A lot of people working in the early American comics industry were Jewish. I’m thinking right now particularly of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, both children of European Jewish immigrants, who together created the Fantastic Four. They gave us the Thing: Ben Grimm, a nice Jewish boy from the Lower East Side. Kirby drew the above image on a Hanukkah greeting card, showing the Thing with kippa and siddur.
Despite the number of Jewish people working in the entertainment industry, there have never been a great many Jewish characters in popular fiction. It isn’t easy growing up loving sci-fi and fantasy and comic books of all sorts and only seeing someone like you in a twentieth of the fiction you consume, and that a generous estimate. It’s even tougher if you’re one of the many Jewish people who doesn’t fit into the typical pop-fiction mold of American Ashkenazi Jewry.
There aren’t so many characters who are explicitly, textually Jewish. We intend to bring those that do exist to the attention of readers, to celebrate them, and to hopefully encourage more creators to include Jewish characters in their works.
And, most of all, sometimes it’s just plain nice to be reminded that there are people out there having robot-punching adventures in space who are, in a way, just like you.
I knew that the Thing was inspired by the Golem, but I didn’t know he was canonically Jewish! This post makes me incredibly happy.
(Also, if you aren’t already following canonjewishcharacters, you should consider doing so!)
“If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care for human beings.”—
Nelson Mandela on the US invasion of Iraq
This is the Mandela that I mourn not the white-washed, sanitized version of a revolutionary figure that aligned with Communists, was part of a group branded as terrorists by Reagan, who continued to voice his opposition to Israel’s apartheid regime and illegal occupation of the West Bank and used armed resistance to fight apartheid in South Africa.
The way white people are exalting him across the political spectrum globally based on his national reconciliation work in South Africa post-apartheid (which did have major pitfalls for non-whites in particular) and erasing his revolutionary past and fight for equality across the globe shows just how ignorant of history they are and how incredibly myopic they are too.
White people are doing to Mandela what they’ve already done to Martin Luther King, Jr., and it makes me sick. If I see one more racist white liberal lionizing Mandela in a way that erases his revolutionary past so their facebook status about his death can serve as their “feel-good” justification of the day for their “liberalism,” I’m going to be sick. And don’t even get me started on the white American conservatives who are now lauding him even as Reagan demonized the ANC and Dick Cheney voted against a resolution that would have urged the South African apartheid government to remove Mandela from prison.
Don’t sanitize Mandela for your white comfort. He’s a hero in many regards, but maybe not for the reasons you might think based on the whitewashing he’s receiving in the media to hollow him out and make him into a puppet figure for racist white liberals and conservatives alike, just like MLK.
The SCAR Project is a series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. Primarily an awareness raising campaign, The SCAR Project puts a raw, unflinching face on early onset breast cancer while paying tribute to the courage and spirit of so many brave young women.
Dedicated to the more than 10,000 women under the age of 40 who will be diagnosed this year alone, The SCAR Project is an exercise in awareness, hope, reflection and healing.
Now HERE’S a good goddamn glimpse at breast cancer. Fuck your “save second base” bullshit. -C