Comic book artist Gene Colan, a “towering figure” and “one of the giants of the comic book industry,” who drew characters from Batman to Dracula to Howard the Duck for nearly seven decades, died June 23 at 84.
Five years ago, veteran comic book artist Joe Kubert visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. He expected to be moved, but since he and his parents had escaped from Poland before the Nazi genocide began, he assumed his emotional reaction would be relatively contained. Then, he saw something that struck him profoundly: "Yzeran," the name of the shtetl where he had been born, etched on a wall filled with names of towns that had been completely obliterated in World War II.
This one word began a creative odyssey that found its completion this month, with the publication of "Yossel -- April 19, 1943," Kubert's graphic novel about Jewish resistance during the Holocaust -- artistic, as well as physical -- with the date in the subtitle referring to the start of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
Jack Kirby was so influential a comic book creator that in July, Comic-Con International, the industry's largest convention, commemorated the artist's two greatest creations -- the 60th anniversary of "Captain America" and the 40th anniversary of "The Fantastic Four. "
Siegel. Shuster. Kane. Just a few names of Jewish storytellers whose restless imaginations fueled a multimillion dollar entertainment business that boomed throughout the 1940s and 1950s, when America was at war and television was in its infancy.