form of art — the graphic novel. The graphic novel differs from comic books in the heavier emphasis on plot (the graphic novels are often standalone stories with multidimensional characters), — artistic drawing styles which guarantee the originality of the artwork and volume — often more than 100 pages.
All the comics on offer at out bookstore are strongly connected to Jewish art and culture. They often touch upon difficult and little-know topics which are hard to find in regular literature. The particular medium of the comic can communicate not only through the written word but also through images, which opens up a host of new possibilities for the artists.
Fagin the Jew by master of the genre Will Eisner gives us a glimpse into an unknown part of the life of Fagin the Jew from Oliver Twist. The story brings this character back to life by showing us his motives and goals. In a way, this work disputes the typical representation of Jews in 19th century literature.
The Pharmacist in the Kraków Ghetto by Tomasz Bereźnicki is the tale of one of the Righteous Among the Nations — Tadeusz Pankiewicz. The comic describes Pankiewicz’s heroic activities in the Cracow Ghetto. The title is a reference to his memoirs The Cracow Ghetto Pharmacy.
Mendel’s Daughter. A Memoir by Martin Lemelman contains the memories of the author’s mother illustrated in a fascinating way. The story is divided into two parts. The first takes places in the 30’s shows the everyday life of a Jewish family: sometimes easy, sometimes difficult but still ordinary and normal. The second part begins in 1939 and shows the horror brought on by the war and the Holocaust.
One more title worth mentioning: The Golem’s Mighty Swing by James Sturm. This is a slightly different story, which takes places in the 20’s in America. It is the tale of a Jewish baseball team who travel from town to town and play against local champions for money. However, the growing intolerance makes it increasingly more difficult for them to find new opponents and make a living. Their only, desperate, solution seems to be… creating a Golem. The comic is worth noticing not only because of the interesting story but also due to its exquisite drawings.