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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 a research fellow in the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Kogod Research Center. He is a scholar, writer, and entrepreneur working at the intersection of technology, religion, and art. In addition to his work at the Shalom Hartman Institute, he has held research and consulting roles at Sinai and Synapses and the Sapir Institute. He is the owner of Print-O-Craft Press, an independent publishing house that has released books including Jessica Deutsch’s

“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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