Since the first Superman comic was published in 1938, there has been a persistent fascination with superheroes. Today, we see them everywhere: television, movies, comics, toys, and anywhere else one can think of. Jews have played an important role in superhero culture, both as characters and creators.
This Museum program explores Jewish superheroes with comic book writers Chris Claremont (Marvel’s The Uncanny X-Men) and Marguerite Bennett (DC Bombshells), along with editor Danny Fingeroth (Marvel’s Spiderman Comics Line). They are in conversation with journalist Abraham Riesman, author of True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee.
Watch the program below.
This program’s original recording transcript is below. This transcription was created automatically during a live program so may contain inaccurate transcriptions of some words.
Sydney Yaeger: So Hello everyone, my name is Sydney Yaeger and I am the public programs coordinator at the Museum of Jewish heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust.
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Sydney Yaeger: i'm so excited to kick off tonight's program Judaism or i'm sorry the Jewish multi verse Judaism and superheroes before we begin, I would like to thank the society of illustrators for co presenting tonight's Program.
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Sydney Yaeger: joining us tonight are Marguerite Bennett Chris Claremont and Danny finger off, who will be in conversation with Abraham reisman.
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Sydney Yaeger: Marguerite Bennett is a glad media award nominated New York Times bestselling author she's written for both marvel and DC comics on titles, such as DC bombshells BAT woman and a force she also has her own creator own books insects and animosity.
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Sydney Yaeger: Chris Claremont is also in New York Times bestselling author, who had a 17 year unbroken run writing for uncanny X men.
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Sydney Yaeger: Chris created numerous characters including legion the new mutants rogue gambit saber tooth kitty pryde and the white Queen.
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Sydney Yaeger: He also has several creator own works such as the Black dragon and murata the she Wolf and sovereign seven.
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Sydney Yaeger: Danny finger off is an editor and writer at marvel comics who is best known for his work as editor of the spider man line of titles.
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Sydney Yaeger: He has also written for other marvel comics, including the fantastic for an iron man.
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Sydney Yaeger: danny's and author of four books and co author of one the titles of which includes Superman on the couch with superheroes really tell us about ourselves in our society and despises Clark Kent Jews comics and the creation of superhero.
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Sydney Yaeger: And Abraham reisman who will be serving as our moderator this evening, as a freelance writer and essayist.
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Sydney Yaeger: he's written for New York magazine vulture the Washington Post and many others his book true believer the rise and fall of Stanley was published on February 16 2021.
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Sydney Yaeger: During the discussion, please feel free to share questions in the zoom Q amp a box and we'll get to as many as we can, during the hour.
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Sydney Yaeger: This program is being recorded and the video will be available tomorrow on the museum's YouTube channel Thank you all again for being here and i'm now going to hand things over to Abraham.
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Abraham Riesman: Am I unmuted everybody hear me good great hi everybody who's watching and hide all of our wonderful panelists um.
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Abraham Riesman: This is an honor I won't talk about myself much, but I am Jewish and I have spent too much time thinking about superheroes over the course of my years on this earth and.
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Abraham Riesman: In the wake of simpler Torah it feels like a perfect time to talk about Jewish stories, although not necessarily Jewish stories that you might find in a scroll.
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Abraham Riesman: they're the ones you might find the comic book and our panelists tonight have.
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Abraham Riesman: You know if you don't know from comics maybe you're thinking okay well, maybe these are interesting people, I can tell you I know from comics these are very interesting people, these are folks who have a lot of.
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Abraham Riesman: Experience in the world of comics and I hope that we can.
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Abraham Riesman: sort of talk to them, and they have different backgrounds i'm sure when it comes to their jewishness and I would love to hear what they have to say so.
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Abraham Riesman: um why don't we start out by just sort of going around the Horn i'd like to ask everybody if you could name your favorite Jewish superhero just a nice little icebreaker.
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Abraham Riesman: there's there's there's such a wide and yet at the same time limited selection so i'm curious what people have to say who wants to go first.
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Abraham Riesman: hey Chris you go first.
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Chris Claremont: Age before beauty strikes again.
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Chris Claremont: I guess, I would have to say kitty.
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Abraham Riesman: you're not the only one who would say that.
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Chris Claremont: I said.
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Abraham Riesman: Look we'll get with kitty pryde for those who don't know is a Jewish superhero whom Chris was one of the people who created her.
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Abraham Riesman: In the pages of the excellent say again.
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Chris Claremont: me and john Byrne.
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Abraham Riesman: You and john Byrne exactly um and she is Jewish and has been a load star for a lot of people who look for Jewish identification and comics for a long time.
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Abraham Riesman: And we'll get into some more detail about that later, but uh how about you Marguerite who's your favorite Jewish super here, I think I know what your answer.
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Abraham Riesman: But I still want to ask, maybe you'll throw a curveball Har Har Har.
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Marguerite Bennett: Har know that woman came.
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Marguerite Bennett: So my my one true love.
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Marguerite Bennett: You know she debuted when I was 18 years old and closeted in the south, and you know in high school and she meant so much to me he stole this.
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Abraham Riesman: Great I can't wait to talk more about her in a moment, and then Danny Danny.
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Abraham Riesman: So many to choose from, who is your who is your mother doing superhero your favorite one.
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Danny Fingeroth: My favorite I think is a very obscure character named dominic fortune.
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Danny Fingeroth: Who was a swashbuckling adventurer created by Howard chaykin.
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Danny Fingeroth: whose real name was a day before, to enough and was born and raised on the lower East side of New York and other writers, including me brought him in so he exists, you know and story said in the 1930s.
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Danny Fingeroth: Usually about the Nazis hiding in plain sight somewhere in America in the in the lead up to World War Two and then he was brought into the present day by.
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Danny Fingeroth: Summer Jane doe madness and and and I did some stories of him so he's a character.
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Danny Fingeroth: That, I think you could take risks with because he's obscure you can you know that I could do strange things with them and chicken did you know with Danny o'neill did some really brilliant.
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Danny Fingeroth: odd stuff with the character, you know in up to and including having dialogue lettered you know, in English, but lettered in lettering that looked like he brought me a dish.
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Abraham Riesman: mm hmm wow.
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Abraham Riesman: The library in there yeah.
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Abraham Riesman: Good answers all around i'm not surprised, we have an educated group here.
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Abraham Riesman: So you know, as some people in the audience may know, or may not know the comic book industry, which is where superhero fiction, as we know it.
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Abraham Riesman: sort of crystallized and became what we think of it as today um that industry was very, very Jewish and I don't just mean that, in the way that you do with lenny Bruce like that Jewish that.
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Abraham Riesman: Going ah, no, it really was Jews, creating this industry not solely, but a lot of the people in charge were people who were from Eastern Europe, or who had parents who were and.
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Abraham Riesman: I guess i'm curious Danny you you've written a wonderful book called disguised as Clark Kent about the Jews who helped infuse.
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Abraham Riesman: superheroes into the world through the comic book industry, I guess i'm curious, what do you think.
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Abraham Riesman: With the influence of that fact that there were Jews, making these comics ended up what you know in, broadly speaking, how much of that ended up in the comics and the superheroes that came out of it and how much of that is us looking for causation that might not actually be there.
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Danny Fingeroth: um I think.
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Danny Fingeroth: I think we're looking at causation that is there.
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Danny Fingeroth: But but unconsciously, you know I think the you know comics was kind of like the garment industry and actually started out in a lot of the same factory loss in New York, that you know, in the back, they were making smart isn't in the front.
