About this project
A Minyen Yidn (Un Andere Zakhn) (translated in English roughly as A Bunch of Jews (and other stuff)) is the graphic novel adaptation of a collection of short stories by Trina Robbin's father Max B. Perlson (Mutye) originally published in the late 1930s in Yiddish. The stories are short, funny vignettes of his experiences and imaginings as a child in Belarus and as an adult in Brooklyn, NY. The stories are very human moments of interacting with faith, love, commitment, family, and all the small moments that makes up life!
The stories are similar in theme to Will Eisner's poignant comic strips on Jewish life in collections such as Contract With God.
The stories have been painstakingly translated to English by Hershl Hartman, verified by the YIVO Institute and adapted to graphic novel form by the legendary comics creator and historian Trina Robbins (Pretty In Ink, Wonder Woman). Each story will be adapted visually by a different artist renowned in their field.
This book is a valuable perspective on Jewish life in the early twentieth century, before the coming world war, on both sides of the sea.
The book is a black and white softcover measuring 7.25" x 10", roughly 100 pages.
The cover has been painted by Los Angeles based artist Barbara "Willy" Mendes, design work will be by Relish Studios in Winnipeg. The graphic novel will be printed in Canada.
Hope Nicholson and Trina Robbins will be serving as editors on this project. It will be published by Winnipeg based comic book and genre publisher Bedside Press (Brok Windsor, Secret Loves of Geek Girls, Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time, Fashion In Action, Enough Space for Everyone Else, Polka Dot Pirate).
The book is made up of 14 different stories:
Bizness - Brooklyn, 1956. Mutye reflects on people's obsession with business rather than connecting to each other. Drawn by Steve Leialoha.
Stories set in Duboy:
Reb Itshe, The Melamud - a vain and powerful schoolteacher sees his influence in Duboy fade through the years. Drawn by Ken Steacy.
Yosl Mayer's - Yosl is the most worldly man in Duboy. Drawn by Shary Flenniken.
Moyshe Henye’s - Moyshe meets God, but is he a Stoliner hasid? Drawn by Michael Netzer.
Old Women Know - A story of matzos and ignored warnings of disaster during Pesach. Drawn by Eve Furchgott.
Reb Shmuel-Khayim - The man with the greatest ego in Duboy- who is also the poorest. Drawn by Elizabeth Watasin.
The Lamed-Vovnik - Serene and placid Yankl is the closest thing to a saint in Duboy. Drawn by Anne Timmons.
Kotletn - Mutye dreams of the day he will be rich enough to afford a kokletn buffet - or even just one piece! Drawn by Caryn Leschen.
Stories set in America:
Faydo - In Brooklyn, a middle-class family adopts a faithful young puppy. Drawn by Sharon Rudahl.
Longing - A marriage is tested by the arrival of a young neighbour. Drawn by Robert Triptow.
I Will No Longer Write Free Verse - When a writer creates poetry from other's words, they come back to haunt him - literally. Drawn by Terry Laban.
How Mr. Remsen Lost His Pension - Remsen is the epitome of the proud and loyal factory worker about to receive the rarest gift of all - a regular pension. Drawn by Miriam Libicki.
Even Goats Love Flowers - Mutye reflects on an incident with the local wildlife. Drawn by Miriam Katin.
Interior Art Sample Pages:
Shary Flenniken is a freelance cartoonist, editor, and screenwriter currently living in Seattle, Washington. She holds degrees in Multimedia Technology and Professional Teaching. She is best known as the creator of the Trots & Bonnie comic strip and as a contributor and editor at National Lampoon Magazine. She is currently writing and drawing for American Bystander Magazine.
Miriam Katin, born in Hungary in 1942 immigrated to Israel after the Hungarian uprising in 1956. She apprenticed in a Tel Aviv graphic studio for two years in the 1960s before joining Israel Defense Forces as a graphic artist. With no formal training, she became involved in animation and design working with Ein Gedi Animation, Nickelodeon, MTV Animation, and Disney. Her graphic novel "We Are On Our Own premiered in 2006 and has won multiple awards since and been translated into six different languages.
In his 3 decades as a professional cartoonist, Terry LaBan has drawn political cartoons, created numerous alternative comic book series for Fantagraphics and Dark Horse Comics, written for Donald Duck comics for Egmont and off-putting mature stories for DC Vertigo and spent 15 years co-creating with his wife Edge City, a daily syndicated comic strip for King Features. He lives in a leafy suburb of Philadelphia with easy access to numerous synagogues.
Steve Leialoha is best known for his inking and penciling on Vertigo’s Fables and illustrating the Fables novel Peter & Max! Other Vertigo contributions include: Jack of Fables, Nevada, Petrefax, the Dreaming, Sandman, and Dead Boy Detectives.
Since the mid 70’s he was an inker on Warlock, Howard the Duck, Daredevil, the GI Joe silent issue, Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Ms Marvel, Captain America, the Avengers, Secret Wars II, the Fantastic Four, and the original 1977 Star Wars movie adaptation.
For Marvel and DC Comics he has also drawn Dr Strange, Iron Man, the X-men, New Mutants, the Hulk, She-Hulk, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Star Trek.
Caryn Leschen is known mostly for her stories in Wimmin’s Comix and Twisted Sisters anthologies. She self-syndicated her comic, Ask Aunt Violet, to alternative weeklies all over North America. As principal of Aunt Violet Productions, she draws and designs for web, print, and mobile platforms, specializing in food and travel illustration. Ms. Leschen is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco, where she teaches Animation and Drawing on the iPad. She’s working on her first graphic novel, Once a Month Like a Period, and lectures widely on drawing comics on the iPad, as she considers comics her purest form of self-expression. Learn more at www.auntviolet.com.
