Rab school update: approaching fall
Returning to the divine womb

Coming soon to a bookstore near you...?

Back when Radical Torah still existed, one of my favorite features there was The Comic Torah, a strip written by Aaron Freeman and drawn by Sharon Rosenzweig. The Comic Torah offers a quirky and sometimes irreverent look at each week's Torah portion, in serialized graphic novel form. (Though Radical Torah has been offline for a while now, the comic strip still exists: The Comic Torah.)

One of the most charming things about the strip is that God Almighty (a.k.a. YHVH) is clearly modeled on Sharon -- and Moses is a dead ringer for her partner (in both senses of the word) Aaron Freeman. (What this is meant to imply about the relationship betwen God and Moshe, I'll leave as an exercise for the reader.) Seeing God depicted as a woman and Moshe as a Black man was at first startling; these days I find it delicious. There are other quirky visual decisions that I like: for instance, the Land of Israel is depicted as a voluptuous woman, her body marked into 12 tribal territories. (See above.) There's something both pointed and poignant about that.

It turns out that Ben Yehuda Press wants to publish the collected comic strips as a book -- which is great news for Jewish comics fans, fans of interesting graphic novels, and anyone who likes the idea of creative engagement with Torah. But the folks at Ben Yehuda want to be sure that there's enough interest in the project for them to print it, so they're asking the strip's readers and fans to kick in toward the costs of the first printing. This is a fascinating move, and I find myself deeply hoping that it works -- not only because I'd love to own a paper copy of The Comic Torah, but also because I think a success with this plan would say something about the power of online readership and about people's willingness to chip in to support interesting art.

If you enjoyed Natalie D'Arbeloff's The God Interviews (which I reviewed a while back), or Joann Sfar's The Rabbi's Cat books (ditto), I expect this will be right up your alley.

Learn more at Kickstarter.com, where you can watch a short video about the project and then, if you feel so inclined, donate to help its creators reach their publication goal.