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Danny Fingeroth: They were making comics or vice versa um it was it, you know comics.
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Danny Fingeroth: was the product of young people, mostly men some women who have these artistic and creative skills and they were.
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Danny Fingeroth: born of mostly of immigrant parents and suddenly they're here in America and they freer than they would have been in Europe, but they're still.
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Danny Fingeroth: They can't get really into advertising or publishing much but there's this new thing called comic books out that is desperate for anybody who can write or draw.
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Danny Fingeroth: And and and so suddenly you have people like Al jaffe like jack kirby people phenomenal talents who can't get work anywhere else now this energy.
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Danny Fingeroth: And who would like age 17 1819 or out earning their fathers, you know I mean this is a this is so, and a lot, a lot of Italians as well out of Irish people, but definitely many.
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Danny Fingeroth: Many children of Jewish immigrants some some immigrants I, I think the last thing they wanted to do was tell Jewish stories, but I think.
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Danny Fingeroth: Just because of who they were and their backgrounds and their and their place in the world, and you know, including the whole secret identity thing.
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Danny Fingeroth: And hiding who you are and being one thing at home, and one thing in the world, you know I think I think there's you know rich Jewish subtext most of it unintentional certainly low in the early days hmm.
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Abraham Riesman: I guess i'm curious moving on to Chris.
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Abraham Riesman: you're Jewish upbringing, is something that I think a lot of people even people who consider themselves diehard Chris Claremont fans don't necessarily know much about I know when I wrote an article about your.
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Abraham Riesman: path with the character of magneto who will get into later and I wrote about you know you being Jewish in that I got a lot of surprise dms from people and texts going like he's one of ours i'm so honored I.
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Abraham Riesman: guess i'm curious, can you give us a little bit of a sense of your your Jewish background and maybe how some of that played into the work you did in in the comics industry.
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Chris Claremont: The blonde answer is, in terms of my quote unquote Jewish background it's non existent.
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Chris Claremont: No, I mean it's it's.
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Chris Claremont: In terms of ancestry it derives mostly from my grandpa my maternal grandfather who's Russian i'm Jewish and he and his brothers skipped out of Russia.
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Chris Claremont: A few seconds before the tsar secret police, caught up with them.
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Chris Claremont: and
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Chris Claremont: Basically, headed West the.
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Chris Claremont: I think the aspect I ended up bringing to the X cannon was more on the on the side of being immigrant.
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Chris Claremont: Man, for want of a more accurate description English.
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Chris Claremont: Because being.
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Chris Claremont: Being English and growing up.
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Chris Claremont: Along the South and Central America, united central United States.
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Chris Claremont: Was.
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Chris Claremont: Pretty weird.
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Chris Claremont: And it wasn't really until coming to New York that that.
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Chris Claremont: A more cosmopolitan reality set in, and even then, because I grew up on long island.
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Chris Claremont: The towns on long island or are sort of.
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Chris Claremont: separated as enclaves you know hicksville is one.
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Chris Claremont: syosset another massive people a third North mass of people is one thing.
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Chris Claremont: that's our shores another so.
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Chris Claremont: Everything was very compartmentalized and.
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You know it's.
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Chris Claremont: it's.
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Chris Claremont: Complicated in that Mayra my relevant my sorry.
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Chris Claremont: My.
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Chris Claremont: awareness of it, of this in the in terms of the ex con and comes more from being an immigrant who.
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Chris Claremont: became more aware of.
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Chris Claremont: My Jewish X ancestry as I went along and that that mostly grew out of time, I spent in Israel, when I was in university.
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Abraham Riesman: yeah I was wondering if you might tell us a little bit about that, because I know it had an impact on you.
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Chris Claremont: Well it's back in those days.
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Chris Claremont: The bard college, where I went shut down for for two months and from January to March.
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Chris Claremont: ostensibly for field period they called it, which is where students were meant to go out and get.
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Chris Claremont: Jobs relating to their major subjects.
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Chris Claremont: We, as the students figured it was basically to get us out of town well they turned off the heat.
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Chris Claremont: Because it was a very poor college and back in those days, there was this con this reality called winter I don't know if you've ever heard of it it's when things get really cold when it snows snow is sort of solid.
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Chris Claremont: it's a 20th century thing i'm sorry.
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Abraham Riesman: someday I know they'll read about it.
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Chris Claremont: don't laugh, I mean it's.
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Abraham Riesman: You know now I.
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Chris Claremont: Know Kevin costner fell and realizing oh my God he knew what he was talking about that's terrible.
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Chris Claremont: No, but I mean I you know stepping off a plane and Tel Aviv.
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Chris Claremont: And then spending two months on a on a kibbutz that was five clicks from the Jordan border, and this is 1970 so it's sort of midway between the 68 war, the 73 war.
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Abraham Riesman: 67 but yes, yes.
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Abraham Riesman: No that's fine I just get.
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Chris Claremont: A sold people you don't.
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Chris Claremont: Always was, but the weird thing is sitting, you know, we had a one we had a Saturday movie night after you know, because we were, it was a very.
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Chris Claremont: Progressive liberal kibbutz and.
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Chris Claremont: A sitting there with survivors of the show a watching judgment at Nuremberg is creepy.
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Chris Claremont: But sitting there realizing the people I was sitting with and working with had been there and understood what was happening and.
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Chris Claremont: we're looking at this from a totally different perspective than I, as a as a young American.
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Chris Claremont: Admittedly, in the middle of the Vietnam War but.
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Chris Claremont: These are.
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Chris Claremont: realizations that you won't find growing up in in the States it's it's dealing with the reality dealing with.
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Chris Claremont: A sense of history of what was and what what is and what we're trying to do in the future.
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Chris Claremont: of that.
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Chris Claremont: there's a lot was unlike anything I have experienced I had experienced to that date, and to a large extent of experience sense sense and that all factored into everything i've been writing for the last empty bump ears.
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Abraham Riesman: yeah you cannot well.
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Chris Claremont: it's rare.
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Chris Claremont: The weird thing you know, in a lot of senses, about being.
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Chris Claremont: Jewish in America.
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Chris Claremont: Then now is this sense of being still being an outsider of finding people who will march in the streets and casually say.
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Chris Claremont: We don't hate you but.
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Chris Claremont: And that's that.
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Chris Claremont: is something I have.
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Chris Claremont: I keep trying to reach out to.
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Chris Claremont: embrace from a writing perspective and try in the characters to help the readers understand it.
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Chris Claremont: A scene, that that goes to that point is when she and.
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Chris Claremont: Eric slash magneto go to the to a memorial at the Holocaust Museum in Washington and stand up and say the names of relatives in hope that someone in the audience, who is also a survivor of the show might know them.
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Chris Claremont: You might have heard of them or might know somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody.
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Chris Claremont: And that's.
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Chris Claremont: something you didn't see happen very often, when I was reading it to.
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Chris Claremont: The man of steel or to read richards.
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Abraham Riesman: Marguerite i'm curious um you did I was rereading revisiting your bombshells work in preparation for this and reading the Jewish stuff and i'll admit.
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Abraham Riesman: When you were initially writing bombshells you probably knew more about Judaism than I someone with a bar mitzvah.
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Abraham Riesman: New I recently since bombshells began have gone on this Jewish path, this is not about me so i'm not going to get into it, but I remember reading bombshells when it came out and being like.
