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This Graphic Novel is a Bible Commentary. But What Kind?

A review of The Koren Tanakh Graphic Novel: Esther
Dr. David Zvi Kalman is Scholar in Residence and Director of New Media at Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where he was also a member of the inaugural cohort of North American David Hartman Center Fellows. David Zvi leads the Kogod Research Center’s research seminar on Judaism and the Natural World. David Zvi holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from the University of Toronto. His research touches on Jewish

“I want to start this review by warning you that I am going to do something very unfair, which is that I am going to review a new graphic novel version of Megillat Esther—a book that was clearly designed for children—as though it were written for adults.

There are two reasons for this. The first is that I can, because nobody knows what a kids book is supposed to look like. Maurice Sendak famously said that he was only a children’s book author because other people told him he was. Shel Silverstein chose author photos for his books that seem intentionally designed to terrify children into wondering whether they were actually reading a murder mystery. And graphic novels, despite being descended from comics, have always had a dark streak; the two most important entries in the genre are Spiegelman’s Maus and Eisner’s A Contract with God.”

Read the full review on Lehrhaus.

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