By Jason Borelli
My original plan for this weekend was Long Island Who in Hauppauge, NY. I went there — my first Doctor Who convention — last year, and I had a decent time. The problem is that I’d have to drive a couple of hours to get there, and I would have needed to spring for a hotel. Even if I didn’t have to commute from hotel to hotel, November seldom offers optimal convention weather. While I could have used an escape from the events of the past week (even if things had swung in the other direction), I had to take a pass.
Every few weeks, I check Convention Scene to see if there are events near me. Imagine my surprise when I found out about the first-ever Jewish Comic Con in Brooklyn. Held at Congregation Kol Israel, the convention’s intent was inclusive, with an emphasis on Jewish identity in comics. I was still a bit upset at myself for missing out on FlameCon months ago, so I figured this was a good way to make up for it.
While the show itself was held on Sunday, there was a “preview night” on Saturday. I wound up driving over, lucking into good parking, which is at a premium in Brooklyn. I spent most of my time travelling between two floors, eating too many snacks when I knew there would be dinner waiting for me at home. The downside was that there were a lot of problems with the microphones. It got jarring as Jeff Newlet performed scenes from Harvey Pekar’s comics, and he kept smacking the mic. I wound up bailing out before the band ConSoul performed, because I wanted to get a jump on the following day.
For a first-time effort, Jewish Comic Con did very well. Both floors were full once the show got going. The creators had interesting material on hand, and I got a copy of The Book Hitler Didn’t Want You to Read. I also got two sketches to fill out my book: Kyle Rayner as Omega Lantern from Isaac Goodheart, and Death by Fabrice Sapolsky, a co-founder of the convention.
I visited two panels, both of which were well-attended. In particular, “The Mezuzah On The Batcave Door: Jewish Elements Of Batman” was standing-room only, as former editor Jordan Gorfinkel likened 1999’s “No Man’s Land” storyline to the story of Moses. And there were a few people in costume at the show . . . less than what I anticipate at the upcoming New Jersey Comic Expo, but more than what I’d expected.
In a rather stressful week, Jewish Comic Con provided a pleasant respite from “real life.” While I probably would pass on trekking to Brooklyn on a cold November evening, I would not mind coming back to the show.