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Abraham Riesman: Oh cool there's a Jewish character and then later.
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Abraham Riesman: As Jewish identification became more important for me and sort of Jewish stories became more important and more importantly.
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Abraham Riesman: My smell test got better and I could see when people were like not actually up on their stuff and I was like going back to bombshells curiously, what happens in like you nailed it like you really did a terrific job.
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Abraham Riesman: Of a not.
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Abraham Riesman: Well, it doesn't come across as like here's my book report on the Jews.
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Abraham Riesman: What a Western writer very interest me comics has a lot of lesser writers.
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Abraham Riesman: could easily have fallen into but that wasn't it it felt very lived in could you tell me a little bit about your process of.
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Abraham Riesman: kind of where you came from about what you knew about Jewish civilization in life and then how you got from that point to the point where you were making these comics that I was just talking about.
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Marguerite Bennett: um Well, yes, well, I do not have the honor of being born Jewish I have had the immense privilege of falling in love with several spectacular Jewish women.
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Marguerite Bennett: And so, through them, you know, I was introduced to the Community and to scripture and the history and heritage, and that in its own way has been one of the largest love affairs with my life, and you know i've struggled with my faith, the number of times and.
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Marguerite Bennett: You know it, forgive me if i'm getting you know too much into it, but I have come close to converting and you know, even though God and I have tabled that for the moment the conversation isn't over so don't give up on me, yes.
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Marguerite Bennett: um but yes uh you know very much like through them, you know and through.
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Marguerite Bennett: You know the the world they lived in in the Community um you know that they grew up in that was you know really just the the start of you know, I was just so.
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Marguerite Bennett: moved and enchanted and you know even going back you know, through you know stories and like through the Torah you know just over and over the stories of the women were once again what captivated me.
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Marguerite Bennett: And so that was you know.
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Marguerite Bennett: they're there for Ross city and their elegance and, like their passion and face over and over again, and the desire to serve and the desire to do good um no matter the cost like that was something that just moved me so very much and you know the the passage.
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Marguerite Bennett: You know.
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Marguerite Bennett: The most romantic parts, you know you know people people quote from the Book of Ruth and I was speaking to another woman and so that meant, you know a great deal to me um you know again grown up positive in the south.
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Abraham Riesman: that's right I get yeah without go, so I will go there, it is yeah.
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Abraham Riesman: that's lovely and then so you were steeped in it in in your life through that.
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Abraham Riesman: And then we're approaching this character what what additional research, did you do what were things you were concerned about just anything you remember from that i'd love to hear.
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Marguerite Bennett: um well i'm terrifically spoiled in that all of my parents my mother, my father my stepmother and my stepfather were all history teachers at one point or another.
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Marguerite Bennett: After he ran out of fairy tales and twilight zone episodes and star trek we started moving on to scenes for history.
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Marguerite Bennett: And so you know I grew up with things from you know the civil war, down to the siege of Masada and those were you know moments, you know, again with the the investigation, you know these these.
00:23:37.680 --> 00:23:46.320
Marguerite Bennett: love of you know, these these girlfriends I had combined with this love of history, and so I was really drawn from a lot of that the things that it meant.
00:23:47.010 --> 00:23:58.050
Marguerite Bennett: The most to me um you know, to bring to bombshells I mean you know i'm hoping that it's true for most writers, is that the things that they're most passionate about is actually what you would like to see translated into their work.
00:23:58.560 --> 00:24:07.020
Marguerite Bennett: um but yes, that was a you know, Kate Cain was just this this terrific lightning rod the things that I loved festive here.
00:24:08.550 --> 00:24:14.250
Abraham Riesman: kidding Danny I want to talk about sort of two phases of your.
00:24:15.360 --> 00:24:24.750
Abraham Riesman: Your life, I want to talk first about what it was like being Jewish and caring about being Jewish and being from a notable Jewish family and that's put you on the spot.
00:24:25.950 --> 00:24:35.550
Abraham Riesman: And and reading comics growing up and then we'll get to the second half, which is, I want to know sort of once you were actually in the industry.
00:24:35.820 --> 00:24:50.130
Abraham Riesman: What being Jewish meant to you as you were writing and editing and working their butt but first i'd love to know when you were a young, you know Jewish rapscallion out there in the hustle What was it like reading superhero comics you know what is.
00:24:50.130 --> 00:24:52.230
Abraham Riesman: What what did they feel Jewish.
00:24:53.550 --> 00:24:57.420
Danny Fingeroth: Well, you know it's a you know my father was a.
00:24:58.680 --> 00:25:02.280
Danny Fingeroth: Famous cantor, which is a lot like being a famous comic book writer.
00:25:05.040 --> 00:25:05.190
Danny Fingeroth: Oh.
00:25:06.210 --> 00:25:08.280
Danny Fingeroth: Well, maybe walking a famous comic book editor.
00:25:08.700 --> 00:25:13.530
Danny Fingeroth: yeah the people who what's important to it's very important to most people.
00:25:14.940 --> 00:25:27.330
Danny Fingeroth: Not so much so, I came from a deep Jewish background, which I was highly conflicted over, but I was, I was in my yeshiva they were a core group of us.
00:25:29.340 --> 00:25:48.960
Danny Fingeroth: Who were obsessed with comics and especially with the marvel comics when they came out, you know we were the perfect baby Boomer age for that stuff to just the board straight into our skulls you know them there it there must have been something about.
00:25:51.210 --> 00:26:01.950
Danny Fingeroth: Especially Stan the consciousness, the the the whole tone that Stanley brought to the to the comic books, you know that.
00:26:03.330 --> 00:26:14.880
Danny Fingeroth: That sort of insider you talk about lenny Bruce you know just sort of a New York Jewish smartest thing that came from a tradition of the mad magazine people and Harvey kurtzman.
00:26:16.320 --> 00:26:19.350
Danny Fingeroth: You know bill gains Feldstein all those people.
00:26:20.550 --> 00:26:25.800
Danny Fingeroth: Were were you know what I was talking about before first generation American born.
00:26:27.150 --> 00:26:45.360
Danny Fingeroth: You know, you and I both read biographies of Stan so you know how how deep and how conflicted he he himself was and and yet you know you know, one of my favorites than stories is he's out walking with an artist named Jim mooney they were good friends and Stan love to walk.
00:26:47.310 --> 00:26:55.440
Danny Fingeroth: And Stan has a new suit on that he's very proud of you know Stan love to dress nicely and a page and flies over and traps right on.
00:26:55.920 --> 00:27:12.480
Danny Fingeroth: Stan and the way Jim Jim mooney tells the story according to mooney Stan looks up at the pigeon waves his fist and says, for the gentiles you saying i'm guessing he didn't use the word gentiles i'm guessing he said for the goyim you're saying, but.
00:27:13.770 --> 00:27:16.920
Abraham Riesman: Oh that's very clever I hadn't thought to read through that but you're.
00:27:16.920 --> 00:27:25.890
Danny Fingeroth: Probably yeah so well either way it's a so I mean so so I something felt very at home to me about.
00:27:27.240 --> 00:27:34.410
Danny Fingeroth: The comics and any and looking back at a lot of the DC comics in my childhood to their their their these.
00:27:34.830 --> 00:27:43.440
Danny Fingeroth: I mean Superman with the first 20 years of his life, you know of his existence never thought about the fact that he was the sole survivor of the planet krypton.
