|1939: The Year That Changed Everything—with Aaron Sagers and Danny Fingeroth|
|The DeMatteis & Son panel—with Cody DeMatteis and (him again?) Danny Fingeroth|
|Talking Spider-Man with Mark Bagley and Danny Fingeroth's twin brother, Harvey (okay, it's Danny again)|
We may just make this an annual affair.
Did you know that until the late 19th century most of America's Jewish population lived in the south, and no place was more concentrated than Atlanta?ReplyDelete
P.S. As for Hiccups, you know your sense of humor and if it might catch your fancy if you are less distracted. Your call.
P.P.S. The new Phantom Stranger was great. It's a drag that it is getting cancelled just as they're giving it elbow room.
I know that Atlanta has a large Jewish population. In fact, a friend's sister directed a documentary on the subject called SHALOM, Y'ALL.Delete
Glad you enjoyed the current PS issue. Have hope: his series may be dead but there's life in the old boy yet!
I can say no more!Delete
My wife Katrina and I had a great time meeting Cody with you in Anaheim in 2013, and enjoyed the "Son Interviews Father" panel you guys did there. Glad to see you got to do another panel with him!ReplyDelete
The panel was a blast last year, Ken—and so good to see you, too! Hope all's well with you!Delete
Here is a question for you Dematteis, your a big Gerber fan, so in the issue "A Candle for St. cloud," could St. Cloud have saved Ted Sallis, or is the point that you can't save people? And is your view the same as the Author? It's sort of like two Dick books, Did Timothy Archer come back? and Was there a part of Bob Arctor that still functioned and was still a good cop who wanted to help, or was it solely manipulation? Are your interpretations in line with the writer?ReplyDelete
(feel free to use the internet to look up plot points. There is no shame in it)
As for Atlanta. the large Jewish population is very subtlety eluded to in the Stephen King book It and is mentioned in a PBS special about Jews in the Civil War. The origins of it are kind of a shame though.
But as a northerner, whose father loathes Atlanta as a whole, and never went there on his own, I always wondered what being Jewish in such areas in the south are like. So much of the "American Jewish experience" comes from being in the north.Langley because the larger influx of immigrants settled there. Being Jewish and from New yYork, Detroit, Chicago, or Cleveland, seem to have more in common than different.
I don't know if we can save people, Jack, but I think it's important to try. It's also important to remember—if one has spiritual inclinations—that there's a Greater Power out there that has a longer reach than we do. Sometimes we can try and try and get nowhere and the very best thing to do is simply pray for that person. It's my belief that prayer is an energy, a big one, and it can sometimes achieve more than all our strenuous efforts on someone's behalf.Delete
I hear what you're saying about the American Jewish Experience being a more Northern one. The classic image of Jewish immigrants on New York's Lower East Side or in the other cities you mention is the one I most associate with. Southern Jewishness is as different, and fascinating, to me as the Jewish community in Italy, (Which, given my background, is REALLY fascinating. "Oy! Pass the lasagne!")
My question was less about whether you can save people, and more as to what Gerber was trying portray in the story, which a short summary can be found here: http://marvel.wikia.com/Man-Thing_Vol_1_15 . Somewhat SImilar to the other books I mentioned, it is a question of what the author was trying to convey. What's more if you gather a different meaning, shopuld you still try to see the authors side?Delete
As for the south, well... in all honesty after the Civil War the south was pushed to the background overall. The military occupied to region for almost 100 years, and it took almost as long to have a southern president. The North became the dominant concept of American society. Part of this was because the manufacturing North became the dominant economic force so the culture gravitated around it, also after being thrashed by the Civil War it took years to rebuild,. with a war being fought between the government and ku Klux Klan making it seem overly violent, along with the anger at the south breeding negative stereotypes, some of which that still live on today (the redneck for instance) became common place. However as certain groups in the region began to include immigrants in the 20th century, the relationship Jewish culture which had been integrated in many parts of the south became strained. Of course this was not unique to the south, but it did not help. I also once heard (and I am not sure how accurate it is) that American Jews did not want to draw attention to the southern connection, because of the reason why the large population rose in the pre-Civil War days. Namely the fact that slavery created a lowest wrung of society, which prevented Jewish immigrants from being as persecuted as they were in Europe.
