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Jewish Cartoonists – Now and Then

A couple articles about Jewish cartoonists dropped today.

The Jewish News of Northern California introduces its readers to Rebecca Schuchat:

Comics are Rebecca Schuchat’s preferred mode of self-expression. Yet the Oakland-born cartoonist, whose new comic strip, “Where’s My Timbrel?,” is debuting here and will continue on J.’s social media channels, tends to make comics that are more introspective than humorous.

“I spend a lot of time thinking about, as a millennial, not being able to afford the place that I grew up in,” Schuchat said during a Zoom interview from Vermont, where she is living while pursuing an MFA at the Center for Cartoon Studies. “It feels like I’m exiled. I think that’s going to be a central theme in this comic” for J.


© Rebecca Schuchat

Before taking art, photography and film classes in high school, Schuchat said, “I don’t think I even understood that illustration could be a career. I didn’t think that that was possible.”

While majoring in film and television production at New York University, Schuchat focused on directing and animation. “When I applied to NYU, instead of applying with a student film, I applied with storyboards, which were essentially just a comic,” she said. “My favorite part of filmmaking was storyboarding, and I just didn’t put two and two together, that that’s what I like doing.”

More about Rebecca here.

 

Then the Jewish Telegraphic Agency draws parallels between Eric Godal‘s anti-fascist cartoons of World War II and the world of today.

German-Jewish illustrator Eric Godal first rose to prominence for his anti-Nazi cartoons in 1930s Germany. In the decades that followed, he garnered attention for his political cartoons that forcefully opposed Hitler, fascist regimes, antisemitism and bigotry. 

And yet many of his cartoons are so germane to today’s issues, they look like they could have been drawn yesterday. 

 

In early 1933, after Hitler’s rise to power, the Gestapo came to arrest Godal, whose cartoons criticizing the Nazis had made him one of the first artists they targeted. Godal caught wind of the arrest and hailed a taxi that took him to Czechoslovakia. In Prague, Godal worked with many other German Jewish refugees to publish an anti-fascist satirical magazine. 

He continued his cartoonist career after coming to New York City in 1935…

 

At the same time, he was drawing cartoons not only about the Jewish cause. He also was part of a very important, little-known campaign undertaken by the American Jewish Committee in the 1940s and 1950s to combat all racism and all bigotry through the work of political cartoonists. They were really ahead of their time in recognizing that political cartoons could be powerful educational vehicles.

 
© respective copyright holders; above two via Kottke.org

More than 50 pieces by Godal, who died in 1969, are now on display at the Society of Illustrators on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. The body of work on view — which includes political cartoons, posters and magazine illustrations — were created between the 1930s and the 1960s. They’re accompanied by descriptions of Godal’s remarkable life story, including of how he fled Nazi Germany.  

 

 

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