The Jewish American contribution to the comic book world is so vast and invaluable it can fill a library. In addition to James Sturm, here's a look at some Jewish talent scheduled to appear at the July 19-22 San Diego Comic-Con 2001 at the San Diego Convention Center.
- Brian Michael Bendis, white-hot young writer behind "Ultimate Spider-Man," the critically acclaimed retelling of the webslinger's origin.
- "Wonder Boys" author Michael Chabon, who won the Pulitzer Prize this year for "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay," his valentine to Jewish cartoonists of comics' Golden Age.
- Will Eisner is an undisputed master who introduced cinematic storytelling and noirish sophistication to comics in his 1940s-era series, "The Spirit." As usual, he will serve as master of ceremonies at the prestigious Eisner Awards, named in his honor and presented each year at Comic-Con.
- Writer Mark Evanier is co-creator of "Groo the Wanderer" with Sergio Aragones.
- Two masterworks co-created by the late legendary artist Jack Kirby -- "Captain America" (with writer Joe Simon) and "Fantastic Four" (with writer Stan Lee) -- will be spotlighted on their 60th and 40th year anniversaries, respectively.
- Golden Age artist Martin Nodell, creator of the original "Green Lantern" (not to mention designer of the Pillsbury Doughboy).
- All eyes are on writer-director Sam Raimi ("Darkman," "Army of Darkness), who is helming his dream project, Sony's much-anticipated adaptation of Marvel's "Spider-Man."
- From 1942-1954, writer Alvin Schwartz worked on "Wonder Woman," "The Flash," "Green Lantern" and other D.C. Comics titles. He also wrote both "Batman" and "Superman" newspaper strips.
- Dan Spiegle, venerable artist best known for his clean, exquisite work on "Blackhawk" and "Korak, Son of Tarzan."
- Judd Winick first became famous on MTV's "The Real World" but has since become an acclaimed cartoonist with projects such as the Eisner Award-nominated "Pedro & Me," an homage to fellow "Real World" alumnus and AIDS activist Pedro Zamora, who died in 1994.
- Oh, and yours truly will hold down the fort at the Original Syndicate Press area, signing copies of three "El Gato, Crime Mangler" books (look for the giant "El Gato" banner). Come say hello (but please, hold all Journal-related complaints...).
For more information on San Diego Comi-Con 2001, call their hotline at (619) 491-2475, or visit www.comic-con.org .