We first met Steven Bergson a decade ago at the convention of the Association of Jewish Libraries. He was a regular on the AJL mailing list, chiming in with recommendations for Jewish-themed graphic novels and comics.
At the convention, he told us about his idea of an anthology, where he would reprint Jewish-themed comic stories dating back to the 1930s and also include original work. His dream came true in 2014, with the publication of his “Jewish Comix Anthology, Volume 1: A Collection of Tales, Stories and Myths Told and Retold in Comic Book Format.”
Now he’s editing volume two for publication, and it’s totally different and highly ambitious.
All its 18 stories are new. None are reprints. But they all are based on Jewish lore. Some are familiar folk tales; others are among the little-known eye-popping stories buried in the Talmud, like the man who grew breasts to nurse his child (which you can find on page 53b of Tractate Sabbath of the Babylonian Talmud).
But all the stories have been relocated to the future for this science-fiction-themed anthology.
The theme grew out of one of the stories in volume one, which the writer had transported to the future. Bergson attributes the idea of making this volume all future-focused to his publishing partner, Andy Stanleigh.
“He liked the idea of taking an old story and giving it a futuristic slant. Not just updating it, but projecting it into the future,” Bergson said.
This also promised to open the stories up to a new audience of readers.
The planned list of contributors includes some names well-known in comics land, among them Ty Templeton, Rachel Pollack, Bill Sienkiewicz, and David Mack. Bergson selected the original stories, and gave some guidance on how they might be adapted. Stanleigh handed out the writing and art assignments.
Intrigued? “SCI: The Jewish Comics Anthology Volume 2” is a quarter of the way to its Kickstarter fundraising goal at kck.st/2kZatPX.