00:27:43.980 --> 00:28:00.510
Danny Fingeroth: Suddenly we're in the 19 late 50s early 60s post-holocaust people are starting to be able to talk about it, because a lot a lot it wasn't talked about a lot, it was not and even the word Holocaust hadn't hadn't come into common usage.
00:28:01.830 --> 00:28:14.910
Danny Fingeroth: For the murder of the European Jews by the Nazis, I mean so suddenly there's this consciousness and Jerry siegel who you know co created Superman is now writing these in depth story, so there was.
00:28:15.390 --> 00:28:31.740
Danny Fingeroth: There was a swirl it felt very familiar, I mean, of course, I am born raised and live in Manhattan which makes me the most provincial person you'll ever meet, so it also so my view of things, was a very Jewish view but it felt at home.
00:28:33.810 --> 00:28:49.680
Danny Fingeroth: And and and like I said there were maybe three or four of us in my in my class in this fancy fancy upper East side you Shiva that were super into comics and you know and and we lived and breathed and there must have been something.
00:28:51.030 --> 00:28:58.470
Danny Fingeroth: Familiar about it, and I look back on it now, and I can see it's it's there you know it's it, you know I realized that.
00:28:59.940 --> 00:29:16.950
Danny Fingeroth: You know it's got it will eisner who was one of the giants of the industry and of the medium and of the genre you know who helped invent comics and helped invent you know what we think it was the graphic novel with Jewish content both.
00:29:18.060 --> 00:29:26.880
Danny Fingeroth: subtext and there's and there's main text and and and I was intrigued by him when I read jewels fighters, the great comic book heroes.
00:29:28.230 --> 00:29:37.500
Danny Fingeroth: which was the hanukkah gift of 1965 I mean there was no other gift I know about you press but there was no other gift I wanted for the holidays and 65.
00:29:39.330 --> 00:29:47.730
Danny Fingeroth: And and and and five, for I think started to put it together what it was about that the the Jewish backgrounds of these guys and.
00:29:48.210 --> 00:29:55.230
Danny Fingeroth: And, and I mean that books still holds up, I think, so I don't even know what I don't even coming close to answering your question because I don't even know what how I got here.
00:29:58.380 --> 00:29:59.250
Chris Claremont: If I made Danny.
00:29:59.460 --> 00:30:03.390
Abraham Riesman: yeah whoops I was muted Kristen opportunity go ahead, yes.
00:30:03.690 --> 00:30:08.400
Chris Claremont: No 1965 my Christmas gift was a man from uncle place it oh.
00:30:08.430 --> 00:30:08.850
Danny Fingeroth: Well that's.
00:30:09.510 --> 00:30:12.180
Chris Claremont: that's pretty good trip of our differentiation.
00:30:14.940 --> 00:30:22.320
Abraham Riesman: um well you know I want to come back to Danny in a moment, but that was a good answer and I want to all it makes me think I would love Chris.
00:30:22.650 --> 00:30:32.430
Abraham Riesman: If you wouldn't mind giving a little bit of an abridged version of your story with magneto a character, who means a lot to a lot of people.
00:30:33.240 --> 00:30:46.320
Abraham Riesman: I know all of you and i'm sure everyone at home, has been watching very closely in my book tour this past year it's been the hottest news at the top of CNN but I talk a lot about magneto when people ask me about.
00:30:47.700 --> 00:30:53.280
Abraham Riesman: You know stories occasionally people will be like hey if you've got to write for more of what would you rate, which is like.
00:30:53.580 --> 00:30:58.950
Abraham Riesman: Not the best question because that's not happening so I was given the answer, that is true.
00:30:59.220 --> 00:31:07.290
Abraham Riesman: And that they would never allow me to do, which is, I want to tell the most Jewish magneto story that's ever been told a story so Jewish that the adl will call it anti Semitic.
00:31:07.590 --> 00:31:25.470
Abraham Riesman: Like I want it to be so authentically and deeply rooted in these ideas that you were so wise to start bringing out and i'm i'm curious, could you give me a give for people who don't really know how that went down, could you give a little sense of that.
00:31:27.300 --> 00:31:29.790
Chris Claremont: um you're wanting to write magneto.
00:31:30.270 --> 00:31:31.290
Abraham Riesman: know what.
00:31:32.640 --> 00:31:37.440
Abraham Riesman: No, I couldn't do it because you've already perfected the form, but you know.
00:31:37.740 --> 00:31:38.370
Chris Claremont: No, I mean.
00:31:40.470 --> 00:31:50.730
Chris Claremont: magneto started out as the X men's equivalent of Dr doom and green goblin every every series every character, has a primal adversary.
00:31:52.620 --> 00:31:54.000
Chris Claremont: You know Superman has.
00:31:55.950 --> 00:31:56.700
Chris Claremont: lex luthor.
00:31:57.390 --> 00:32:00.300
Abraham Riesman: yeah he's got a few would probably lacks you'd say yeah I.
00:32:00.420 --> 00:32:01.110
00:32:02.820 --> 00:32:03.990
Chris Claremont: With magneto.
00:32:05.550 --> 00:32:09.990
Chris Claremont: For the first 48 audio issues of.
00:32:11.160 --> 00:32:13.140
Chris Claremont: He was portrayed as.
00:32:14.370 --> 00:32:20.760
Chris Claremont: A traditional comic book villain he ranted he grade he did stuff it he he was generic.
00:32:21.930 --> 00:32:22.920
Chris Claremont: So.
00:32:23.940 --> 00:32:33.030
Chris Claremont: In the late 60s early yeah very early 70s, he ran into an.
00:32:34.230 --> 00:32:37.080
Chris Claremont: an alien super being who turned him into back into a baby.
00:32:38.310 --> 00:32:44.100
Chris Claremont: And was dumped on charlie's Charles Xavier his doorstep and said here is here's your problem now.
00:32:45.900 --> 00:32:50.970
Chris Claremont: So Charlie being you know conscientious handed him off tomorrow mctaggart and forgot about him.
00:32:52.860 --> 00:32:54.720
Chris Claremont: Then, when.
00:32:56.340 --> 00:33:04.830
Chris Claremont: Dave cochran I came back on to the series after London who co created the reboot of the X men with Dave.
00:33:06.060 --> 00:33:14.910
Chris Claremont: Of we needed we needed our mega mega adversary, which is obviously magneto which meant we had to find a way to.
00:33:15.810 --> 00:33:33.630
Chris Claremont: bring him back up to speed make him an adult again, but at the same time, from my perspective, make them interesting because what who cares about a mad you know demagogue every every series has one they're all the same they're basically boring.
00:33:35.310 --> 00:33:44.130
Chris Claremont: Which means sitting down and figuring out who the character is what where did he come from what elements made him make him do what he did.
00:33:45.180 --> 00:33:48.600
Chris Claremont: And since we're talking 1975.
00:33:49.650 --> 00:34:03.240
Chris Claremont: The answer is obvious he's a he's a man like Charlie in his very late 40s early 50s okay scale that back what the where does that put him that puts him born in the.
00:34:04.260 --> 00:34:07.350
Chris Claremont: 20s 30s which means he came of age in.
00:34:08.910 --> 00:34:17.190
Chris Claremont: Your in the war, and that leads to a fairly obvious next step, what would make him so crazy the show.
00:34:19.020 --> 00:34:23.460
Chris Claremont: And from then it was just a natural cascade I mean the thing.