Miriam Libicki is a graphic novelist living in Vancouver, Canada. Her short comics have been published by Alternate History Comics, Rutgers University Press, and the Journal of Jewish Identities, and her 2008 Israeli Army memoir “jobnik!” has been used in over a dozen university courses. Her new book of drawn essays, TOWARD A HOT JEW was published fall 2016 by Fantagraphics.
Barbara Mendes studied art throughout her youth in NYC; then published stories and covers in Underground Comix under the name "Willy Mendes". She developed her style of brilliantly colored narrative paintings, epic in detail and scale, and has exhibited them in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Florida, and Tel Aviv. Her Biblical murals are permanently displayed in Jerusalem and Florida. Her Los Angeles studio/gallery is open to the public; the building features her intricate and blazing outdoor "Angel Mural". The 6 ft. x 16 ft. "Vayikra Mural" (oil-on- canvas, 2009), illuminating each of 859 verses in the Book of Leviticus, is available.
Michael Netzer began drawing comics professionally in 1975. He quickly accumulated a robust portfolio of DC and Marvel characters, including Superboy & the Legion of Superheroes, Green Arrow & Black Canary, Challengers of the Unknown, Wonder Woman, Batman and Spiderman. After a few years he changed course abruptly and began producing comics with political and spiritual themes. In 1981 he emigrated to Israel, where he lives today. He produced Israel's first color comic book, Uri-On and branched off into digital design and illustration. He's currently art director for a local manufacturer and continues to produce sporadic comics work.
Born in Virginia in 1947, as a teenager Sharon marched with Martin Luther King. BFA from Cooper Union, NYC, where she wrote the cult hippie novel Acid Temple Ball published by Olympia Press. After art school, she was active in anti-Vietnam War underground newspapers in Wisconsin and San Francisco. In 1971, she was one of the founding mothers of Wimmen's Comix. In the decades since, she has been much published and exhibited internationally as a graphic story teller.
Ken decided at age eleven to become a professional comic book author/illustrator, a dream he realized in 1974. Since then, he has worked in the industry as writer, artist, art director, editor, and publisher, chronicling the exploits of Astro Boy, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and the Star Wars gang, to name but a few. In addition to creating his own intellectual property, he has also collaborated with other writers, including Trina Robbins, Harlan Ellison, and Douglas Coupland.
He is the recipient of an Eisner and an Inkpot award, and in 2009 was inducted into the Canadian Comic Book Hall of Fame, a lifetime achievement award for contributions to the industry. He currently teaches Comics & Graphic Novels at Camosun College in Victoria BC, a visual storytelling program he co-created with his wife, author/illustrator Joan Steacy.
Anne started her comic art career on a high, illustrating two Star Trek stories. Soon after came Dignifying Science, a graphic biography of women in science. Anne met Trina at Comic-Con, setting the stage for many and varied collaborations. They first teamed up on GoGirl!, the crime fighting teenager who can fly. They also worked together on an illustrated adaption of Little Women, and biographies of Florence Nightingale and Hedy Lamarr. Anne also illustrated Trina's award-winning "Lily Renee: Escape Artist," about the groundbreaking Golden Age comic artist who as a girl escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport.
Robert Triptow has been called "the last of the underground cartoonists" due to living in the Haight/Ashbury during the '80s, when he contributed to and edited the groundbreaking Gay Comix series. He co-edited Strip AIDS U.S.A. with Trina Robbins and Bill Sienkiewicz and cartooned for other titles like Bizarre Sex, Young Lust, Real Girl, Juicy Mother, The Book of Boy Trouble. His first solo project, Class Photo, was released in 2015.
Elizabeth Watasin is the author of the Gothic steampunk series The Dark Victorian, The Elle Black Penny Dreads, the paranormal sci-fi noir series, Darquepunk, and the creator/artist of the indie comics favourite Charm School, which was nominated for a Gaylactic Spectrum Award. Gentlewoman and artist, respected member of the animation guild with thirteen animated feature film screen credits, she lives in Los Angeles with her black cat named Draw, busy bringing readers uncanny heroines in queer sci-fi, Victorian punk, and diesel fantasy. Winner, Best Lesbian Fantasy & Fantasy Romance, 2015 Rainbow Awards.
For a print run of 500 copies. Net profits of the Kickstarter after shipping will be divided among the publisher, writer, and artists.
Thanks to the assistance of comiXology for assistance in the digital fulfillment!
As thanks for helping to back this project you can receive:
- A digital copy of the book, available as a PDF and as a comiXology download
- A physical copy of the book
- Original artwork and pages from the graphic novel from select artists
- Limited edition giclee prints of Barbara 'Willy' Mendes artwork from the cover
- Signed original scripts by Trina Robbins of A Minyan Yidn
- Copies of other Bedside Press publications including:
Digital copies of Brok Windsor a lost 1940s comic about a Canadian adventurer who discovers a magical island
Physical/digital copies of
Enough Space for Everyone Else: a diverse outer space comics anthology
Fashion In Action: A 1980s comic about an all-woman protection agency in the far future
Secret Loves of Geek Girls: an all-girls comics/prose anthology of true love and sex stories,
Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: a prose anthology of sci-fi stories featuring LGBT and two-spirit characters by indigenous authors
Risks and challenges
I am accustomed to publishing projects within and outside of Kickstarter. Trina Robbins is an accomplished writer who has completed the script and delivered it to the artists who are formulating layouts. As each artist is doing several pages, it will not take as long to develop as a graphic novel with just one artist would.
My last project, Fashion In Action is in the final stages of production and will be released to funders well before A Minyan Yidn is completed and shipped out.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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