I haven't read the Gerber story in decades, Jack, and, without rereading it, I can't really analyze it. Just reading a summary won't do it. (I really should pick up a Gerber MAN-THING collection.)Delete
Re: Southern Jews. Here's a trailer for SHALOM Y'ALL:
And here's a clip:
Well, rereading Gerber's Man0Thing sounds like a pretty good idea. Of course reading the last Gerber Man-Thing story seems like a good idea and I assume you haven't read THAT yet. If only you had been in any places full of comics and trades for sale this month. Anyway, I would recommend that final story, but beware it is dark.... even darker than most Gerber since there was no editor restraining him.Delete
That documentary looks interesting. There is sort of a similar disbelief in the Midwest about Jews. Not so much here in Detroit, or Chicago, or Cleveland, but in other parts it i assumed no Jews are around at all.
One interesting thing is that someone once said that Superman may have been Jerry Seigel's reaction to being a Jew in the Midwest and feeling alone. Which is all well and good except for A) he lived in a almost exclusively Jewish area in a city were Jews are not uncommon at the time and B) that in itself implies Jews can't be a part of a society, that by definition we are outsiders. who is to say Superman wasn't influenced by good old fashioned Midwest values. In fact his over zealousness in the early days is more reflective of the Midwest mindset than the Jewish. I also recall on another PBS documentary about Jewish life in America, a man said that Superman reflected the experience because he felt like Clark Kent with Superman inside that the girls couldn't see. That's great, but he didn't describe being Jewish he described being a dork.
The fact is I think it is common for ethnic groups in America, to want to claim the works of others in the group as showcasing their way to make them seem less Alien, and that is all groups, Jews, Swedes, Poles, Irish Italian, Mexican, etc. However, while that may be the case on some level, it undercuts the point by not showing the goal by drawing lines of distinction and not giving the culture lied in that is comprised of that group as well as others, due credit. I mean Superman may have been influenced by Moses (even if it doesn't match up At ALL in the larger view) but it also could have been from the tons of pulp magazines Jerry collected that were written by both Jews and Gentiles. And I think that this grabbing up and drawing lines is more common in some areas than others.
For that matter there are Jews who wouldn't consider me part of the tribe in the least because I have gentile in me. But if being English, Scandanavian-Jew, German, French, Polish, Italian or Spanish, Welsh, and a few more makes me less of anyone, you can't deny it is uniquely American.
Beautifully, and insightfully, said, Jack. I still find it fascinating that Jewish immigrants of the 20th Century were so responsible for creating the mainstream popular culture—not just reflecting, but defining American values via movies and comic books. So much has been written about it and there's still—as your post makes clear—more to be said.Delete
Guess it's time for you to write a book!
The clips I saw bring up another interesting point, the nature of searching for home. It is so engrained in the make up of the Jewish people, but the question begs, what is "home." Is it the place where your ancestors are from? Or is it the place where you are accepted? If it is a latter than America is the true homeland.Delete
Before a generation had passed into the 20th century , Jewish immigrants were living in neighborhoods with Poles, Germans, Russians, and Italians. What's more forming friendships with them. All those country's have a history of antisemitism in some form or another, but in America it started to dissipate. Hell, many Germans and Poles considered the Jews that emigrated from their homeland to be just as German or Polish as they. They were all strangers in a strange land. In fact, part of the easn why the Purple Gang was so successful here in Detroit was because they may have been founded by Jews, they reached out to children of German and Polish Immigrants that they grew up with. It isn't to say that there was not prejudice, but it was far less than on the previous continent.
Flash to 1950, and the Jews are on a strange place. They have gamed respect and acceptance. by many, There are middle class and working class neighborhoods were no one cares and there are still many were it is a target on your back. Many country clubs still bar Jews, but many christian based social clubs often have have Jewish friends visiting with members. Jews have come a long way, but it is still based off of who you happen to be a round. A generation later it is considered bad form to tell a Jewish joke, or at least that you should look around to check and see. It is the story of America.
However, in the making of movies and comics, there were many German and Italian Americans working in the fields. Jews tended to view it as a way of legitimizing their roll as Americans. As such, because while all immigrant groups were treated poorly Jews were especially targeted, they tended to be more vocal so as to take away the concept of being Alien. It is somewhat similar to Kennedy changing the view of Catholics i many people's eyes by becoming president.
One of the most interesting points of Jews and relations to other groups is the Quakers. Quakers would often help Jewish immigrants set up synagogues in America, especially in the west. Also, after Quakers came to aid Germany in rebuilding after World War I, there were converts to the order. And the groups of German Quakers continued to socialize with and patronize the businesses of Jews, in direct defiance of the Nuremberg Laws.