00:34:25.170 --> 00:34:39.270
Chris Claremont: The thing about being a mutant in the marvel Pantheon, especially in the comic comics code era when you couldn't say things specifically about certain social issues.
00:34:40.290 --> 00:34:55.740
Chris Claremont: You had to find an analog for it right and being mutant is the most obvious you know it, it it fit everything is being gay if it's being black at fit being Jewish it fit being Muslim.
00:34:56.850 --> 00:35:00.660
Chris Claremont: It it was the.
00:35:02.070 --> 00:35:07.470
Chris Claremont: From a from a storytelling perspective, it is the the best.
00:35:09.390 --> 00:35:22.920
Chris Claremont: foundation for creating character and conflict in in comic books, because it's it is relatively unique and it applies to everyone if it's done right and with magneto it was.
00:35:24.960 --> 00:35:41.340
Chris Claremont: If you're going to bring him back as the major adversary you do everything you can to have him, be the major adversary, which is why the first two or three times, he and the X men encountered one another, he beat the living daylights out of them and they only survived by a miracle.
00:35:43.440 --> 00:35:44.280
Chris Claremont: In each case.
00:35:45.720 --> 00:35:56.100
Chris Claremont: But then Why is he the way he do what does he do the things he does, and the show was it and once once I went back to that and started.
00:35:56.880 --> 00:36:14.790
Chris Claremont: My own adding to my own knowledge as a political theorist of what the those events and those people in those circumstances were it just everything grew naturally the frustration from my aspect of it was that my ultimate goal.
00:36:15.810 --> 00:36:16.470
Chris Claremont: Back on the.
00:36:17.550 --> 00:36:30.210
Chris Claremont: very late 80s and 1990 was I wanted him to be to evolve into a hero, I wanted him to take over the school, I wanted to get Charlie out of the way, simply because, with Charlie.
00:36:31.680 --> 00:36:45.540
Chris Claremont: he's already perfect all you can do is diminishing he is everything you want, in an ideal teacher a master all of you know, the doctor strange of of of the mutant world.
00:36:47.280 --> 00:36:50.160
Chris Claremont: There are no flaws, other than the fact that he has.
00:36:51.570 --> 00:36:59.430
Chris Claremont: he's paralyzed and, once he once he had his interstellar girlfriend you could get rid of that which we tried to instantly magneto.
00:37:00.090 --> 00:37:06.420
Chris Claremont: Because of all the conflicts within him to me work so much better as a conflicted hero.
00:37:07.320 --> 00:37:21.540
Chris Claremont: As someone who could walk up to the edge and desperately want to step over that edge because he knows it'll save the day, and yet the new mutants his students are always trying desperately to pull him back because they know if he goes over that it step.
00:37:22.830 --> 00:37:42.060
Chris Claremont: he'll take the next step, and the next, and the next and they'll bring him with him and to me that exemplified in fiction, the reality I I knew from history of looking at the conflict between Menachem vegan and David ben-gurion.
00:37:43.290 --> 00:37:47.910
Chris Claremont: On one hand, you had, I am the father of the Jewish state, on the other hand, i'm the piss out.
00:37:49.980 --> 00:37:52.650
Chris Claremont: pain in the ass who who love blowing up the English.
00:37:53.790 --> 00:38:04.770
Chris Claremont: will leave that part out of it and, ultimately, though it was begin who forced the peace accord with Anwar set up.
00:38:05.820 --> 00:38:19.560
Chris Claremont: And what himself the Nobel Peace Prize who'd have thought that you could let you could make bets on that no one would have taken it, the thing is that reality interacts with character, with people.
00:38:20.790 --> 00:38:40.470
Chris Claremont: In remarkable ways and the the the presumptions one makes about us a person, a leader can be up ended by that leader growing that extra step necessary to do the right thing for his country.
00:38:42.060 --> 00:38:50.310
Chris Claremont: In in a world, the world situation and that was what I wanted to do with magneto because to me.
00:38:53.460 --> 00:39:00.090
Chris Claremont: If he's always the adversary he's always going to lose because that's the nature of.
00:39:01.170 --> 00:39:02.370
Chris Claremont: Dramatic storytelling.
00:39:04.170 --> 00:39:15.180
Chris Claremont: But if he's if you try to make him if you try to make the reader understand him and root for him and and see where he wants to go with his life.
00:39:15.780 --> 00:39:31.140
Chris Claremont: If he's on the side of hopefully on the side of the angels if he has something to lose, then you have ongoing and increasing tension between the character and the audience, because you never know what the writer will come up with.
00:39:32.700 --> 00:39:37.740
Chris Claremont: You know us they used to say, no one will kill a superhero until Jean grey.
00:39:38.970 --> 00:39:58.890
Chris Claremont: And if you can cross that threshold and get away with it, you can do anything and with magneto it was a way of of expressing opinions, it was a way of making points, it was a way I hoped of keeping the audience interested and on the edge of their seats, but marvel had other ideas.
00:39:59.130 --> 00:39:59.640
00:40:01.440 --> 00:40:01.950
Chris Claremont: it's.
00:40:02.130 --> 00:40:04.800
Abraham Riesman: How do I know I know it's no small thing it's no.
00:40:05.520 --> 00:40:12.480
Chris Claremont: it's a much easier way to get Ian mckellen up there, and being the monster.
00:40:13.590 --> 00:40:19.530
Chris Claremont: Rather than having Ian mckellen stand up there, and be something more empathetic.
00:40:20.820 --> 00:40:21.510
Chris Claremont: Which.
00:40:22.740 --> 00:40:24.240
Chris Claremont: You know it's it's.
00:40:25.740 --> 00:40:29.910
Chris Claremont: One guy is one person's King Lear versus another person's.
00:40:32.760 --> 00:40:34.470
You know, whatever.
00:40:36.030 --> 00:40:36.630
Abraham Riesman: Well, said.
00:40:38.430 --> 00:40:42.420
Abraham Riesman: No, but that's it we're we're running out of time, a little bit, I want to get.
00:40:43.500 --> 00:41:02.160
Abraham Riesman: to know where you budgeting for your great you this okay i'm, no, no, no, please, I would have stopped you, if I thought it was an interesting um I want to get to some of the Q amp a questions and um one thing that I think was interesting here is that a kind of.
00:41:03.180 --> 00:41:12.900
Abraham Riesman: is not exactly specifically Jewish, but I think you can see, pretty clearly that you can make a Jewish, which is you know what's the purpose of telling.
00:41:13.590 --> 00:41:20.910
Abraham Riesman: A superhero story like, why is this a genre that let's say if we're trying to talk about.
00:41:21.840 --> 00:41:29.970
Abraham Riesman: Issues like what Chris is talking about you know, exclusion and difference issues that are met that matter to people who care about Jewish topics.
00:41:30.210 --> 00:41:41.280
Abraham Riesman: you're talking about all this, what, why do we keep coming back to superheroes you know for to talk about these questions of marginalization and powerlessness and finding power and identification.
00:41:41.610 --> 00:41:47.940
Abraham Riesman: You know i'm curious, I want to start with Marguerite is there is there, why do you think we keep coming back to these stories in this way.
00:41:48.270 --> 00:42:01.500
Marguerite Bennett: I think it's the story of a magnificent other you know of having to you know, like we were discussing earlier having that secret identity of being constantly judged or marginalized or overlooked in your day to day life and no one knows what you could be.
00:42:01.980 --> 00:42:04.920
Marguerite Bennett: No one knows that you are, you know when you're given the chance.
