People of the Comic Book

Comic book fans should already be psyched about the upcoming film The Spirit, Frank Miller’s adaptation of the landmark Sunday comic by Will Eisner. A weekly newspaper insert, The Spirit basically began the idea of Sunday comics as we know them. But it’s not the only trail Eisner blazed. In 1978, the artistic luminary published A Contract with God, a semi-autobiographical collection of four stories set in 1930s Brooklyn that dealt with faith, Judaism, and the immigrant life. Contract became one of the world’s first graphic novels, enabling a wave of more complex and sophisticated comic writing that continues to this day.

Today at 1 p.m. at the Broward County Main Library (100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale), you can check out a lecture on the importance of Eisner’s A Contract with God by Barry University professor Dr. Andrea Greenbaum. It’s the first in a monthly, five part lecture series called “Modern Marvels: Jewish Adventures in the Graphic Novel.” Sponsored by a grant from the American Library Association, the lectures will feature seminal works of comic literature by Jewish writers and artists like Art Spiegelman (Maus) and Harvey Pekar (The Quitter). Greenbaum, who is in the process of drafting a class on graphic novels at Barry, will host the full series, but good news is you can catch her lectures at the Library for free. Register in advance by calling 954-357-6122.
Second Sunday of every month, 1 p.m. Starts: July 13. Continues through Nov. 9, 2008

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John Linn