Not much to add to that, Jack. Fascinating stuff.Delete
Have you ever read DISGUISED AS CLARK KENT by my pal Danny Fingeroth? It looks at the Jewish roots of the comic book business and it, too, is fascinating.
Fascinating conversation, Jack and JMD! To paraphrase Paul Johnson, the story of the Jews is the history of the world told from the perspective of the oppressed.ReplyDelete
And well said as to whether we can save anyone, JMD. I know your work has been a saving grace in my life on several occasions: we all need to be reminded of the miracles that surround us in creative and exciting ways.
Totally agree, David. And thanks so much for saying that about the impact of my work. It means a lot.Delete
Speaking of whether someone can be saved, I deeply enjoyed what DAYS OF FUTURE PAST had to say about that very question.ReplyDelete
Me, too. REALLY liked that movie.Delete
Once again, I was really only asking about that issue, and the nature of interpretation, and whether or not the readers is equally valid to the author's , but since it seems heavier themes, here it goes...ReplyDelete
I think that in all honesty some people can't be saved. Self-destruction or what ever issue is causing ill is too much a part of them to be exorcized, or they are just too far gone. That being said, just because the chance of salvation is 0%, does not mean that you should stop trying... especially if they are someone you care about, because even if you are looking at the worst case scenario you can at least ease there load a bit, and a small victory is better than none.
As for Mr. Fingerworth's book, I have not read it, however I think that he did write another book I read called Superman on the couch. As for the roots of the comic book industry, another interesting book is "Men of Tomorrow: Geek Gangsters, and the Rise of th American Comic Book." I am always apprehensive about looking at things from the eyes of ethnic origin. I feel it takes a certain amount of credit from the individual, especially if you don't know how much it played in their sense of self. That goes for other things as well, I talked about the midwest having a hold on them, and it may have, but one has to wonder how much is actual, and how much are you seeing because you want to?
As for quotes about the Jewish people, I am partial to one from Sammy Davis jr., which was made popular by the Simpsons:
"The Jews are a swinging bunch of people. I mean, I've heard of persecution, but what they went through is ridiculous. But the great thing is, after thousands of years of waiting, and fighting, and holding on, they finally made it. End quote."
P.S. Mr. Spray really appreciated the shout out you did, when I showed it to him. Thanks again.
Happy to do it, Jack. My pleasure.Delete
On the subject of saving people: Human effort, I think, can go just so far BUT I do believe we live in a universe where all things are possible and God can do what we can't.
I've heard many good things about MEN OF TOMORROW and I really should read it one of these days.
As for Sammy's quote: "A swinging bunch of people"? A singular description!
Men of Tomorrow, The Infernal Man-Thing, Man-Thing Omnibus, you've got a lot to read. You should probably hop over to Amazon before that list consumes you.Delete
I hate to potentially add to that list, but did you ever read Peter David's Captain Marvel from the 2000s? I feel like it, especially the back half, would be up your alley.
Also, couldn't someone argue that if someone is unsaveable, that God made them that way? Of course, that is based off of the idea that an all powerful being can't change their mind, or that they are automatically involved in the minutia of all creation on a direct and intimate level... micromanaging as it were. However, no matter how that plays out, and no matter what beliefs I or anyone else has, I still think that someone being beyond saving should still have someone trying to. That is truth to me.
I'm with you all the way on that, Jack. And, to be clear: I absolutely believe that EVERYONE can be saved, if not by Man, then by God.Delete
Looked at another way—and this is closer to what I believe—we're all part and parcel of God and, despite appearances to the contrary, none of us is even in NEED of saving. We're all Divine Beings cloaked in the illusion of limitation and human failings. But beneath the illusion if God Him/Herself.
But on the human level we absolute need to make the effort. The older I get, the more I see that compassion is the single most important quality in life.
That should have been: "Beneath the illusion IS God Him/Herself." Typing too fast!Delete
Yeah, cool, cool...Delete
Now go buy infernal Man-Thing its been 2 years. Or not whatever.
And did you check out Peter David's Captain Marvel? I feel that the idea of a person being driven mad by omnipotence would be interesting ...to...you.
And I would just like to add this whole thing came from a misunderstanding when I asked about a single issue of a comic book. Let this be a lesson kids, don't get rid of your comic books.
Not familiar with the David CAPTAIN MARVEL, but it does sound interesting and Peter is certainly an excellent writer.Delete