00:42:05.940 --> 00:42:06.300
00:42:07.740 --> 00:42:16.440
Abraham Riesman: Danny Chris you have thoughts on why we keep coming to the well for this for these kinds of stories and why outsiders often so identify with superheroes.
00:42:17.280 --> 00:42:19.830
Chris Claremont: They look really cute and skin type costumes.
00:42:20.250 --> 00:42:20.640
Danny Fingeroth: They do.
00:42:22.020 --> 00:42:33.510
Danny Fingeroth: And and and they're cool and it's fun even even at their most you know hand stapled to their Rao it's fun to be them because they can do this cool.
00:42:34.230 --> 00:42:54.390
Danny Fingeroth: stuff but they become an all purpose metaphor it's it's funny how in TV and movies, the way it did in comics, for better or worse, the superhero took over all the other genres there are superhero soap operas and superhero science fiction and superhero cowboy shirt you know somehow.
00:42:55.260 --> 00:43:01.410
Chris Claremont: People levels rivals making comments about the superhero movie is taking over everything.
00:43:04.140 --> 00:43:04.650
Danny Fingeroth: there's some.
00:43:05.070 --> 00:43:06.840
Abraham Riesman: I think now now.
00:43:07.200 --> 00:43:07.620
Abraham Riesman: we're good.
00:43:07.920 --> 00:43:19.560
Danny Fingeroth: there's something about that that fantasy of having you know if only they knew, you know that I could unleash this destructive power, but I don't because i'm really a good person yeah.
00:43:21.510 --> 00:43:24.330
Danny Fingeroth: that's why i'm the hero, not the villain see I.
00:43:24.420 --> 00:43:34.170
Chris Claremont: I go slightly differently, the thing that is so wonderful about Peter Parker is he's the amazing spider man, he can do all this stuff.
00:43:34.860 --> 00:43:48.840
Chris Claremont: But he still has to pass a test he still has to find a way to pay the rent he still has problems with his girlfriend or that he doesn't have a girlfriend at all that's for me is reading this stuff when I was a kid.
00:43:51.120 --> 00:43:58.170
Chris Claremont: This never happened to Clark Kent it sure you know, I mean Bruce Wayne had his own living kid.
00:44:00.000 --> 00:44:07.080
Danny Fingeroth: Well, I mean well yeah I mean the marvel you know Stan and jack and see that came came up with that.
00:44:08.160 --> 00:44:18.000
Danny Fingeroth: You know the code here's a field of play, but it's the heroes who are you said, Chris who are who are who they're having their powers doesn't solve the problems it just yet problem.
00:44:18.030 --> 00:44:19.590
Chris Claremont: many respects it makes them worse.
00:44:19.860 --> 00:44:31.800
Abraham Riesman: yeah yes well that gets I mean not to put on my like amateur rabbi had, but every one of them I one of these days, I want to be able to deliver like a rabbinic sermon about my big theory about.
00:44:32.580 --> 00:44:41.370
Abraham Riesman: spider man, which is my what what makes the original did Kohli run on spidey so compelling to me in a way that.
00:44:41.880 --> 00:44:49.050
Abraham Riesman: Even amazing like I shouldn't just use that word I guess that means nothing and spider man every amazing spider man story is amazing.
00:44:49.830 --> 00:44:58.260
Abraham Riesman: But you know even the best spider man stories there's a particular thing about that initial run that really amazes me I have seen that word.
00:44:58.950 --> 00:45:10.920
Abraham Riesman: Which is you know, in a lot of depictions of spider man that shall remain nameless because I don't want to toss anybody down i'm basically spidey realizes that the robber.
00:45:11.460 --> 00:45:22.980
Abraham Riesman: was the one who killed uncle Ben you know, and then a light switch flips with great power them is also comes great responsibility and from then on out he's a good guy he learned his lesson.
00:45:23.220 --> 00:45:35.550
Abraham Riesman: What I love about the original run is Stan and and Steve really have him in this almost religious this very Jewish, even if it's not necessarily supposed to be that.
00:45:36.450 --> 00:45:48.720
Abraham Riesman: struggle, where it's like the world really sucks for Peter, as you save Chris he has to do the test is anta sick he's grieving for his dead uncle you know his parents aren't anywhere to be found.
00:45:49.170 --> 00:45:58.260
Abraham Riesman: Is this really rough life, and he has to constantly fight the urge to give in to the kind of greed that allowed uncle Ben to die.
00:45:58.770 --> 00:46:04.770
Abraham Riesman: it's never is interesting to me when you have a spider man where he's just sort of happy go lucky by name by disposition.
00:46:05.010 --> 00:46:16.980
Abraham Riesman: You know, like just kind of a happy guy it's much more interesting if he's somebody who, like any number of Jewish figures that you can find in scripture or you can find in great Jewish literature, who really wrestle with.
00:46:18.360 --> 00:46:33.660
Abraham Riesman: guilt and temptation and redemption and I don't know I don't even really know where I was going with that, but that's something that's been on my mind lately thinking about kind of the Jewish struggle aspects of those early spider man issues Danny do you have thoughts on that.
00:46:34.020 --> 00:46:37.170
Danny Fingeroth: yeah well if I want you to think I might you know.
00:46:37.410 --> 00:46:40.770
Abraham Riesman: I mean i'm sorry you're smarter about this than I am, this is just my pet theory.
00:46:40.770 --> 00:46:47.430
Danny Fingeroth: But you know he's look marvel discovered that there was entertainment and depressed and erotic characters.
00:46:48.840 --> 00:47:01.170
Danny Fingeroth: I mean the thing the whole spider man, you know the one redeeming thing they have is holy cow I got these webbing I can swim across the city, no matter how crappy my life gets.
00:47:03.510 --> 00:47:04.140
Danny Fingeroth: Better man.
00:47:05.760 --> 00:47:07.680
Danny Fingeroth: So yeah that really works, the Bruce banner.
00:47:09.720 --> 00:47:10.710
Abraham Riesman: yeah.
00:47:11.100 --> 00:47:13.110
Danny Fingeroth: Not that much fun it's True, there is a limit.
00:47:14.730 --> 00:47:21.300
Danny Fingeroth: Even could even Bruce gets to go i'm the smartest guy in the room, you know at least he gets to have that satisfaction.
00:47:23.820 --> 00:47:24.240
Abraham Riesman: anyway.
00:47:24.720 --> 00:47:25.170
00:47:26.760 --> 00:47:31.200
Abraham Riesman: So okay let's see here i'm going to look at some of the other oh yeah Marguerite you raising your hand, are you.
00:47:31.830 --> 00:47:33.090
Marguerite Bennett: Suggesting my glasses for.
00:47:33.090 --> 00:47:33.360
00:47:35.160 --> 00:47:45.690
Abraham Riesman: feel bad I don't want to like pigeonhole you here, because you you I are there other thoughts about stuff we've been discussing that I haven't been addressing a.
00:47:46.050 --> 00:47:47.460
Marguerite Bennett: happy to to do the Q amp a.
00:47:48.030 --> 00:47:58.770
Abraham Riesman: Okay, great let's just keep going to the Q amp a terrific and Baba question specifically for Chris, how do you feel about oh no, no, you know what I don't want to get into the old grievances.
00:48:00.030 --> 00:48:03.750
Abraham Riesman: I feel like if we if we started turning this into how do you feel about how.
