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Goodreads Israel Comix Bookshelf

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Among the earliest depictions of Israel in comix are the retellings of Biblical stories, particularly those which ocurred after the Jews entered into the Holy Land (i.e. from the book of Prophets onward). Numerous Biblical comics have been published since the 1940's, which puts them into a separate category of its own. Therefore, I will limit the scans for such adaptations to the one below, which is the cover of Picture Stories from the Bible #4 (Fall 1943), depicting the prophet Elijah.

Eliyahu receiving food from ravens

Buy Picture Stories from the Bible : Old Testament

During the 1940's Hal Foster wrote & elegantly illustrated a Sundays-only color comic strip about an Arthurian-age knight named Val. In a storyline in which Val travels to the Middle East to get back his special "singing sword", Val ends up in the Israel of the Middle Ages twice, passing by or entering such famous sites as the Jaffa Gate, the Tower of David and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Though he doesn't seem to encounter any Jews during this pilgrimage, he does help fend off a group of Saracens (i.e. Muslims) who are attacking a fellow knight. This occurs in the strips published on May 25th & June 1st in 1941, reprinted in Prince Valiant : Companions in Adventure (Nostalgia Press, 1974) and Oct. 12th & Oct. 19th in 1941, reprinted in Prince Valiant : The Love of Aleta (Nostalgia Press, 1974).

Val arrives in Jerusalem, sees the Jaffa Gate and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Val leaves Jerusalem, passes by the Tower of David

on his way back to Jerusalem, Val aids a fellow knight who is being attacked by Saracens

Val gets back his 'singing sword' from Angor Wrack

Buy Prince Valiant : Companions in Adventure (with Prince Valiant : In The Days Of King Arthur)

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