First annual Jewish comic book convention comes to New York City

“JewCE is designed to be an inclusive convention, celebrating an industry largely created by Members of the Tribe, and promoting diverse Jewish narratives in comics and graphic novel.”

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

A one-day pop culture convention set to take place in New York City in November will be the first of its kind to celebrate characters, narratives and creators of Jewish comic books and graphic novels.

JewCE: The Jewish Comics Experience” is being organized by the Center for Jewish History, which is the comprised of five partner organizations: American Jewish Historical Society, American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

The convention will highlight the Jewish history of the comic book industry and the tradition of Jewish storytelling as it applies to the creation of comic books, and well as Jewish comic book and graphic novel narratives, themes, characters and creators. The event will include a minimum of 10 panels and workshops, the opportunity to meet 24 comic book artists and writers and other programming. Guests are also invited to visit the new Jews in Comics exhibit at the Center for Jewish History in advance of the convention.

“JewCE is designed to be an inclusive convention, celebrating an industry largely created by Members of the Tribe, and promoting diverse Jewish narratives in comics and graphic novel,” the Center for Jewish History said in its description of the event.

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Tickets are already on sale for the convention, which will take place on Nov. 12, in-person and on Zoom, with a preview night on Nov. 11 in-person only at the Center for Jewish History. There will also be a JewCE Awards ceremony, to be held on preview night, that will celebrate diverse Jewish comics and graphic novels.

Nine awards will be presented by a panel of judges from the industry. The honors include a Combating Prejudice Award, a Book Award in Diverse Jewish Representation and the Macherke Award for Career Contributions to Jewish Comics.

“The Jewish Comics Experience has what it takes to make it to the major league of comic conventions and I could not be more proud to be a part of it,” Fabrice Sapolsky — a comic book creator, publisher and co-creator of JewCE — said in a released statement.

“Comic books, graphic novels, and sequential arts are amazing mediums to convey stories. This industry was founded by a group of young — mostly Jewish — creators in the 1930/40s. JewCE will keep honoring the past while promoting present-day storytellers and inspiring creators of tomorrow. It will be an inclusive journey into Jewish diversity through art and creativity.”

JewCE Co-Creator Dr. Miriam Eve Mora, who is also director of academic and public programs at the Center for Jewish History, called JewCE “a love letter to the creators themselves, Jewish and non-Jewish, who have worked to include Jewish characters in their stories, to demonstrate Jewish diversity across the pages, and to provide a visual and cultural home for Jewish readers of all ages to feel seen, included, and embraced.”

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“At times only perceptible to those in the know, Jews have long had a home between the covers of comic books of all sorts,” she added. “JewCE brings that home to light, celebrating Jewish characters and creators of all ethnicities, nations of origin, religious observances, genders, sexual orientations, and political affiliations.”