00:48:03.780 --> 00:48:10.860
Abraham Riesman: The characters that you so loved and put such care into have been treated LEADER I feel like we're gonna get into an awkward place.
00:48:10.860 --> 00:48:12.510
Chris Claremont: So I don't know I don't read them.
00:48:13.230 --> 00:48:14.220
Abraham Riesman: Okay well.
00:48:14.490 --> 00:48:15.420
Marguerite Bennett: That is so healthy.
00:48:16.230 --> 00:48:16.650
Abraham Riesman: That is.
00:48:17.040 --> 00:48:19.650
Danny Fingeroth: He so loved the character that nevermind that.
00:48:22.890 --> 00:48:34.830
Abraham Riesman: isn't it true, the conflicts by Jewish writers, who came to be since newspapers would not publish them because of anti semitism i'm not familiar with that theory, maybe i'm misunderstanding what it's saying Danny do you have any insight on that.
00:48:35.250 --> 00:48:37.800
Danny Fingeroth: Well, I mean my look they were.
00:48:39.150 --> 00:48:48.180
Danny Fingeroth: It was kind of a close club, the while they were you know Jewish syndicated cartoonist by and large, it was it was a closed shop.
00:48:49.740 --> 00:48:57.240
Danny Fingeroth: And, and so, if you had those kind of skills and the comic books would be where you would go which, which was a much more volume business.
00:48:57.810 --> 00:49:07.920
Danny Fingeroth: And and and a lot of these companies were owned by Jews and often relatives of the artists, so it was you know it was you know there's this.
00:49:08.790 --> 00:49:27.240
Danny Fingeroth: So, so if you could hold a pencil or work a typewriter even with the one finger, you know you could likely write these stories right, but then there was you know my understanding, talking to the old timers is that getting into syndication was a very.
00:49:28.980 --> 00:49:30.060
Danny Fingeroth: Close.
00:49:31.410 --> 00:49:47.940
Danny Fingeroth: Restricted kind of world they occasionally get our CAP, you know or somebody like that in but, but the comics were much more easier to get into it and and the skill set needed to draw comics in the in the 30s and 40s you know the bar was much lower the skills, you have.
00:49:49.980 --> 00:49:50.580
Abraham Riesman: With Margarita.
00:49:51.300 --> 00:49:52.800
Abraham Riesman: Oh go ahead, no go ahead, what does it crazy.
00:49:53.070 --> 00:49:57.750
Chris Claremont: Just a simple reality of doing a 20 page comic every month.
00:49:59.160 --> 00:50:13.620
Chris Claremont: Unless you were jack, in which case you did a 20 page or giambi ascent on which case you did it every day yeah but no the you needed to generate money, and the only way you could generate money was by producing material and.
00:50:14.670 --> 00:50:22.800
Chris Claremont: The one thing about marvel and DC and and was the head material they needed material.
00:50:24.270 --> 00:50:24.630
Danny Fingeroth: I do.
00:50:25.200 --> 00:50:34.740
Danny Fingeroth: I do recommend that you know a lot of not just because I work as a consultant, with a realized in the studio, but I do recommend eisner's.
00:50:36.600 --> 00:50:52.350
Danny Fingeroth: Everybody knows contract with God if they know that they should, but I recommend to the heart of the storm and also something called the dreamer that's really about it and there's experience and and description of that early world of comics and and and the realities.
00:50:53.370 --> 00:50:56.460
Danny Fingeroth: You know, this one is a chilling scene, where.
00:50:57.570 --> 00:51:05.610
Danny Fingeroth: eisner has been very successful in in comics you know, in the early a golden age so cool and.
00:51:06.810 --> 00:51:17.640
Danny Fingeroth: And then he's being recruited to do this thing called the spirit which is a comic book insert that appeared in newspapers, because the newspapers syndicates wanted to compete with the comic book.
00:51:18.570 --> 00:51:33.570
Danny Fingeroth: phenomenon and eisner's out with his liaison at the syndicate and the guy just goes into a rant about how the Jews are horrible and the dragging us into war and the greedy and.
00:51:35.220 --> 00:51:43.020
Danny Fingeroth: Evil and and then suddenly like Oh, and will you want to come over and my wife and I would love to have you over for dinner it's like that duality the sky not.
00:51:43.500 --> 00:51:51.900
Danny Fingeroth: That that is no had to you know that everybody lived That was the world, you know I mean Chris alluded to, that even in more modern times.
00:51:53.280 --> 00:51:56.520
Chris Claremont: When he said, have you over for dinner was that, as a guest or.
00:52:00.600 --> 00:52:03.450
Danny Fingeroth: I do love to read the book defined.
00:52:04.080 --> 00:52:12.360
Abraham Riesman: I I don't exactly know how the question answer module goes there were questions here and now they've all disappeared, for some reason that's fine because I wanted to ask sort of a concluding question.
00:52:12.630 --> 00:52:14.160
Sydney Yaeger: yeah check the chat.
00:52:14.370 --> 00:52:19.140
Sydney Yaeger: Just this is Sydney jumping in You can check the chat as well.
00:52:19.200 --> 00:52:26.940
Abraham Riesman: Oh okay great well, well, I want to ask one question, and maybe this will conclude it will see if everybody has answers that can fill out the time but i'm a.
00:52:27.630 --> 00:52:42.300
Abraham Riesman: burglary you mentioned your familiarity with scripture and i'm curious for everybody, is there a Jewish story or character outside of the traditional superhero canon.
00:52:43.110 --> 00:52:53.340
Abraham Riesman: And that is particularly moved you and maybe even influenced the way you do right superhero stories is there, like a Jewish character, be it from scripture.
00:52:53.580 --> 00:53:01.980
Abraham Riesman: You know, a Cynthia ozick novel whatever you like you know something that seems to have have a character, or a story that's wormed its way into your brain like that.
00:53:03.210 --> 00:53:03.600
00:53:05.430 --> 00:53:08.400
Marguerite Bennett: What else go first of all I ponder this is very difficult.
00:53:08.910 --> 00:53:11.880
Abraham Riesman: Oh sorry I shouldn't I didn't mean to spring this on us.
00:53:12.360 --> 00:53:12.720
Marguerite Bennett: at all.
00:53:13.230 --> 00:53:14.310
Abraham Riesman: prepped everybody it's.
00:53:14.640 --> 00:53:17.070
Danny Fingeroth: got a list of questions that's not on this list.
00:53:20.100 --> 00:53:20.850
Abraham Riesman: of me, what can I.
00:53:23.760 --> 00:53:26.580
Danny Fingeroth: um wow is there a.
00:53:27.330 --> 00:53:28.920
Abraham Riesman: I can move on to another one, if this is.
00:53:28.920 --> 00:53:29.970
Abraham Riesman: going to be one of those turns.
00:53:29.970 --> 00:53:30.240
00:53:38.130 --> 00:53:45.210
Abraham Riesman: favorite book of scripture how about that i'll go first i'm a big job guy anybody else here into the Book of job.
00:53:47.880 --> 00:53:49.440
Danny Fingeroth: it's kind of spider man life, you know.
00:53:49.740 --> 00:53:53.490
Abraham Riesman: Is a lot of stories, you can read the book of job in there.
00:53:53.820 --> 00:53:56.700
Danny Fingeroth: yeah I think Disney owns job now don't think.
00:54:00.090 --> 00:54:04.800
Abraham Riesman: Job origins we'll find out on land before.
00:54:05.310 --> 00:54:11.580
Abraham Riesman: A sham decide make a bet with time yeah can't wait i'm.
00:54:12.690 --> 00:54:13.170
Abraham Riesman: Good.
00:54:13.740 --> 00:54:24.120
Marguerite Bennett: I mean it just becomes a giant tiebreaker and once again the stories of the women, you know i'd love to slam her laughing is I love jail on the you know the tentpole like I just i'm torn i'm stuck.
00:54:25.380 --> 00:54:26.550
Abraham Riesman: got a T shirt.
00:54:26.610 --> 00:54:40.440
Abraham Riesman: That is no until 2000 ad that I bought it because it's completely illegal but somebody made a judge dredd style design, except it says judge deb and it's it's Deborah for on.
00:54:40.500 --> 00:54:48.120
Abraham Riesman: Like divorce from from the Bible instead of he is the law just says she upholds the law and it's.
00:54:48.930 --> 00:55:02.130
Abraham Riesman: very earnest Jewish tell T shirt making company like this was not some comics person trying to do a riff they were like this was like a cool youth pastor thing for Jews, but I was like also this is amazing, the art was very good.
00:55:02.550 --> 00:55:02.790
00:55:03.870 --> 00:55:04.170
Abraham Riesman: Good and.
00:55:04.710 --> 00:55:06.030
Danny Fingeroth: I think what I think what.
00:55:07.200 --> 00:55:20.910
Danny Fingeroth: You know, there must be a reason for me personally that right, the Jewish American novelists of the 5060 days somewhere, even though I once I stand directly he denied it, but you know, somewhere, he or kirby.
00:55:22.500 --> 00:55:38.400
Danny Fingeroth: Maybe Larry leaper I think they were reading Saul bellow and Bernard malamud and phil abroad somewhere somewhere, I think, I think that it, you know somewhere think that snuck in and inform the marvel characters.
00:55:38.790 --> 00:55:47.880
Abraham Riesman: Or at least they're drawing from a common, well, it may not be that the connection was sideways, but rather they didn't have they weren't reading each other, but they were all coming from.
00:55:47.970 --> 00:55:48.270
Danny Fingeroth: yeah.
00:55:48.510 --> 00:55:48.960
Danny Fingeroth: Let me see.
00:55:51.150 --> 00:55:59.820
Chris Claremont: If I may it's not simply that they're reading from source material that brilliant, though it is it's within the texture of.
00:56:00.930 --> 00:56:12.810
Chris Claremont: The depression, a war, but in the war, the Holocaust, I mean to have gone through that even regardless of whether or not you were actually in Europe.
00:56:14.250 --> 00:56:21.150
Chris Claremont: For with with the army or whatever or assigned stateside and looking at it from a distance.
00:56:22.590 --> 00:56:26.130
Chris Claremont: You can't help, but have that.
00:56:27.330 --> 00:56:33.990
Chris Claremont: The impact, to make a resonance and then post war, especially if you're a New York centric.
00:56:35.640 --> 00:56:39.960
Chris Claremont: creator to have to deal with the the very.
00:56:41.250 --> 00:56:56.790
Chris Claremont: inescapable racism that existed in some of the surrounding states, you know, none of this was abstract it was all real it was all in everyone's face but finally there was.
00:56:57.810 --> 00:57:03.720
Chris Claremont: Perhaps a sense of necessity and with comics a means of giving voice to.
00:57:05.100 --> 00:57:15.810
Chris Claremont: To the feelings, the conflicts, maybe finding a way to resolve to try to resolve it that carried through to us when we got to the Vietnam era.
00:57:17.160 --> 00:57:17.550
00:57:19.260 --> 00:57:27.810
Abraham Riesman: Lots of digging there um I think this is a good place to stop we're going we're going to go well over time.
00:57:29.070 --> 00:57:40.140
Abraham Riesman: But uh this has been really lovely they may have any final thoughts among the three of y'all anything you wish we'd gotten to any closing Ben addictions.
00:57:41.400 --> 00:57:46.320
Marguerite Bennett: Anyone in the chat so any more questions i'm happy to you know answer them after email it's you know it's.
00:57:46.500 --> 00:57:55.590
Abraham Riesman: yeah there were some that were a little specific and I felt like you know these these are folks who contact the organizers or something i'm sure we can get notes right.
00:57:55.620 --> 00:57:58.080
Danny Fingeroth: yeah same thing i'm i'm fine double you know.
00:57:58.830 --> 00:58:01.260
Abraham Riesman: i'm very fine double as well, so.
00:58:01.500 --> 00:58:08.850
Chris Claremont: You got you happen to be on the West side of New York next Thursday, Friday Saturday and Sunday there is this gathering.
00:58:09.210 --> 00:58:12.750
Abraham Riesman: New York comic con it's back baby.
00:58:13.500 --> 00:58:17.100
Chris Claremont: Well that's the theory anyway it's eight days away anything could happen.
00:58:17.250 --> 00:58:18.600
Abraham Riesman: Anything could happen that's.
00:58:19.410 --> 00:58:21.030
Chris Claremont: Five days away, oh dear.
00:58:22.590 --> 00:58:28.980
Abraham Riesman: Well anyway um well, thank you to all the panelists I really appreciate this is a really lovely conversation, and thank you Cindy.
00:58:30.330 --> 00:58:39.330
Sydney Yaeger: Thank you all so much, this has been really great I learned, so much so I really appreciate you all being here and Abraham Thank you so much, you were.
00:58:39.750 --> 00:58:49.200
Sydney Yaeger: Your questions are so great and I yeah I just learned so much to all of you watching everything we do at the museum is made possible through donor support.
00:58:49.800 --> 00:59:04.740
Sydney Yaeger: So we hope that you will consider making a donation to support the museum or becoming a member and also, of course, joining us for our upcoming programs, which you can check out at the link in the zoom chat so have a great evening, and thank you all again for joining us.
00:59:04.800 --> 00:59:05.400
Danny Fingeroth: Thank you.
00:59:05.460 --> 00:59:06.660
Chris Claremont: Thank you very much for inviting.
00:59:06.930 --> 00:59:08.730
Danny Fingeroth: me take care, everybody.
00:59:16.650 --> 00:59:18.900
Chris Claremont: We all sit here waiting I do I.
00:59:18.930 --> 00:59:20.310
Abraham Riesman: Do I quit or are we.
00:59:20.400 --> 00:59:23.640
Sydney Yaeger: Are yes, you can you can press end Thank you all so much.
00:59:23.820 --> 00:59:24.270
Danny Fingeroth: You okay.
00:59:24.330 --> 00:59:25.170
Abraham Riesman: hi everyone.
Explore the History of Jews in Comic Books
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For many years, there has been debate over whether or not Peter Parker is Jewish. One of his creators, Stan Lee, was Jewish, and Parker hails from Forest Hills, Queens, a traditionally Jewish neighborhood. Recently, his Jewish heritage has been suggested to be canon by Marvel. Learn more about Spiderman’s potential Jewish identity in this Screen Rant article and this video from The Comics Cube featuring one of our program speakers, Danny Fingeroth.
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Willow Zimmerman is a Jewish activist living in Down River, a traditionally Jewish neighborhood in Gotham City. After an attack leaves her with superpowers, she becomes the hero Whistle, who is determined to save her community. Whistle is the first Jewish hero to launch from DC Comics since 1977. Learn more about her in this interview with writer E. Lockhart from CBR and this article from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.